Growing Income

The 12,500 parishes across the Church of England have an annual total income of around £900 million. Many find it challenging to grow income, and this page seeks to provide access to a range of resources.

1. Giving

Around £450 million is donated by individuals.  Two thirds of this is regular, committed giving, which provides the bedrock of parish finances. Over 600,000 church members commit to give regularly to their church. Regular income helps cash-flow and gives confidence in budgeting, as well as being the natural expression for the giving of committed church members. The other third is more ad-hoc, coming from Gift Days, special appeals, plate collections, and other donations e.g. from tourists.

Whilst it may be appealing to try to look elsewhere for income growth, it is often the case that the biggest opportunities for growing income are i) to encourage those who are not yet giving regularly to do so, and ii) to ask regular givers to review their giving on an annual basis.

Click here for guidance on how you might grow regular giving, or run a Gift Day.

2. Gift Aid

Parishes reclaim more than £80 million from HMRC each year on the giving they receive. Approximately 67% of giving is given under Gift Aid – this is higher than most other charities.

Click here for guidance on how you can maximise Gift Aid, whilst ensuring you comply with the rules.

3. Gift Aid Small Donations Scheme

The Gift Aid Small Donations Scheme (GASDS) allows parishes to claim a Gift-Aid style repayment to be received on small cash donations of £20 or less up to a threshold of £5,000 of donated income per year per church. (The threshold will rise to £8,000 from April 2016).

Click here for guidance on GASDS

4. Fundraising

A further £55 million a year is raised through a wide variety of fundraising events. We offer a range of Funding Guides to help parishes raise funds for the on-going mission of the church.

Church Fundraising and Holding a Fundraising Event guides.

5. Grant Funding

Parishes receive £70 million through grants from external bodies.  These grants tend to be associated with capital building projects, or with other major initiatives.

Click here for guidance on funding a major project, and how you can access grant funding.

6. Gifts in Wills

Each year, around 5,000 people leave a gift in their will to a Church of England parish. In total, parishes receive around £50 million in legacy gifts each year – gifts to finance mission projects, maintain beautiful church buildings and grow faithful communities.  No matter how large or small, every gift, in every will can make a real difference.

Click here for guidance on how you can encourage legacy giving in your parish.

7. Income generation

Through church hall hire, bookstalls or other ventures, parishes raise around £90 million each year. Around half of this is taken up with associated costs, so the resulting contribution is only around £45 million.