A to Z challenge – M – August 2021

oney is a vital part of any building project. A church ought to know that sufficient money is available to fund a project before going out to tender. This ensures that prices from a tender can be accepted in good time. Where projects are costly and there is not enough money already at the bank before going out to tender, work will be needed to seek the extra funds in the following order. All monies should be gifted as restricted funds to the project to make sure they are kept apart from the regular church giving.

The first step is to ask church members to give cash. For those who do not pay tax this will be a gift of money and, for those who do pay tax, a gift of money with gift aid which will increase the value of the gift by 25%. For example £80 with gift aid increases to £100. Secondly, church members can be asked to pledge to give money but only if the project goes ahead. Thirdly, members can offer a loan to the church, with or without interest, and with or without the requirement to repay it within a specified timescale. Fourthly, a regular giving scheme for church members can be set up. This could even run during the build phase of the project until its completion but this giving by individuals would be for them to give “over and above” their regular giving, not instead of.

Once all these monies have been given or pledged, the church will be able to calculate the total amount and see if there is likely to be any shortfall. This can either be met either through grant funders bridging the gap or through seeking a loan or mortgage, if this is available and viable for the church. In the case of the latter, this will have to be factored into the annual budget of the church long term to ensure that any commitment can be met. Once the picture on the money for the project is clear, tenders can then be sought with greater confidence. Ideally, tenders should not be sought in ignorance of whether a church has the money or not. That is unfair on contractors and does not commend the gospel.