Although some ministry outreach projects can be self-funded, most require additional funds to meet expenses. If you feel that God has called your organization to a specific ministry, then He will provide these funds. Asking for aid is an honorable way of searching for the resources God is ready to provide.
Special offerings and fundraisers can provide opportunities for members and friends to contribute toward the project. Another option for funding is through grants. Grants can come in the form of money or gifts in-kind, such as donated products, services, or physical space. There are many different types of church grants available, but they basically fall into three categories:
- Denominational Grants. Check your local conference for grants available through Adventist Community Services, wills/trusts, evangelism, ingathering reversion, and other special funds. Conferences and unions may contact NAD Adventist Community Services to explore possible funding opportunities.
- Government Grants. The U.S. government provides faith-based grants to churches, ministries, and non-profits involved in carrying out social work which the government is interested in seeing, such as emergency food and shelter programs and feeding site programs.
- Private Grants. Private grants are funded by an individual, business, or organization. Small local businesses will sometimes provide assistance to a local church or school if there is a specific ministry purpose of helping the community. Ask your members for suggestions of foundations, charities, businesses, church groups, government agencies, and corporations that offer grants.
Most churches have not explored the potential of receiving grant funding to carry out ministry in their community, but it isn’t that difficult. It just takes an understanding of the grantmaker’s guidelines (such as matching funds, community partnerships, sustainability of your project, etc.) and how to write an effective proposal. Resources, such as www.foundationcenter.org, list grant-giving organizations by subject and geographic area. Churchgrants.org offers specific information and resources for churches seeking grants. There are also resources online and at your local library that provide information on how to write grant proposals. The services of an experienced grantwriter can be invaluable for both finding and writing grants. Keep in mind that grants require annual reports regarding the outcomes of your project and an accounting of funds utilized.