Have you ever wanted to start a new ministry or expand an existing one but have been limited due to lack of finances? I think I just heard a very loud collective “yes” across our movement. Every church has faced this situation, for some perhaps many times.
New and expanded ministries usually require additional funds. To increase the possibility of funding opportunities, The Free Methodist Church in Canada has purchased a subscription that provides us access to thousands of Canadian foundations. Through this subscription we are able to conduct searches of over 9,000 foundations that may be interested in providing funding to your project.
Obtaining a grant from a foundation is not an easy process – it requires time to find the right foundation, research the foundation, develop a proposal and a relationship with the foundation. While we can’t help with every step of the process, we can certainly help at the critical point of identifying which foundations would be most receptive to your proposal.
When we receive a Search Request Form from a church, we are provided with details about the project that enable us to narrow our focus and exclude foundations that don’t make a good match with the project. The criteria we look for includes:
- Geography – where does the foundation provide funding?
If a project is located in Saskatchewan but the foundation only funds projects in British Columbia, they are excluded
Many foundations fund projects across Canada
- Funding Interests – what types of projects does the foundation fund?
- If a project is focused on meeting the needs of children, then foundations that don’t fund projects for children will be excluded
- Application Guidelines – is the foundation accepting proposals?
- Some foundations do not accept proposals and therefore would be excluded
- Funding History – what has the foundation done in the past?
- We examine what organizations have received funding in the past, how much have they received and when?
- If a foundation has not given grants to similar organizations we may exclude them
- If a foundation has not given out grants in recent years, they may be excluded
- If the grant sizes are not close to what the project requires, the foundation may be excluded
Our goal is to provide you with the best possible chance at success in approaching foundations that will be receptive to your project. The more detail you can give us about your project, the better the information we provide to you.
I want to encourage each church to consider taking advantage of this service. For more information about the foundation search service and to obtain a request form, visit the generous stewards website at www.generoussteward.org. Click on the Leaders link and then go to Project Funding.
Joanne Bell, Stewardship