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Overview of External Funding Sources

There are many funding sources to choose from, each with specific advantages and disadvantages. Some can generate large sums of money but impose a long and complicated application process and may interfere with your project governance, others require personal connections, for example. The following might help you decide which ones are the most suitable for your church and your project.

Funding Sources
Individuals and Communities
  • A source you can build up over time
  • Can provide valuable connections to other sources
  • They can become loud advocates for your project
  • Costly to develop
  • Likely to generate small return for large effort
Foundations and Trusts
  • Often a source of ongoing smaller funding
  • Usually clear guidelines and application process
  • Attuned to community needs
  • May be tied to very specific goals that are not aligned with your church’s plans
  • Large sums of money are often one-time only
Lottery Funding
  • Can be a source of large sums
  • Clear guidelines and application process
  • Focus on community and voluntary organisations
  • Ethically controversial due to the nature of its income.
  • Large grants may have strings attached in form of strict accountability process (monitoring, accounting etc…)
Large corporations
  • May be a source of large sums
  • Access often requires a personal connection
  • Their goals may not be tied in with the goals of the church
  • May require significant control over your project
Local small businesses
  • Informal: grant forms are not necessary
  • Can be easily accessed through personal relationships
  • Local community focus is appreciated
  • Small amounts of money
  • Narrow range of interests
  • Difficult to access if there is no personal connection
Government Funding
  • Large sums of money possible
  • Clear guidelines, processes and deadlines
  • Can be ongoing
  • Focus on public is good
  • Complicated and time consuming application process
  • May require extensive reporting and recordkeeping
  • Highly competitive
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