As a nonprofit organization, churches often struggle to find the money they need to operate. Most churches rely on members’ donations and church fundraising projects, but those methods can be unreliable and often fail. In fact, in our experience at Foundation Search Group, we’ve found that less than 20% of churches succeed in their fundraising attempts.
There are many foundations that give grants to churches. Use these as places to start your research on possible sources of funding.
Foundations that Give Grants to Churches
While numerous foundations offer generous grants to churches, unlocking these resources isn’t as simple as submitting a proposal. Each foundation has unique priorities and reporting expectations. Rigorous research, tailoring proposals to their specific needs, and demonstrating your church’s impact are key to navigating this landscape.
By approaching this venture with a clear vision and commitment to responsible stewardship, you can transform potential funding into real-world support, enabling your church to flourish and amplify its positive influence in the world.
1. Lilly Endowment
The Lilly Endowment, founded in 1937, gives money to a wide range of religious and educational groups. This support is all about helping with ministries, outreach programs, and developing leaders in churches to make communities spiritually stronger. The Endowment also puts money into educational projects, often supporting creative programs and scholarships that boost learning and personal growth.
If a church wants a grant from Lilly Endowment, it needs to show that it lines up with what the Endowment is all about. Good proposals usually talk about impactful ministries, effective outreach, and plans for leadership development. While the details might change for different grants, they generally expect a focus on making a difference in the community, achieving measurable results, and planning for long-term success.
For churches interested in Lilly Endowment support, it’s crucial to check out their website and get in touch with their grant team. The website has all the details, guidelines, and resources to help potential applicants through the process. Keep in mind, the Endowment likes proposals that show a commitment to growing faith, improving lives, and creating positive change in communities.
2. Eppley Foundation
The Eppley Foundation is a group that provides grants to churches and Christian organizations across the United States. They support different projects aiming to enhance faith communities, particularly in areas such as youth programs, community development, and the spread of the Christian message.
To be eligible for a grant from the Eppley Foundation, your project must be affiliated with a recognized church or Christian group. The foundation favors proposals with clear goals, tangible impacts, and a viable long-term plan for success. Applicants should articulate how their project aligns with the foundation’s overarching mission of fortifying Christian communities and advancing the faith.
While specific project requirements may vary, a solid proposal typically includes a detailed budget, capable leadership, and a timeline for achieving goals. If you’re a member of a Christian group dedicated to improving your community, explore the Eppley Foundation’s grant programs. Check if your project resonates with their priorities and values.
3. Duke Endowment
The Duke Endowment, a big supporter in North and South Carolina, gives money to churches and nonprofits in different areas. They care about many causes, but they really like projects about worship, faith development, and social services. If your group is into these things, check if you can get their funding. Usually, it depends on where you are, and they mostly give funds to groups in those two states.
To better your chances of getting a Duke Endowment grant, make sure your project fits with what they care about and falls into one of their funding categories. Look at their website for all the details about how to apply and what you need to qualify. Remember, the Duke Endowment wants to support projects that make the communities they serve better, so in your proposal, explain how your project fits into that vision.
4. W.K. Kellogg Foundation
The W.K. Kellogg Foundation, established in 1930 by the breakfast cereal pioneer, actively supports community-driven projects that tackle pressing issues like poverty, hunger, and educational disparities. Notably, they extend grants to programs run by churches, recognizing their potential to uplift local populations. This aligns with the foundation’s core mission of empowering children and families to reach their full potential. To secure funding, churches must submit proposals demonstrating how their programs directly address these concerns within their communities.
The foundation emphasizes collaboration and long-term partnerships, seeking initiatives that engage residents in finding sustainable solutions. If your church program aligns with these priorities, researching the foundation’s specific guidelines and actively engaging with their grantmaking process could open doors for valuable support.
5. McKnight Foundation
Established in 1953, The McKnight Foundation is a big player in Minnesota’s giving scene, armed with a hefty $2.5 billion endowment. They pitch in across different areas like community development, education, and arts and culture. Notably, they fund organizations, including churches, that actively better the lives of Minnesotans. These funds often link to specific areas within the foundation’s bigger mission: creating a fair, creative, and thriving future for the state.
Now, it’s key to know that when churches get funding, it’s not for their religious stuff but for programs that help the community. To snag a McKnight Foundation grant, organizations need to show they’re in sync with the foundation’s goals and present clear programs with measurable results.
In a nutshell, The McKnight Foundation’s backing for church programs shouts out their dedication to beefing up the connections in Minnesota. They see the potential in these groups to bring positive change in education, social services, and cultural vibes.
