Help for Church-based Projects And Faith-Based Efforts

Grant Advisors Ray Sweeney and Frank Klimko know that some of the must underfunded programs are the efforts of faith-based and church groups, where money is always tight. We have a few funders that focus on faith-based initiatives.

Maclellan Family Foundations (made up of the Maclellan Foundation, Christian Education Charitable Trust and the Robert L. and Kathrina H. Maclellan Foundation)

Program: Annual faith-based grants; Funding Focus: Faith-based giving and education; Eligibility: Nonprofits must meet the foundation’s faith-based requirements (churches may participate as a partner); Geographic Limits: National; Funding: Varies, last year the foundations distributed about $21 million in grants; Deadline: Rolling.

The foundations support a broad range of faith-based giving programs. Applicants must be IRS-certified nonprofits and submit to the Lausanne Covenant, a faith-based document considered to be a hallmark of evangelical beliefs. The foundations’ philanthropy includes equipment donations, free consulting services, general operating support and seed money. Youth groups have benefited. The foundation gave $50,000 to the Children’s Home, Chattanooga, TN, for a custodial care program and $25,000 to the Bethany Christian Services, Grand Rapids, MI, for an adoption program.

Education Funding

The Christian Education Charitable Trust was created by the Maclellan Foundation to support Christian education, with an emphasis in the Chattanooga area. The trust will review the letters of inquiry submitted to the Maclellan Foundation, but only contacts those of potential interest which seem like a good match.

Contact: 820 Broad St., Ste. 300, Chattanooga, TN, 37402-2604, 423/755-1366, Hugh Maclellan Jr., president,

Crowell Trust (also known as the Henry P. & Susan C. Crowell Trust)

Opportunity: 2015 grants; Funding Focus: Education and Christian-based services; Geographic Focus: National; Eligibility: Nonprofits which share the trust’s evangelical focus, but not individual church congregations; Funding: Varies, the foundation distributed $4.2 million in grants last year; Deadline: Jan. 15 (letter of inquiry) Feb. 28 (application).

Funder supports curriculum development and faith-based projects. The trust offers a wide range of support, including funding for education curriculum development, equipment, general/operating support, capacity building and technical assistance. Applicants with good track records are favored. Grantseekers should file applications online and start by completing the foundation’s eligibility test located on its website.

Children’s efforts are eligible. The Children’s Hope Chest, Colorado Springs, CO, won a $30,000 grant for children/youth services and the Child Evangelism Fellowship of Greenville/Piedmont, Taylors, SC, won a $30,000 grant for a children’s book distribution program.

Contact:; Candace Sparks, executive director, 1880 Office Club Pointe, Suite 2200, Colorado Springs, CO 80920-5010, 719/272-8300;

  1. Bulow Campbell Foundation

Opportunity: 2015 grants; Funding Focus: Community development, education, youth, Christian concerns and, to a limited extent, arts and culture; Geographic Focus: Primarily Georgia, although organizations in Alabama, Florida, North Carolina, South Carolina and Tennessee are also eligible; Eligibility: Nonprofits; no individual church congregations (foundation gives highest priority to capital funding rather than operating support); Funding: Varies; the foundation distributed $26 million in grants last year; Deadline: April 1.

Priority given to non-government, faith-based, privately supported institutions, and to agencies and organizations with proven programs. The foundation prefers supporting a smaller number of significant, carefully planned projects rather large numbers of organizations. Almost all grants are challenge grants.

For education grants, priority goes organizations which are privately-supported and accredited; special consideration is given to Christian-based institutions. For example, the foundation last year gave $1.3 million to the Marist School ( Atlanta, GA, for a new school building and $175,000 to the Paul Anderson Youth Home, Vidalia, GA, for cottage renovations and campus redesign.

Contact: 3050 Peachtree Road, NW, Suite 270, Atlanta, GA, 30305, 404/658-9066; Betsy Verner, foundation associate director.

About Frank Klimko

Frank Klimko is a nationally known journalist, grants expert and speech writer/speaker. He has years of experience helping nonprofits devise lists of the right funding opportunities and secure funding from these foundations and corporate entities. Clients have focused on an array of areas including child care, homeless, hunger and K-12 education. Additionally, he is a Freedom of Information Act expert, who has helped numerous clients with securing proprietary information from the federal government. Currently, Frank Klimko writes the Children & Youth Funding Report and Private Grants Alert, which are Washington DC-based publications. CYF is a daily publication covering Congress, the Education Dept. and the various federal regulatory agencies. PGA, another daily publication, covers the world of private philanthropy.
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