It can be an intimidating prospect to find the money for a church kitchen. Here are three ways to raise the funds.
Kitchens are an excellent example of the principle ‘you get what you pay for’. That can be daunting when you’re budgeting and raising funds, but there’s no need to get carried away with excessive quotes. The right kitchen is available at the right price. Here are three ways to raise the money for your project.
Inviting contributions from your congregation (and visitors) is tried and tested. You might well have done so before for another project. A small sum from a lot of people is easy to request, doesn’t put anyone significantly out of pocket, and can bring our congregation together with a shared goal for your church.
This approach can take time, and while it doesn’t require intense petitioning of an individual or organisation, it does involve a concerted and prolonged effort. You’ll need to remind parishioners frequently in services, newsletters, and notices, and get them excited about what the new kitchen could bring to your church. Plenty of people will fully intend to donate, but it can take a lot of reminders for them to get round to it.
Your campaign will need a physical donation hub where people can give cash. Place it somewhere with high footfall, and make it as visible and appealing as possible. A well-designed banner with your funding target will be visibly arresting, and can help inspire donations with the ‘goal proximity effect’.
Bear in mind that as we step steadily towards a cashless society, it’d be wise to buy a card reader or set up a JustGiving page (or similar) so that people can easily make contactless donations.
2. Apply for funding
There are a range of grants available for projects like this. Consider approaching a charity or your local authority. Each organisation will have its own criteria for granting funds, so research will suggest which is the best fit. Many bodies, religious or otherwise, emphasise the importance of local benefit, so in your project planning and your application, it’d be a good idea to consider your church kitchen’s role in the community.
Your diocese is another source. They will probably encourage you to look externally as well, but in case there’s a small pot to supplement your efforts, it’s always worth asking the question. You can read more about this in our earlier blog on Grant Funding.
3. Make the money
An entrepreneurial parish may not have to rely on charity. Selling teas, coffees, cakes, and sandwiches can be a high-margin enterprise, so if your current kitchen can support it, you can see a strong revenue stream at the right time of year. It wouldn’t hurt to mention where the proceeds are going – people may feel like spending a little more generously.
This can also help you out together a strong case for a new kitchen, show your congregation, diocese, and visitors the benefits that your kitchen can bring to the community.
Similarly, the tradition of fetes and fairs is a reliable and traditional church fundraiser. Selling goods or offering games for a small consideration is always shrewd in an environment where people have come to spend money.
Focusing your efforts
In truth, you’ll probably use a combination of methods. One thing to be sure about before you start is how much you actually need. It can be easy to find a quotation for a kitchen that’s far beyond what you require.
In tendering for your project, be wary of the upsell. A manufacturer may try to convince you that you need an industrial kitchen, or prepare a quote on that basis, but they’re excessive, expensive, and off-putting to most users.
A semi-commercial kitchen maintains the welcoming kitchen aesthetic, without the wear of a domestic kitchen. It’s more durable and hygienic than a standard domestic kitchen, but it’s recognisably a kitchen.
When you’re sourcing quotes, especially if instructed by the diocese, you’ll probably need to get three. It’s important that these are for the same type of kitchen. If you were to receive one estimate for a domestic kitchen, one for a semi-commercial, and one for an industrial kitchen, you’ll get a huge cost disparity that may result in you getting approval on a cheap, domestic kitchen that isn’t really what you need. This is, ultimately, a false economy, as only a semi-commercial kitchen is built to last, while still having the right look and feel for your church.
When you’re ready to explore the options for your kitchen, Steelplan Kitchens can offer expert and bespoke guidance. Get in touch through [email protected] or give us a call on 0844 809 9186.