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Fundraising - Module 2

What others have done: some hall-building case studies - urban and rural 

Case Study 2:   St Peters Pahiatua Church Hall project

  Download a copy:  Case study 2    

Background to St Peter’s Pahiatua Church Hall project – a case study

For a number of years St Peter’s Pahiatua had looked to rebuild their hall.

They always seemed to have not quite enough money!

They are a small parish with around 50-70 people attending each Sunday.

Their challenge was to find $330,000 for a $660,000 project

How they did it:
  • They formulated a clear and agreed vision of what they wanted to achieve.
  • They consulted with their community.
  • The Vicar (Wendy Scott) following up on the work of the previous Vicar, David van Oeveren spent time in the community identifying and ascertaining needs. As a new Vicar she also has to build a constituency.
  • They identified what they did well as a church in the community and looked to leverage of this. (Mainly Music, Loaves and Fishes- a monthly meal for the local elderly)
  • Their successful activities provided a road to other groups. They were able to link up with Toy Library who were looking for cheaper accommodation.
  • This provided them with a ready- made tenant and a letter of support for the project.
  • They were also able to partner with other existing users who also provided letters of endorsement for the project.
  • They positioned their proposal to likely funders as a community hub/centre for a range of “not for profit’ local organisations.

What happened next:
  • The vicar and a local parishioner who had experience in applying for community funding for local projects set about the grant application process. 
  • They were able to secure $80,000 (no mean feat) from Lotteries money.
(some work was required to ensure integration with the existing structure)
  • A further $30,000 was obtained from the Eastern Central Trust.
  • They were grateful for the GST returns and saw this as an income stream.

Some extra help
Many years ago St Peters had the good fortune of an early bequest of 2000 pounds and shares that grew exponentially – The St Peter’s Trust.

This bequest has grown considerably and is tagged to provide both the Vicar’s stipend and money for church maintenance and up keep.

The parish were able to find around half of their project monies through this source.

As an aside think about your own bequesting program.

Fundraising fun
Fund raising should be fun. It brings people together for a common cause and helps build a community.

Wendy Scott issued a $5 challenge based on the three talents parable. She gave everyone $5.00 and asked them to grow this amount. This saw the whole church community come on board.

$5 examples include:
  • One person purchased vegetable seeds and sold the produce.
  • Another sold tickets to a dinner in her home and used the proceeds to run a sausage sizzle raising around $800.
  • Another made handmade posies that had people queuing to buy them every Sunday.

A funny story
One parishioner donated $1000 for a dishwasher as she had dried too many dishes in the previous hall. She felt it was time for change.

Buying local
They used a local builder.

The parish also dealt with local suppliers where ever possible. Apart from the goodwill it created it enabled them to negotiate “deals” on items such the white-ware for the kitchen.

Unbudgeted extras
The fence! The money was found from an unlikely source after some definite conversations. The fence was required because of the number of children who come to the hall.

Once the hall was in use there was a marked increase in the power bill – a point to consider when setting rental charges – if you have cold winters!

The tenants and other benefits
  • The project created synergies to bring in other users.
  • The child focused environment saw CYPS use the hall for supervised parental access visits.
  • A home based child care agency uses the facilities around 12 times per term for training. 
  • The local caterer provided advice on the kitchen layout. 
  • The number of weddings and funeral has increased as a result of the new hall with hall being used for wedding receptions and afternoon teas following funerals.

To sum up you need:
  • A clear and agreed vision for your project.
  • Community involvement to ensure an agreed set of needs.
  • Partnerships with others in your community.
  • A committed group of people who can help carry this vision to the wider church and local community.
  • To see your project as a community investment versus a building project.
  • Keep the whole community informed with how it’s going. Use your local media and other established communication channels.
  • To source prospective tenants during the process- they can provide endorsement for your project and an income stream when completed.

Please let me know your stories and successes and how you got there.
I can be contacted by email on or call 04 471 8590.

Anne Hannah
May 2011

Download a copy of: Module 1:  Doing a Funding Application  

No reira waiho ko te aroha o Te Matua Kaha Rawa hei korowai mou.
May the love of Almighty God enfold you!