6. Bush Foundation
The Bush Foundation offers grants to churches in Minnesota for impactful ministry projects tackling critical community issues like healthcare, housing, and economic development. These grants aim to empower churches to act as catalysts for positive change within their communities. To be eligible, projects must directly address a specific community need, demonstrate clear goals and measurable outcomes, and foster collaboration among diverse groups.
Applicants should highlight how their project aligns with the Bush Foundation’s values of equity, inclusion, and innovation. While the foundation prioritizes projects within Minnesota, they also consider statewide initiatives with significant impact. In essence, the Bush Foundation seeks to partner with churches in building a more just and thriving future for all Minnesotans.
7. Feinberg Foundation
The Feinberg Foundation lends a financial hand to Jewish synagogues and other religious spots through their grant program. This funding zeroes in on three key areas: educational programs, social services, and keeping the buildings in top shape.
So, if your institution qualifies, you can snag a grant to amp up your education scene, broaden social service initiatives, or handle important building maintenance. The Feinberg Foundation is all about beefing up the backbone and impact of religious spots in the Jewish community.
If you’re intrigued, check out the Feinberg Foundation’s program guidelines and application steps to see if you’re eligible and how to grab that grant.
8. Catholic Community Foundation
The Catholic Community Foundation acts as a bridge between generous donors and impactful Catholic ministries. They offer grants to churches and organizations across various areas, fostering a stronger Catholic community. Whether it’s supporting educational programs, providing healthcare assistance, or empowering social justice initiatives, the Foundation aims to address diverse needs within the Catholic sphere.
To secure funding, organizations can participate in competitive grant cycles or establish dedicated endowments for ongoing support. By facilitating philanthropy, the Catholic Community Foundation plays a crucial role in enriching the lives of countless individuals and strengthening the fabric of the Catholic community.
9. A.J. Muste Memorial Institute
The A.J. Muste Memorial Institute, a non-profit since 1966, empowers churches and other non-profits to pursue social justice through grants. Their mission: peace, justice, and nonviolence as tools for change.
To qualify, applicants pitch project ideas aiding the suffering, then submit detailed proposals. Approval brings funding (matched by at least 50% of your own) for specific, website-listed expenses. The Institute prioritizes initiatives tackling civil rights, environmentalism, peace, urban development, and poverty relief.
Interested in harnessing your resources for social good? The A.J. Muste Memorial Institute might just be your partner.
A.J. Muste Memorial Institute is a grant-making foundation that supports social change movements, including:
- Civil rights, environmental protection, and peace
- Organizations that work to improve the quality of life in urban areas
- Grassroots organizations working on issues related to poverty, homelessness, and hunger.
10. Anderson Fund of The Episcopal Church
The Anderson Fund of The Episcopal Church is a foundation that provides grants to churches.
The Episcopal Church is an American denomination that was formed in 1789 as part of the Anglican Communion. It has over 1 million members in the United States, Puerto Rico, and other countries around the world.
This foundation was established in 1950 by the Rev. William H. Anderson, who was rector of St. Paul’s Church in Philadelphia at the time. The foundation gives grants to churches to help them grow their ministries and build new facilities.
The Anderson Fund of The Episcopal Church is a pool of money that helps fund congregations, ministries, and projects. It is intended to help the Episcopal Church be more effective in its mission by providing funding for programs that are not covered by other grants or sources of income.
11. Arthur Vining Davis Foundations, Inc.
The Arthur Vining Davis Foundations, Inc. is a non-profit organization that gives grants to churches and related religious organizations.
The goal of the foundation is to provide funding for churches and religious organizations in need, including those that have been affected by natural disasters or other crises.
The foundation’s website has an online application form that can be used to apply for grant funding. They also have contact information available if you have questions or want more information about how the process works.
Founded in 1954, the Arthur Vining Davis Foundations, Inc. is a private foundation that provides grants to organizations where at least one of the officers or trustees is currently serving on the Arthur Vining Davis Foundation’s Board of Directors. The foundation has a special emphasis on supporting programs that benefit children, with particular attention to disadvantaged children and those affected by substance abuse or mental illness.
The foundation also gives grants to religious organizations and other not-for-profit organizations in central Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and southern New York states to support their efforts to provide care for children with disabilities.
12. Barry Foundation
The Barry Foundation is a Christian nonprofit that provides grants to churches and ministries. It does not require that the church be a member of the Assemblies of God, but it does have a special interest in supporting those churches in the United States.
The Barry Foundation makes grants up to $5,000, and offers them at either one-time or ongoing levels, depending on what works best for the recipient. Grants are available for general operating expenses or for special projects, and can be used for just about anything—from paying off debts to buying new equipment.
The Barry Foundation is a nonprofit organization that’s been helping churches and other religious institutions get grants for their community projects and outreach initiatives since 1987.
