Many churches seek money for remodeling, restoration or additions to their buildings. Grants are available for church projects, but only a limited number of organizations provide money for churches, making the process competitive. Each grantor has its own criteria for funding, and application processes can vary depending on what the organization wants from the grantee. There are denominational grants, private grants and government grants available to churches.
Your church may be eligible for a denominational grant. Organizations affiliated with particular denominations, such as Thrivent Financial for Lutherans, provide grants to churches for projects including building and renovations. According to Christianity Today, "some foundations give only to churches, and some only to certain denominations." Christianity Today says organizations such as The Kresge Foundation offer grants to Protestant, Roman Catholic, Jewish and nondenominational groups. On the other hand, the Knott Foundation gives grants only to Roman Catholic organizations.
Private and Government Grants
Businesses, individuals and organizations with a vested interest in your community may offer grants to support your church's programs and endeavors. The nondenominational, faith-based Mustard Seed Foundation, for example, gives small grants to churches, including those with capital funding needs. Application guidelines can be limited and strict, however. For example, they may only give grants to churches that have established youth programs or churches that have existed for at least three years.
Government grants can be more restrictive than private grants. The grants themselves must not support religious endeavors but may support historical preservation or building projects for programs that benefit the church's community. For example, if your church has started a computer-literacy class or after-school program, you may qualify for a government grant.
Applying for Grants
Grant-application requirements vary from donor to donor. Some grants may require financial statements, references and business plans. You can apply for multiple grants for projects.
Christianity Today suggests carefully researching and writing grant proposals or even hiring a grant writer.