Capital appeals – an online catalyst
Churches looking to rekindle a capital appeal project in the wake of lockdown can increase their chances of success with the help of Action Planning.
Prior to lockdown, Action Planning ran three Church Capital Appeals workshops on behalf of the Diocese of Oxford. All three were oversubscribed. Now, with the ubiquity of video conferencing, the consultancy is planning to take this service online, giving churches throughout the UK the opportunity to log on and gain valuable insights for their own projects.
Action Planning Chairman David Saint says, “It’s not uncommon for churches to be sitting on capital projects that were launched years ago but have stalled for some reason. It’s a classic case of ‘don’t spoil the ship for a ha’porth of tar’. Successful capital appeals rely on a number of factors: a realistic target, a strong case for support, a plan of action, good communication, faith… We help church fundraisers to make all these factors watertight and give them a clear plan for launching – or relaunching – their appeal. As Christians ourselves, we are always keen to see church projects succeed.”
Action Planning’s experience in church capital appeals is extensive and among its network of consultants are some seasoned church fundraising specialists whose expertise is renowned, not least David Saint himself. Associate Consultant Andrew Barton is another highly respected expert in church fundraising. Earlier this year he carried out extensive bid writing work for Oxford Diocese, which clinched a £2million grant from the Church of England Strategic Development Fund. And three churches across Oxfordshire and Gloucestershire had appeals that had been in play for over 10 years reignited by a feasibility study carried out by David Saint and Associate Consultant Sean Tully.
One, St Mary’s in Bloxham, Oxfordshire, reported that “Action Planning’s recommendations were spot on” and it was “helpful to have a third party telling us the things we need to address”. St Mary’s have since asked Action Planning to deliver a further piece of work, advising them on how best to pursue their strategy in light of the coronavirus crisis.
“In addition to our practical experience, it’s often our impartiality and objectivity that enables us to bridge gaps and bring all parties together behind one cohesive plan,” says David Saint. “For the hundreds of churches around Britain that are trying to recover from the blows inflicted by the pandemic, the need for calm, experienced guidance has never been more pressing.”