While it may seem that grants are more geared toward food banks and human service organizations, many foundations also offer grants to churches and ministries.
Know Where to Look
Grants, no matter what type of organization they are intended for, come and go quickly. Changes in the economy affect the amounts and types of grants foundations offer from year to year. An important tool for churches and ministries searching for grants is a research database. Several services offer online access to a database that collects information about organizations that offer grants and how to apply for them.
Many premium grant search services require a monthly or annual subscription fee. Research several of them before making a decision. Despite the cost involved, investing in a grant research database is a wise idea because the list of grants are kept current. Many grant search services also offer valuable resources and training tools on how to prepare proposals to foundations. These alone are well worth the cost, since foundations will throw out applications that do not meet their formatting criteria or adhere to their guidelines.
The Lilly Endowment
The Lilly Endowment was founded in 1937 and supports religious, education and community development projects. While the foundation does place emphasis on its home state of Indiana, it will make national grants available on occasion. Five major religious efforts are supported by the Lilly Foundation. These revolve around strengthening congregations by improving the quality of leadership. The first step to applying for a grant from the Lilly Foundation is to submit a letter of inquiry that is no longer than two pages. Before drafting the letter, conduct a thorough review of its website, which includes guidelines and submission dates for specific programs.
The Helping Hands ministry supports both churches and individuals. It operates nationally and internationally using a twofold approach that focuses on both the donor and the recipient. To better serve donors and protect the integrity of the giving program, Helping Hands put together a gift committee. It is responsible for overseeing the receipt of gifts to ensure they adhere to IRS rules and meet the Helping Hands criteria. Based out of Georgia, this nonprofit accepts gifts of both cash and in-kind donations. Its focus toward recipients includes an understanding of the differing needs from all their applicants. Requesting assistance is simple. Access its donation services by downloading and filling out its recommendation form.