With little more than the congregation's tithes and offerings to go on, the daily operations of a church can be financially difficult alone. However, most churches aren't happy with solely staying afloat. Instead, they want to run outreach programs that will help people and benefit the community. To do this, they need funds that their congregations may not be able to provide. Using grants from other agencies is one option for church funding.
Established by the Bush Administration, the White House Office for Faith-Based Initiatives was designed to help churches and other faith-based groups receive grants that would help them run programs that benefit society. Further, the following U.S. agencies have centers for dealing with faith-based organizations: the departments of Agriculture, Education, Health and Human Services, Housing and Urban Development, International Development and Justice. According to U.S. Government Grants, these government agencies specifically seek to offer grants to churches that are trying to solve problems regarding at-risk youth, ex-offenders, people with AIDS and others.
According to Christianity Today, some foundations and charities will give only to churches; others will give to churches among other nonprofit groups, and still others will give to only one kind of church. Other foundations are bound by locality or giving to a certain type of church ministry. For example, the Maclellan Foundation's Christian Education Charitable Trust offers grants for Christian education to entities within 500 miles of Chattanooga, Tennessee. Tennessee churches with schools may be able to submit an application there.
Some denominations make grants available to the churches under their leadership. For example, the United Methodist Church makes proportional, regular monetary delegations to each of the churches in its denomination. However, it will also grant funds to special ministries and has a nonprofit organization dedicated to offering funds for disaster relief. Other denominations may have similar giving programs or other grants.
Businesses and the foundations they create can give grants to churches. While local businesses may be able to make small grants, churches can even apply for the large grants available from multimillion dollar corporations. For example, churches can submit certain programs or ministries as part of the Pepsi Refresh Project, in which Pepsi awards grants to ideas that get the most votes on project's website. Churches are eligible to apply, as long as the ministry they are applying for is not intended to promote the church's particular religion.
Miranda Morley is an educator, business consultant and owner of a copywriting/social-media management company. Her work has been featured in the "Boston Literary Magazine," "Subversify Magazine" and "American Builder's Quarterly." Morley has a B.A. in English, political science and international relations. She is completing her M.A. in rhetoric and composition from Purdue University Calumet.