Want to make your philanthropic dreams come true? Applying for one of the dozens of mission grants available throughout the country can make those dreams a reality. Depending on your specific religious affiliation, there are numerous grants available to help those who want to help others. Given to both individuals and groups with varying goals and ambitions, these grants can make a world of difference in the lives of recipients and those who benefit down the line.
East to West Missions
Located in Michigan, East to West Missions seeks to help those interested in missionary work pursue their goals by offering financial assistance. Though the grants offered by East to West Missions are far from all-encompassing, with the maximum award totaling only $400, they can still pay for smaller expenses that can come up during a trip. The organization encourages those attempting to make a mission trip to "do their part" through personal fund raising and turning to other resources likes churches and civic organizations in order to make up a portion of the difference. A short application with general information about the planned trip, references, spiritual background and other information is necessary to tap into this funding source.
United Church of Christ
The United Church of Christ also offers would-be missionaries various grants to help them accomplish their philanthropic goals. Specifically, their One Great Hour of Sharing program offers 10 grants, at a maximum of $500 to support missionary trips that are acceptable under the organization's guidelines. Typically, priority is given to projects coordinated through Global Ministries, as well as those that have not received grants in the last three years. The goal of offering these funds, according to the United Church of Christ, is to encourage people to go forth on missionary work with the goal of improving the overall human condition through alleviating poverty, hunger and other issues.
Ministry Resources International
One of the more widespread organizations doling out funds for missionary work is Ministry Resources International. The organization focuses largely on encouraging missionary work to benefit children around the world---and grants funds to people who want to learn more about how they can encourage education and overall development in children. Recent grants given through Ministry Resources International have included an $847 grant to a North Carolina puppeteer for materials to be used in outreach ministry as well as $500 in grants and resources toward a Texas minister's mission trip to India.
Though this site might not specifically hand out mission trip grants, it does attempt to raise funds in order to help people trying to make a difference accomplish their wish. Grants typically hover around the $500 mark and are awarded only after an application has been submitted and reviewed, as well as a budget compiled about how the money will be spent to further the project's goal. Applications are accepted on a rolling basis and applicants will find out if they've won about two to three months later. Past recipient projects have had both religious and secular undertones, but they all have the underlying goal of helping those in need.
Fifth Avenue Presbyterian Church
Many churches, on an individual basis, participate in fund raising to help acquire support for those looking to embark on mission trips. Once again, those interested in accessing this resource must submit an application and await approval of their request. Specifically, these grants are targeted toward allowing people to get more actively involved in the mission of the church, while helping others.
Amanda Younger is a freelance writer based in New York City. She has had her work published in "The Chapel Hill Herald," "Time Out New York" and "Independent Weekly" among other publications. She is also a graduate of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill's School of Journalism.