How to Write Grants for Churches

by Genevieve Van Wyden

Your church is beginning to grow, and you need funds to help take your congregation to the next level spiritually. Because you have more members and youth on your church membership rolls, you want to start new programs focused on ministry, outreach or youth. Once you have identified the needs and direction of your church, it's time to hire a grant writer and start the actual decision-making process.

Sit down with your church planning committee and discuss the specific needs a grant will pay for. Separate these needs into categories such as youth, outreach ministry, music, fellowship and religious education.

Discuss how you and your church planning committee and subcommittees want to further divide any grant funds your church may be awarded. For youth, decide how to prioritize youth fellowship, youth education and youth music ministry. Do the same with each category you plan to have funded.

Sit down with a grant writer and discuss your plans. Ask her for samples she has written for other organizations. These include introduction letters, executive summaries, program narratives, needs assessments, program goals and objectives, groups or demographics served, budgets and financials, methodology and evaluation, and any attachments she routinely includes in grant proposals. Negotiate how much your grant writer will be paid for her services.

Understand what different grants will require of your church organization. Some define a very narrow set of goals, such as constructing a building, while other grants and granting organizations will specify that funds be used for operating expenses. Look at sample grants so you know a granting organization's specifications for funds and how you should structure your grant proposal. You will be required to keep receipts that detail the use of very dollar you spend.

Ask your congregation and other church leaders if they know of any charities or businesses you could ask for funding assistance. If someone in your church can help, invite them to join your committee.

Develop a list of organizations to which you will send grant proposals. Research their proposal requirements and how they require you to account for the money you receive from them.

Research charitable foundations and groups that echo your church's beliefs and values.

Tips

  • Understand that you will have to provide a detailed accounting of every penny you spend to verify that you spent the money exactly as the grant-giving organization specified. Your church accountant can help you with these details.

Things Needed

  • List of church needs
  • Budget for grant funds
  • Sample grants

About the Author

Genevieve Van Wyden began writing in 2007. She has written for “Tu Revista Latina” and owns three blogs. She has worked as a CPS social worker, gaining experience in the mental-health system. Van Wyden earned her Bachelor of Arts in journalism from New Mexico State University in 2006.

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