Grants for churches

Michelle Howard – Church Development Worker for the URC South Western Synod offers these helpful ideas of grant making trusts. 

I’ve been receiving quite a few requests for help regarding funding for church projects/building works etc, so I thought it might be useful if I gave you some information and links to some funding opportunities, all of which take applications from Christian organisations. : Any registered charity, as well as any church or other exempted organisation, can now apply for their open grant programmes, although the purpose of the project does need to support their primary charitable object – to promote the Christian faith or any other charitable purpose. Their grants normally support projects that have a Christian foundation or links and meet one or more of their areas of funding focus, so it is important to highlight these in your application. These areas of focus are: Building communities, especially where they are hurting or broken; Helping people, especially those in particular need, to flourish: Growing churches, spiritually and numerically.

They only fund projects in the UK and Ireland. They give grants to churches of all denominations, so long as they are members of Churches Together in England (CTE), Action of Churches Together in Scotland (ACTS), Churches Together in Wales (Cytun), the Irish Council of Churches or a local ‘churches together’ group. All applicants, including education establishments, need to be a UK registered charity or have “exempt” status. Regular Grants: For applications below £100,000. These applications are reviewed by their Trustees on an ongoing basis so there are no specific deadlines to worry about. You can apply when you are ready and when your plans and priorities are sufficiently clear to be able to make a compelling case. The types of grant they make, whatever their size, tend to fall into one of three categories – Capital, Revenue (often called ‘core costs’) and Project work.

Capital = bricks and mortar or tangible things such as a building project, repairs or equipment. A grant is unlikely to be more than 10% of the total project cost. Do check the guidelines for the key things they look for in Capital applications. They recommend that you have around half your funding identified before applying to the Foundation. Grants for Capital projects that benefit local communities (e.g. repairs and refurbishments of village halls, community centres, places of worship, schools etc) are typically UNDER £30,000 and are made when applicants can demonstrate that they have raised funds locally, that their project is valued by the community and they have identified approximately half the costs of the project already.

Revenue/Core Costs = These grants are made towards the costs of your activity. Revenue grants are sometimes referred to as ‘core costs’ – typically they are unrestricted which can be used for the general costs and expenses your organisation incurs in order to deliver its work. These can include elements such as rent, utilities and salaries. Any grant is unlikely to be greater than 10% of your total costs.

Project Costs = If you have a specific project or activity that you need funds for, then you can apply for this. Include all the costs involved in delivering the project including staff costs and a reasonable percentage of overheads if relevant. They recommend that you have around half of your funding identified before applying to the trust. :The Cornerstone Grant Programme offers grants of between £10,000 and £50,000 towards the cost of major urgent structural repair projects costed at more than £100,000 including VAT. The Trust will also consider projects that introduce kitchens and accessible toilets to enable increased community use, costed at more than £30,000 including VAT. Grants will never exceed more than 50% of the total cost and their next deadline for applications is 1st July 2019.


Enjoy this blog? Please spread the word :)