Church Grants

It is often a misconception to believe that churches in the United States cannot access funds through grants.  This misunderstanding has led many churches to forego excellent funding opportunities that would impact the communities where they are located.  It has led many churches to not proceed with expansion ideas because the prospect of identifying additional revenue appears daunting!  What it takes for a church to find a grant is not that much different than it takes for any other business to identify one.  Research, patience, determination, and perseverance are the key ingredients.
Used well, and the results can benefit the church and its surrounding community.

Church grants are available at the federal level, particularly if the church is in a
historic building.  Such grant initiatives are conducted by way of Historic Preservation Grants.   While obtaining such funds is part of a rigorous process, if the church is in a historic building, the rewards can be significant.

Foundations support churches as well. While, it is true that some foundations state in their guidelines that the church cannot proselytize, and that the purposes for the grant must be secular in nature, these requirements do not preclude a church from seeking grants.  They simply place certain limitations on the church, nothing more.

The church, of course, must evaluate what it needs.  Does it need a new building or addition?  Does it need a medical clinic to serve its community?  Does it operate a food shelf?  Does it provide shelter to homeless individuals?  Is it involved in
transitional housing?  The list is almost as endless as the needs.  Therefore, any church must determine the needs, and conduct an assessment of what it can and cannot do.  Once done, the church conducts the necessary research to determine what grants are available.  If the church evaluates its needs, conducts an assessment, and identifies potential grants for the church, it then must complete the grant application.

Most grantors will require that the church provide clear and concise reasons for its request including a comprehensive Narrative that outlines the basis and justification for the funding.  Additionally, and equally important, the church must identify and then
demonstrate that the proposed Outcomes are measurable – not merely a recitation of “what might happen.”  Measurable outcomes mean that the church is providing a realistic appraisal of what it will do with the grantor’s funds.  Outcomes provide both short-term and long-term objectives that can be attained, and are often accompanied with a timeline that illustrates the milestones the church proposes to reach during the funding initiative. The church will, as with all others that seek grant funding, provide both
organizational and program budgets.  These budgets offer a window into the financial stability of the church, and its capacity to fulfill the guidelines as stipulated by the grantor.  Additionally, depending on the grantor, the church may need to provide periodic reports on progress.

Churches, therefore, should seek grants. Churches that utilize grant funds can meet their needs, and their communities’ needs.

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