The word fundraising conjures up many images, probably ranging from raffle tickets to persuading people to do something they don’t want to do, improbable targets or frustrating forms to fathom.

Obviously faith plays a huge part in any fundraising endeavour, but so does practicality and getting the help you need to succeed. Happily, at Church House, Rebecca Evans is on hand to help with all of that.

Whether it’s an accessible loo or a new church roof, there isn’t too much that Rebecca doesn’t know about how to go about finding funding for it.

“We recently held a Toilet Workshop!” says Rebecca, “With one participant proudly announcing at the end that he’d been toilet-trained!” The serious side of the workshop was to gather everyone across the diocese interested in securing funding for toilet facilities and walk them through the funding process including how, where and to who. Dr John Kidman of the Diocesan Advisory Committee (DAC) came along to explain what the DAC would be looking for in a planning application. Part of the workshop involved attendees playing the part of applicants and funders with gold coins being awarded.

“The workshop revealed how easy it was to apply to the wrong funders, and to misunderstand the forms and the process. But what was great was that everyone learnt from each other and hopefully understood that getting together didn’t inhibit opportunity – far from it!” Rebecca explained that there is a misconception that if people pool ideas and issues, somehow their own chances to secure funding would be reduced. “There are a lot of funders out there who really want to fund, each one particular to an area or type of project – there is still funding available. Part of the issue is knowing where to look.”

Micheline Smith from St Mary’s Church in Week St Mary, says: “Our church boiler had been on its last legs for some time so we had been fundraising but there was still a considerable shortfall when we came to replace the boiler and radiators. Rebecca was a great help, she signposted the most likely grant sources and gave an overview of the application process. We selected two grant bodies and after we completed the applications Rebecca looked over them and identified areas that needed further development. We were successful in both applications.”

One of the ways to become better informed about fundraising is to come along to the ‘Meet the Funders’ sessions. Run in conjunction with Transformation Cornwall they are the perfect opportunity to find out who is funding, what they are looking for and the best way to approach them.

The sessions run throughout the year at different locations around the county and are extremely informative. The funders are keen to fund and happy to share why applications might be declined. They are also open to everyone, not just churches, provided the projects are community focused.

“They help to de-bunk the jargon,” says Rebecca. “It can be very daunting to make an application and the charitable rules around the Church of England can be tricky to navigate if you don’t understand the legalities. The workshops really help to de-mystify fundraising but also to give confidence that it really is worth keeping going.”

The funders find the workshops invaluable too. It helps them to better understand community needs and how they can meet them – they really do want to give money away! In fact, they value the Meet the Funders workshops so much they sponsor the events.
Funders can include Heritage Lottery Fund, All Churches Trust, Cornwall Historic Trust, Tesco (Bags of Help), Co-op Community Trust and Children in Need. Other funders include waste companies like Sita and Virador as they have an obligation to fund projects local to where they are operating. Many companies won’t fund religious projects but they will fund projects that benefit the community that happen to be based in the church, like a loo.

If you have any upcoming projects that you need help with, please do contact Rebecca on 01872 360039 or email