Understanding Faith Based Grants
Faith-based grants are normally sought by churches or ministries (in a generic sense it also applies to a place of worship such as mosque, synagogue, temple or gurudwara etc).
If qualified as a legal entity, they become eligible to apply for faith-based grants. Such entities can seek grants from federal govt, foundations, corporations, family trusts or any other private grant-making body.
Churches or ministry organisations may seek to fund from the same grant making bodies, which support NPOs (non-profit organisations) or NGOs (non-government organisations), provided they are competitive enough in researching, planning, and preparing before applying for grants.
However, they need to differentiate and avoid donors that don’t support faith –based or religious organisations for their religious or spiritual purposes.
But chances are that they can choose inviting proposals to fund social services and initiatives that faith-based organisations provide for the general public. These Pro-Faith donors seek to invest on services that meet the need of the community than in funding the needs of a congregation.
Unsung Heroes of Compassionate work
“One of my most important initiatives is the Faith-Based and Community Initiative, because I recognize that government can hand out money, but what it cannot do is put hope in people’s hearts or a sense of purpose in people’s lives”.– President George W. Bush
Frankly speaking, faith-based organisations and ministries are unsung heroes of compassionate work, who labour countless hours sacrificially go miles far to serve the poor, hunger and hurting communities all round. However, their efforts are often unsung and not supported, as they deserve to be.
I myself being Founder-CEO of United Gospel Mission a faith-based organisation, well acquainted with these financial challenges. But I am encouraged to know that, faith-based grant opportunities are wide open if you happen to do your homework.
Now The Choice is Yours
Faith-based grant writers should never assume that sharing same faith, doesn’t mean you submit poorly written grant proposal application. No matter you have proven record in raising funds, donors don’t just give out money because you are in need.
Your faith-based grant proposal will only be considered on the basis of your competency to deliver a clear, concise innovative, and timely project. You must also show and prove that your organisation is able to deliver the said results while justifying the faith-based grant received by your end.
Faith-based grants are volatile in nature depending much on your location, i.e. to say Western, Eastern, European or even South Asian. Understanding & tapping International resources could be tricky and complicated for a novice grant writer, but local resources could be accessible with a minimum procedure.
Faith-based grant seekers should take their time to answer questions such as:
- If, you a faith-based organisation, or a denomination or independent body, who controls it?
- Who is on the governing body and How you choose?
- Does, members of the congregation, involved in board giving representation?
- Do you ask your beneficiaries to participate in religious activities as a requirement?
- Who are the actual, end beneficiaries of the project?
I am sure you might have gained some basic understanding on faith-based grants. Since it is a vast subject to cover within this limited space, I have another article addressing challenges of faith-based grant proposal writing. Have a look into it.
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