They provide funding for a variety of projects, including:
- Church renovation, renovation of church facilities, construction of new church buildings and facilities, construction or renovation of existing facilities
- Development of church facilities to assist the community and enhance the mission of the church
- Building projects for the benefit of members, such as family life centers or recreation facilities
- Capital campaigns for building projects
- Capital campaigns to acquire land for new churches or campuses.
13. Beau Foundation, Inc.
The Beau Foundation, Inc. is a non-profit organization that provides grants to churches and other faith-based organizations in the United States. The foundation’s mission is to help churches and their communities flourish by providing financial assistance for projects related to education, community outreach, and spiritual growth.
The Beau Foundation has awarded more than $4 million in grants since it was founded in 2003.
Beau Foundation, Inc. is a non-profit organization dedicated to helping churches and other religious organizations achieve their goals. They provide funding for projects in the areas of ministry expansion, facility improvement, and community outreach. They also offer support to individuals pursuing theological education or leadership training at seminaries and divinity schools.
Beau Foundation, Inc. was founded by Dr. John R. Beauchamp in 1963 with a mission to help build stronger communities through improved relations between people of different faiths. The foundation began by providing scholarships for students interested in religious studies, but has since expanded its scope to include all kinds of religious organizations across the country.
14. Episcopal Church Building Fund
The Episcopal Church Building Fund isn’t quite a traditional grant program, but rather a revolving loan fund dedicated to supporting Episcopal churches across the country. Instead of outright grants, they offer low-interest loans for various needs, including building and renovation projects, ministry expansion, and even leadership development. This means the funds used to support one church eventually cycle back to support future projects in other communities.
The fund prioritizes projects that demonstrate a clear connection to the church’s mission and community impact. They look for projects that will not only address physical needs but also enhance the church’s ability to serve its members and the broader community. Eligibility for loans depends on several factors, including the church’s financial health, project feasibility, and alignment with the fund’s mission. If your church is considering a building or ministry expansion, the Episcopal Church Building Fund might be worth exploring as a potential source of financial support.
Remember, it’s a loan program, not a giveaway, so be prepared to demonstrate your church’s ability to repay the loan and manage the project effectively.
15. Lutheran World Relief
Lutheran World Relief, established in 1945, offers foundation grants to support diverse initiatives addressing global challenges. Their focus lies in international development projects, disaster relief, and advocating for refugees and vulnerable populations. These grants empower Lutheran churches and other organizations to tackle poverty, hunger, and injustice at the grassroots level.
To be eligible for a Lutheran World Relief grant, applicants must align their project with the organization’s mission and demonstrate a clear impact on communities in need. Strong proposals typically showcase sustainable solutions, local partnerships, and measurable outcomes. While the specific requirements may vary depending on the grant type, Lutheran World Relief prioritizes projects that empower communities, promote self-reliance, and foster long-term positive change.
If your organization aligns with their mission and possesses a well-defined project addressing critical needs, consider exploring Lutheran World Relief’s grant opportunities. Their website provides detailed information on eligibility criteria, application procedures, and specific grant types available.
16. American Legion Charities
American Legion Charities, a veteran-focused non-profit, offers grants to churches and community organizations aiming to support veterans and their families. This support encompasses both youth programs and essential services like healthcare or financial assistance. To be eligible, organizations must demonstrate how their programs directly benefit veterans and their families within their communities.
Additionally, they’ll need to provide details on the program’s budget, timeline, and anticipated impact. By meeting these requirements, churches and community organizations can secure funding from American Legion Charities to make a tangible difference in the lives of veterans and their loved ones.
17. Barbara Bush Foundation
The Barbara Bush Foundation for Family Literacy is on a mission, offering grants to a variety of organizations, including churches. Their goal? Implement impactful literacy programs for children and families all across the United States. These grants aim to give parents and caregivers the skills and tools they need to support their children’s literacy, creating stronger family bonds and paving the way for a fairer society.
To get in on the action, applicants need to show they get their community’s needs, propose a well-thought-out program, and have what it takes to handle grant funds wisely. The foundation gives priority to programs that involve families, use proven approaches, and have the potential to keep going strong in the long run.
If you’re all about building stronger families through literacy, check out the Barbara Bush Foundation’s website for the lowdown on grant opportunities and how to apply.
18. Baxter Family Foundation
The Baxter Family Foundation provides grants to help organizations that work with young people, including those run by churches. They focus on programs that build character, boost education, and promote healthy lifestyles. This means they’re interested in initiatives that teach positive values, support academic success, and encourage healthy habits in young folks.
To qualify for a grant, organizations must clearly show how their programs match these core values and contribute to the overall well-being of young people in their communities. The foundation likely prefers programs that address specific needs or offer unique opportunities rather than just general support for youth. While they like concise applications, it’s important to provide a well-thought-out explanation of the program’s impact and how it aligns with the foundation’s priorities to increase the chances of getting funding.
