Even in economic hard times, churches can look to various foundations and philanthropic organizations for financial assistance as they work to expand their outreach within their communities. Some organizations give specific instructions regarding how the funds are to be used while others ask that their grants be used to expand the word of God.
Partners for Sacred Places
This organization is listed as the only "non-sectarian," national nonprofit organization that works to support sound stewardship and "active community use of older religious properties in America," according to the Church Grants website.
This foundation was developed in 1989 by a group of philanthropic, religious and historic leaders, providing assistance to those who maintain sacred properties. Partners for Sacred Places also works to promote understanding of how religious properties provide spiritual support to their communities.
Oldham Church Foundation
This foundation works to help churches meet unexpected needs or budgetary shortfalls. One requirement of their assistance is for the help to enable the religious community to become stronger.
The restrictions to their financial assistance include not using funding to pay for anything that has been previously contracted for or ordered. The foundation does not make gifts or loans for the purchase of property. Grant funds are not to be used for the pastor's study, parsonage, equipment or office furnishings. Instead, the funds provided should be enough to help finish a project for the community ministry or for the congregation's use.
Building to Minister Program
This program is intended to help smaller church groups as they prepare to move from facilities they are renting into larger buildings or into their own buildings.
The Foursquare Foundation has set up a philanthropic organization to assist evangelical churches to expand their outreach in the world's "most fertile regions." Their grants range from $25,000 up to $150,000 annually.
Mustard Seed Foundation
This foundation dedicates its philanthropic service and outreach, assisting churches to develop their stewardship efforts. Churches applying for this grant have to demonstrate how they plan to use the funds to expand the kingdom of God on earth. Grants are to be used for Christian ministry for discipleship, evangelism and economic empowerment.
The Duke Endowments for Rural Churches
This endowment is aimed at the churches within the United Methodist churches in the rural Carolinas. James B. Duke, the founder of this endowment, intends the funds to provide a system of help and says, "I believe it is to these rural districts that we are to look in large measure for the bone and sinew of our country."