Fundraising for faith-based organisations during coronavirus

The suspension of public worship and social distancing measures are hitting the fundraising efforts of many faith-based organisations hard. In particular those organisations that rely on cash donations or income from hall bookings, for example.

If you’re a faith-based non-profit in this situation there are alternatives to cash collections you can explore. One option is to use an online donation platform that allows you to accept donations digitally. In this article we explain how our online donation platform, CAF Donate, could help you at this time.

Setting up online fundraising

Once you’ve signed up to CAF Donate, the first step is to create a fundraising page. How you do this will depend on the set up of your organisation.

For instance, if your organisation has its own registration with the Charity Commission or HMRC, you can register with CAF Donate in your own right. You can then create your own fundraising pages, for example ‘Harvest Festival Appeal’, ‘Ramadan Campaign’ or ‘Roof Appeal’.

Or, if your organisation sits under an umbrella charity, they can register for CAF Donate and create fundraising pages for you. An example would be if a Parish or Diocese has their own registration with the Charity Commission or HMRC. They would register for CAF Donate and create stand-alone fundraising pages for the churches under them.

Designing your pages

Regardless of how your faith-based organisation is set up, you have a lot control over how your fundraising pages look. You can:

  • Add a logo
  • Add a description about why you are raising funds and what they’ll be used for
  • Change the colours of the text and buttons
  • Suggest donation amounts
  • Choose a fundraising target

Take a look at our article on creating fundraising campaign pages with CAF Donate for more information.

CAF Donate responsive donation widget screenshot

Collect single or regular donations

When you build your fundraising pages you also decide the ways people can donate to you – either one-off donations by debit or credit card or regular donations via Direct Debit. Or both.

If you rely on regular giving given in cash through an envelope system or in your place of worship, the regular donation option could be really useful. You could encourage those who make their regular gifts by cash to consider giving by direct debit as appropriate, even if on a temporary basis.

Encourage people to make a donation

Many faith-based organisations rely on donations to provide care and support to people in their communities. Now more than ever, you will need to ask your followers, supporters and members to consider giving generously to support your mission. Once you have your fundraising page set up you can start to share it with them. There are different ways you can do this.


You don’t need to have a website to use CAF Donate. However if your organisation does have one, you can create Donate Now buttons to put on your website that link directly to your fundraising page.


You can email your supporters and include a link to your fundraising page. Take a look at our top tips for writing fundraising emails.

Social media

If your organisation has social media accounts you can create posts and add the links to your fundraising page.

QR codes

A QR code is a unique code made up of small black and white squares that can be read by the camera or a QR code reader on a smartphone. It can be added to anything that you print on paper, such as a pew card, an order of service, parish magazine, poster, banner etc. When someone scans the code they get directed to your fundraising page.


You can also collect credit/debit card and Direct Debit donations offline via the phone and process them through CAF Donate.

CAF Donate fees

It’s free to sign up to CAF Donate and there are no monthly fees. Donations are charged on a per transaction basis – so you only pay for what we process. 

  • Credit/debit cards and PayPal donations are 3.6% (inclusive of all card fees) or 3% if you bank with CAF Bank
  • Direct Debits are 2%, capped at £5 per donation
  • Charges are offset against the donation at the time we pass to your bank account (daily) so that there is no protracted invoicing process.

We’re a charity, like you, and use our fees to cover costs. Any surplus is used to support our mission. Take a look at how our fees compare with other donation platforms.

CAF Donate donation widget displayed on a mobile phone



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Charities Aid Foundation © | Registered Charity Number 268369
25 Kings Hill Avenue, Kings Hill, West Malling, Kent ME19 4TA
10 St. Bride Street, London EC4A 4AD
Telephone: 03000 123 000