Church restoration can promote the revitalization of communities and ensure that historic buildings remain a part of the past, present and future of the neighborhoods where they have existed for many years. Restoring older buildings, like churches, can also be good for the environment. Restoring a building instead of tearing it down reduces waste added to landfills, and can lessen urban sprawl which destroys open spaces and natural habitats of animals, birds and fish. Historic buildings, particularly churches which are often so beautiful, add character to the neighborhoods where they stand. The materials and quality with which they were built simply can not be duplicated.
The National Trust for Historic Preservation
One of the best resources for church restoration grants is the National Trust for Historic Preservation. Created in 1949, the trust is "dedicated to saving historic places and revitalizing America's communities," according to their mission statement. The National Trust for Historic Preservation offers a number of matching grants for preservation and educational uses, and funds for preservation emergencies.
Many states have local resources and grants for restoration of historic buildings. Visit your state's website or contact your state's Department of Planning and Economic Development for more information. Your state may also offer tax incentives that make restoration a valuable project.
Some grants may be matching grants that will match the funds that your church restoration group already has for the restoration project. If this is the case, you may need to raise funds for the project. There are a number of books that offer great information on how to raise funds for this type of project including, Effective Strategies for Fundraising for Non-Profits: Real World Strategies that Work, by Ilona M. Bray.
Restoration Project Tools
The American Association for State and Local History has a catalog of books and reports that may assist in planning and completing a church restoration project. Contact them at: AASLH 1717 Church Street Nashville, TN 37203
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