Like many businesses in the nonprofit sector, churches provide a humanitarian service first and foremost, while generating limited revenues in the process. Grant opportunities enable churches to meet their financial obligations as far as operating expenses go. Grant money can also provide churches with the funding needed to develop and expand into new areas within their communities.
Mustard Seed Foundation
The Mustard Seed Foundation offers grant funding to churches involved in start-up projects that help to spread the message of the Christian faith within their communities. According to the Mustard Seed Foundation’s resource site, grant funding opportunities help to encourage church congregations by supporting individual church members willing to carry out God-inspired initiatives within their communities. The Foundation takes a particular interest in outreach projects that serve urban or metropolitan areas. Grant award amounts average around $5,000. Eligible applicants must be able to fund at least 50 percent of a project’s cost.
The Foursquare Foundation is an international organization made up of affiliate churches and ministries that work to spread the Christian faith on a global scale. Grant money assists churches with outreach efforts, start-up costs, leadership training and humanitarian efforts, according to the Foursquare Foundation resource site. Churches and ministries already affiliated with the Foursquare Foundation take preference among potential grant applicants. The Foundation funds projects in the United States as well as overseas and requires eligible churches to contribute a minimum of 50 percent of the project costs.
Partners for Sacred Places
Founded in 1989, the Partners for Sacred Places organization plays an active role in protecting and preserving sacred places of worship. Partners for Sacred Places offers grant funding to restore and renovate historic church properties as a way to maintain their place in the life of the local community. The organization offers grants on a nationwide basis to churches and community organizations, according to the Partners for Sacred Places resource site. The organization also offers training resources, workshops and conferences to assist congregations in the process of preserving existing churches or historical church buildings in need of restoration.
The Lilly Endowment
The Lilly Endowment provides a means of financial support for pastors and clergymen through the Lilly Endowment National Clergy Renewal Program. This program offers grant funding to church congregations who wish to send their pastors on a spiritual retreat designed to replenish the pastor’s spiritual calling, according to the Lilly Endowment’s resource site. The Lilly Endowment offers grant award amounts of up to $50,000. Award money can go toward travel, room and board and the costs involved with maintaining and running the church in the pastor’s absence. Eligibility applicants or pastors must have a master's in divinity degree from an accredited theological seminary.