Gifted Philanthropy - fundraising for churches

Published: Thursday, July 2, 2020

 

Helping small churches and cathedrals.

Gifted Philanthropy, a member of the National Churches Trust’s Professional Trades Directory, is a fundraising consultancy whose clients range from small churches to the nation’s cathedrals.

With offices in in Leeds, Leamington Spa and London, the company has a core team of five and can call on a further 10 consultants with specialist skills to match projects.

Amy Stevens launched Gifted in 2016 with Andrew Day, (a former trustee of the National Churches Trust), and Chris Goldie. All Directors bring with them a wealth of experience as fundraisers.

Peterborough Cathedral (pictured above) was already a client of long-standing; The link began when Andrew ran a campaign in the late 1990s and later to fund repairs to the Cathedral following a fire in 2001. Ten years later, Amy worked on the Cathedral’s £10 million 900th Anniversary Campaign. Amy and Andrew are now assisting the Cathedral in devising a strategy for a sustainable future.

Bespoke fundraising

Other past and current clients include Gloucester Cathedral, Christ Church Cathedral, Dublin and St Alban’s Cathedral, as well as a number of small churches.

St Paul's church, Witherslack

“We provide a bespoke fundraising package for every client,” says Amy. “Every church is different. If a small church wants to raise £250,000, paying fees to us to deliver all the work is not cost-effective so we look for situations where we can put together a training package and upskill volunteers.”

This is what Amy did at St Paul’s, Witherslack (pictured left), a small rural church in Cumbria that wants to raise £400,000 to restore the tower and reorder the interior. Her package included research into suitable grant makers, development of the case for support, support with community consultation, training volunteers, and, crucially, providing ad hoc mentoring as they prepared grant applications.

Feasibility study

For appeals aiming to raise more than £500,000, Gifted recommends a Feasibility Study to determine whether the sum is achievable. All clients pay a set fee based on consultants’ time spent on projects; Gifted never works on a commission basis in line with Charity Commission regulations.

Amy finds that clergy often worry that an appeal for capital works will reduce donations to the collection plate: “Clergy members are sometimes cautious but they discover that, one to one, churchgoers are the easiest people to ask because they are so committed.”

Spiritual and community benefit

She also believes, in the long term, there may be a silver lining to the cloud cast by Covid-19 as grant-makers, and the public, appreciate even more the part played by churches in building communities.

 “It is about being realistic and stressing that churches are important both for spiritual and community benefit,” she says.

Another hope is that churches will reduce their dependence on the collection plate by using Gifted’s new online giving platform. This is placed on a church’s website enabling visitors to make donations at the click of a button.

 Says Amy: “We believe it’s a useful and affordable tool. Another big plus is that churches will get the data of the people who are giving to them. They will not only be able to say ‘thank you’ but they will also be able to contact their donors again.”

Profile written by Elena Curti.

Contact name Julie Day
Contact email Julie.Day@giftedphilanthropy.com
Telephone 0113 350 1337
Link http://www.giftedphilanthropy.com