Impact & Need

Churches have a great Impact on their community, helping those in need, providing a quiet and safe space, and sharing God's love; but in order to share this impact, out churches have Need, money, time and talent.

People give generously when they know that their money, time and talents will have an impact that they want to see, and that what they can offer is needed. 

Every church has an impact on their community, whether it is running children's holiday scheme; or providing a place of refuge and prayer for your community; or being a beautiful space where families can reunite for baptisms, weddings and funerals. The impact of our physical churches is engrained in our psyche, reminding each community of God's presence, and of His faithful people gathering through the centuries to praise Him. 

Ask yourself, and your PCC, why did you start going to your church, and what keeps you going there?

The answer to this question may help you to think about what impact your church has had on yourselves, and this is part of the story we want to tell. Remember it is not just the building that can have an impact (though the building has an impact and story of its own, which should be told), but also the people of the church. We often forget that the work of a few individuals from church, such as setting up a 'phone tree to check on housebound individuals, is a part of the story of the church's impact. 

Once you have identified the Impact of your church, it is then important to think and communicate the needs. There are two aspects to needs, firstly the needs of the community, that there is a need for a foodbank or holiday club for children; but also the needs for those initiatives, the need for donations to feed people with and the time of volunteers to work with the children. 

Think about the adverts you see on TV for charities, they begin by saying what the need is - people suffering from cancer or having to drink unclean water, then explain the impact their charity has had - research into cancer increasing life expectancy or new wells, and finally they explain their needs again - that they need just a few pounds a month in order to keep this work going. We can use a similar method when explaining the needs of our churches to help communicate effectively how people can help. 

You may also like to think about the different reasons people give to churches. A recent survey of Anglicans showed that there were three main types of giver (and also those who don't give). 

1) The Occasional Giver, who only occasionally give, because they do not understand the impact or need that their money will have. 

2) The Heritage Giver, who gives in order to look after and preserve the building for future generations. 

3) The Faithful Giver, who gives in order for the church to continue its ministry and as part of their practice of discipleship.

The National Church has created 'Giving Personas' around these, which have some helpful ways of focussing your giving strategy and can be found here

To read more about Impact and Need please visit the Church of England's webpages. 

You can also think about dividing givers into those who give regularly, those who occasionally give, and those who give through a special appeal or event:

Regular Givers

Regular givers need to know that they are making a good decision when they chose to give to you rather than another good cause. Your message should be:

- thankful, their gift is appreciated

- transparent, be clear about the difference their gift makes

- spiritual, giving is part of the life of a committed Christian

The generosity of regular givers is needed to enable churches to pay regular expenses. The gifts of regular worshippers are needed to pay Ministry Share, which pays for the clergy. We cannot expect other donors to pay this. Other regular gifts help with the care and costs of the building. Communicate regularly with your regular givers and make sure that you thank them personally at least once per year.

Occasional givers

Occasional givers give for many reasons, what they have in common is that they give to make a difference. It is therefore important that you inform them of the difference they can make! Don’t tell people how enormous your bills are but rather provide examples of what their gift can do eg. £X will buy coffee for the pensioners club or £X will pay for a week of our children’s worker. Sometimes you might need to say ten donations of £X would enable … You might also want to express gratitude for past gifts; last year your generous gifts represented X% of the income of this church or, enable us to pay for the service sheets or gutter cleaning. Make sure you do say ‘thank you’ and offer to be in touch.

Special appeals and events

Special appeals or events start with a story. Whether it is the story of the season (Christmas, Easter, Harvest etc), the story of the need (woodworm in the vestry) or story of the desire (no one going hungry), story motivates giving. Be clear about your aim and the timescale £X by June and if the task is sizable, break it down into smaller parts to make it manageable. Use pictures and people to bring it alive, tell the story consistently wherever you tell it and if it doesn’t excite you it probably won’t excite anyone else so look for the angle that makes it engaging.

Remember, if you are fundraising for a particular project (such as the church roof) you should include in any material (or a link to a webpage explaining) what will happen if you do not raise enough money and what will happen if you raise too much money. 

Page last updated: 3rd September 2021 11:24 AM
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