20. Gates Foundation
The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, a global advocate against poverty and inequality, values collaborations with various organizations, including churches, to magnify its impact. While not exclusively funding church-based programs, the foundation acknowledges their potential to reach underserved communities, especially in developing nations.
For churches seeking funding from the Gates Foundation, the focus should be on impactful programs that address specific needs in child health and education. These programs might provide access to quality healthcare, promote early childhood development, or enhance educational resources.
Priority is given to initiatives that collaborate with local partners and integrate faith-based values with proven practices, showcasing measurable outcomes that empower future generations and break the cycle of poverty and inequality. This support reflects the foundation’s broader commitment to diverse partnerships in addressing complex global challenges, with a particular focus on empowering children for a brighter future.
21. The Salvation Army
The Salvation Army provides grants to back a diverse range of social service projects within its own branches and affiliated churches. These grants primarily focus on programs that tackle urgent needs in communities, like food pantries addressing hunger, shelters offering a safe haven for the homeless, and addiction treatment programs providing crucial support to those dealing with substance abuse.
To qualify for funding, applicants need to show a clear alignment with the Salvation Army’s mission and values, emphasizing serving individuals and families in need with compassion and practical assistance.
Additionally, proposals should detail a well-defined program, achievable goals, and a sustainable financial plan to effectively use the grant funds. Through supporting these essential social services, the Salvation Army aims to empower vulnerable individuals and families, fostering positive change and hope within communities.
22. Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Louisiana Foundation, Inc.
The Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Louisiana Foundation, Inc. is an organization that provides grants to churches and their programs. The foundation works closely with the national Blue Cross & Blue Shield Association, which has a history of supporting charitable endeavors in Louisiana.
The foundation’s mission is to improve the health and well-being of the people in Louisiana. Through the efforts of the foundation, individuals can access information about health care and other programs related to health care. The foundation also supports community outreach programs for children, seniors and low-income families.
The Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Louisiana Foundation, Inc. provides grants to churches that help them achieve their missions. The foundation provides funding to support community-based programs, including:
- Building and renovation projects
- Financial aid for church staff members
- Support for the upkeep of church facilities
- Rural and Underserved Communities
23. Appalachian Regional Commission
For churches in Appalachia aiming to rejuvenate their communities, the Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC) can be a valuable ally. The ARC provides grants for projects that enhance both economic and social well-being in the region, extending to community development efforts led by churches.
However, securing ARC funding means churches need to look beyond their local walls. While projects are crucial for the immediate community, they should align with broader regional goals, such as workforce development, education advancement, or infrastructure improvements. Collaboration is essential too: partnering with other local organizations or government entities shows a wider impact and boosts the chances of success. If your church project meets these criteria, explore ARC grants further and be prepared to highlight its broader benefits and collaborative approach to bring your vision to life.
24. Rural Community Development Foundation
The Rural Community Development Foundation offers grants to empower rural communities, both directly and through partnered churches, in tackling critical issues like poverty, housing, and economic development. Their funding aims to spark positive change and empower local residents to address these challenges head-on.
To be eligible, projects should demonstrably enhance the lives of rural populations, focusing on solutions in areas like housing affordability, income generation initiatives, or infrastructure improvements. Grant proposals require a clear outlining of the project’s goals, its impact on the community, and a detailed budget plan for utilizing the provided funds. By supporting grassroots initiatives, the foundation strives to foster thriving and resilient rural communities.
25. Native American Rights Fund
The Native American Rights Fund (NARF) offers crucial support to Native American communities through its foundation grants. These grants prioritize initiatives that strengthen cultural heritage, bolster economic prosperity, and safeguard the environment. This assistance targets not only tribal organizations but also churches, recognizing their vital role within these communities. By funding projects that preserve traditions, foster economic growth, and protect the natural world, NARF empowers Native American communities to thrive and maintain their unique identities.
To be eligible for a NARF grant, applicants must demonstrate a clear alignment with the fund’s core priorities and present a well-defined plan for utilizing the funding. Applicants are encouraged to highlight the community’s involvement and long-term sustainability of the proposed initiative. Securing a NARF grant can be instrumental in revitalizing cultural practices, stimulating economic opportunities, and ensuring environmental stewardship within Native American communities.
Grant opportunities are abundant, but diligence is crucial. Each foundation has specific guidelines and expectations regarding financial accountability. Thoroughly research potential funders, customize your proposals to their priorities, and showcase the impact your church can achieve. By navigating this landscape with a clear vision and a commitment to responsible stewardship, you can unlock valuable resources that fuel your church’s growth and amplify its positive influence in the world.