National Churches Trust partners with JustGiving
The National Churches Trust is celebrating 60 years of saving the UK's historic places of worship by entering into a new fundraising partnership with JustGiving.
The partnership is giving churches, chapels and meeting houses the chance to boost their collections through text and online donations.
The platform is being made available to eligible places of worship for free, saving them the £15 a month subscription fee.
Churches will have their own online fundraising page and a text donating option, with both online and text donations able to gift aided. The National Churches Trust is hoping it will be an incentive to churches that haven't yet taken advantage of online fundraising to give it a go.
Claire Walker Chief Executive of the National Churches Trust said the partnership would make it easier for churches to fundraise.
"Thanks to our partnership with online fundraising platform JustGiving, more churches will be able to fundraise online and by text message," she said.
"This will be of particular benefit to churches that either can't afford or don't have the expertise to set up their own online or text donation facility.
"If a church is fundraising to repair a roof or to install a kitchen, by setting up an online fundraising page both local parishioners and friends, family and supporters living elsewhere will be able to contribute to the appeal.
"In an age where fewer of us carry cash, our 'fundraise for free' offer also means that instead of looking for loose change to put into the collecting plate, the weekly collection can now be done by text message. Text donations also make it easier for tourists visiting a church to contribute to its preservation and upkeep.
"This fundraising partnership between the National Churches Trust and JustGiving will make it possible for more of the UK's Christian places of worship to raise funds online and by text message and so help ensure that churches, chapels and meeting houses can remain open for worship, community activities and for visitors wanting to discover their local heritage and history."
Eligibility depends on charitable status and belonging to a denomination that is a member of Churches Together in Britain and Ireland.
Sally Chambers, JustGiving's head of charity marketing said: "We're delighted to be working with the National Churches Trust to help more small organisations take advantage of online fundraising.
"We hope that this partnership will encourage groups who have never considered raising money in this way to take advantage of the benefits, by helping them to reach more supporters, and by making giving easier and more tax efficient."
The National Churches Trust was established on 24 March 1953 as the Historic Churches Preservation Trust. Over the last six decades, it has provided over 12,000 grants and loans worth over £85 million to help the UK's churches, chapels and meeting houses.
The funds have allowed churches to carry out major repairs, restoration work or improvements to facilities, such as the addition of kitchens, heating and toilets.
To celebrate the 60th anniversary year, the trust will be promoting the UK's favourite churches in the summer, supporting a London churches open day, and hosting an architecture competition to find the best churches, chapels and meeting houses built in the UK in the past 60 years. The winners will be announced in November.
Luke March, chairman of the National Churches Trust, said: "Churches have been part of our local and national landscape for so many centuries that their presence is often taken for granted.
"But the continuance of this is down to hard work, dedication and the injection of resources, and the National Churches Trust is proud to have played a part in helping keep churches alive for the last 60 years.
"Over the next 60 years the challenge will be different and even greater, but we approach it with confidence and commitment."
Applications for the JustGiving fundraising platform can be made online at www.nationalchurchestrust.org/justgiving