The grantmaking climate has been volatile since a 22% decline in foundation assets in late 2008 caused a steep drop in foundation giving. The decline lasted throughout 2009. But in 2010 foundations are recovering their lost assets. The S&P Index has improved by 68% this past year, the largest one-year upturn that since the Great Depression. As a result, 70% of foundations expect to give more this year than last year. Smaller foundations, those most likely to support Christian ministries and churches, are twice as likely to give more in 2010 than they did in 2009.
Now is the time to ensure your ministry or church is aware of the best foundations so as not to waste time and energy looking for funding from the wrong sources. Opportunities for funding abound. Here are a few reasons…
- the upswing in the market means more funds are available for your organization
- the number of foundations in the United States is soaring – about 2,000 new foundations are expected to spring up in 2010
- the sooner you develop relationships with them the better
- wealth is shifting from individuals to foundations
There are no less than 10,000 foundations with assets totaling around $400 billion that support Christian ministries and churches.
The following Christian-friendly foundations are good places to begin your search. They are ten of the best funders of Christian ministries and churches based on a number of factors. They give the majority of their funding to Christian ministries and churches, they specifically support evangelism, and they give on a national basis.
MJ Murdock Charitable Trust
The foundation was granted charitable status in December 1975 in Vancouver, Washington. The Trust’s purpose is to support and enrich the quality of life in the Pacific Northwest by providing grants to organizations that seek to strengthen the region’s educational, spiritual, and cultural base in creative and sustainable ways.
Grants are available for Building Funds, Matching Gifts, Equipment, Matching/challenge Funding, Program Funding, Research Funding, Seed Funding, and Project Funding. The Trust’s funding interests include Education, Health & Human Services, Arts & Culture, Science, Medicine & Engineering, and Scientific Research. Between 2005 and 2009, 43 percent of the Trust’s funds went to health and human services, 30 percent to education, 19 percent to scientific research, and eight percent to arts and culture.
The Trust is especially interested in funding scientific and research efforts that further the pursuit of knowledge. Its educational funding interests are projects and programs in both formal and informal settings…program enhancement and expansion…and new approaches consistent with an organization’s mission and resources.
Its arts and culture funding priorities are educational outreach efforts and performance and visual Projects that enrich the culture of the region. The Trust funds health and human services efforts that address physical, spiritual, social, and psychological needs. It is especially interested in programs for youth.
Its average grant size is $95,000. Its largest grant is $8 million.
ARTHUR S DEMOSS FOUNDATION
The foundation was granted charitable status in March 1959 in Washington, DC. Its
primary purpose is to support Christian Evangelical purposes. Its funding interests include Christian Organizations & Churches, Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, Children, and Youth & Families. Grants are available for Matching/challenge Funding, Program Funding, and Seed Funding. Grants are awarded to spread the Christian gospel through any means. This includes technical assistance to missionaries and missionary groups, and support for pastors, evangelists, preachers, and others who spread the Christian Gospel. Grants also support the printing and distribution of Christian literature, Bible and tracts, and audio and audio-visual communication.
The foundation’s programs include Power For Living, which seeks to make as many people as possible throughout the world aware of the Biblical account and how people can get right with Christ; Executive Ministries, which focuses on turning business executives into disciples of Christ; Literature for Little Ones, which provides Christian literature and books, including the Bible to children.
The average size of its grants is $430,000. Its largest grant is $19-million.
Christ Is Our Savior, Inc. (C.I.O.S.) was granted charitable status in February 1987 in Waco, Texas. C.I.O.S. provides grants for Program-related Investments/loans. An example of this is the three-year $1.1 million grant it awarded to Baylor University’s Center For Family and Community Ministries in 2006. It funded a Center proposal that had four objectives… educating future community ministry leaders for churches… preparing these leaders through congregational field internships in the School of Social Work…producing community ministry resources and training for churches, much of which will be come from recent research within the school…and publishing a quarterly journal to be used as a resource for congregational leaders.
The average size of its grants is $125,000. Its largest grant is $4 Million.
CHATLOS FOUNDATION INC
The foundation was granted charitable status in February 1955 in Longwood, Florida.
Its purpose is to proclaim the glory of God by funding nonprofit organizations in the US and around the globe.
Grants are available for Building Funds, Equipment, Operating Funds, Land Acquisition, Matching/challenge Funding, Program Funding, Publication Funding, and Technical Support. The foundation’s funding interests include Bible Colleges & Seminaries, Religious Causes, Liberal Arts Colleges, Medical Issues, and Social Issues.
The foundation’s average grant size falls between $10,000 and $25,000. Its largest grant is $600,000.
THE CROWELL TRUST
The Crowell Trust was granted charitable status in August 1941 in Colorado Springs, Colorado. Grants are available for Building Funds, Equipment, Operating Funds, Matching/challenge Funding, Program Funding, Scholarships. The foundation’s funding interests include Christian Organizations & Churches, Missions, Religion, Theological Education, and Youth Ministries.
The foundation’s mission is to provide grants that teach and actively help spread Evangelical Christianity. Its grants promote Evangelism and Discipleship, International Cross-cultural Missions, International Church Planting, US-focused Missions, Christian Higher Education, and Christian Leadership Development.
The average size of the foundation’s grants is $40,000. Its largest grant is $750,000.
TYNDALE HOUSE FOUNDATION
The foundation was granted charitable status in December 1966 in Carol Stream, Illinois.
Its purpose is to minister to the needs of the people through grants to Christian charities. Its charitable fund supports Christian work around the world. Although the foundation is most noted for its support for Christian literature projects, including new translations of the Bible in languages throughout the world, it also supports Christian Higher Education, Evangelism, Disaster Relief, and Social Services in the United States and abroad.
Grants are available for Conferences & Seminars, Operating Funds, Matching/challenge Funding, Program Funding, and Publication Funding. The foundation’s funding interests include Christian Organizations & Churches, Human Services, Language & Linguistics, Literature, Protestant Organizations & Churches, and Religion.
The foundation’s average grant size is $25,000. Its largest ever grant is $300,000.
The foundation was granted charitable status in August 1959 in Wayne, Pennsylvania.
The foundation’s grants support health, social, and human services, arts and culture, Christian organizations, education, and public policy. Grants are available for Annual Campaigns, Building Funds, Emergency Funds, Equipment, Operating Funds, Matching/challenge Funding, Program Funding, Research Funding, Seed Funding, and Technical Support.
The primary purpose of the foundation is to fund ministries that have a strong Protestant, Christ-centered, Biblical-based foundation. This includes ministries that have an effective prayer and a unique calling by the Holy Spirit to promote evangelism and discipleship around the world. Nationally it focuses on secular issues, including humanitarian needs. It also seeks to encourage problem solving and innovative, practical approaches to meeting the changing needs of our regional, national, and international communities.
The average size of the foundation’s grants is $10,000. Its largest grant is $250,000.
A previous article also discussed the National Christian Foundation, the Maclellan Trust, and the Harry J. Lloyd Foundation. Combined these are the best foundations as of 2010 for Christian Ministries and churches.