Capturing US Federal Funding for Your Ministry or Church

by Bev Browning

The legislation is in place, for now. Remember, though, with each new President, priorities change; old initiatives fall by the wayside and new, hopefully better legislation is written and passed. If they want to see faith-based initiatives continue, faith-based groups must make a powerful statement: “We want this money and we are demonstrating our capabilities by applying for and winning federal grant awards!”

Step 1 – Become a Participant
How can your church or ministry join the list of federal grantees? By understanding the intent of the federal law, by learning how to qualify as an eligible grant applicant agency; and by aggressively pursuing federal grants from agencies that participate in faith-based grantmaking. This book gives you the tools, if you read, reread, and share the contents of each chapter with members of your congregation willing to help you go after grant funds.

Step 2 – Put Your Elected Officials to Work for Your Ministry
Prior to your state’s Congressional elections, your church or ministry likely hosted a candidate’s night or even allowed individual politicians to speak at weekly worship service. There even may have been campaign signage allowed on church or ministry property. Now that the election is over and local and regional politicians have moved to Washington, DC, it’s time to put your elected officials to work for your ministry.

Here are some ways to begin and sustain a federal connection:

  • Get to know staff members at the local legislative office on a first-name basis.
  • Plan annual visits to your Washington, DC-based Congressional team members.
  • Call or e-mail Congressional team members monthly. Ask for information on federal grant funding opportunities and ask to be included in any e-mail funding alerts sent to other constituents, including nonprofit organizations, in your state and community.
  • Keep Congressional team members updated on happenings in your church or ministry programs, activities, and events via frequent e-mail or newsletter mailings.
  • When you identify a federal grant opportunity that you want to apply for, notify Congressional team members of your intent to apply. Give them the name of the funding agency, name of the grant competition, and due date. Ask that a letter of Congressional support be sent directly to the Secretary (President-appointed head) of the federal agency.
  • Send or email a final copy of your grant application to your Congressional team members at the same time you electronically submit your grant application via the http://www.grants.gov or other federal e-grant upload systems. Make sure to include your Application Control Center tracking number issued when the online e-grant system accepts your grant application submittal.
  • your Congressional team members to track the progress of your grant application once it is received at the federal agency.

The formula for netting a monetary award for your church or ministry is simple: Exemplary Needs Assessment Research + Outstanding Creative Grant Proposal Narrative Writing + Congressional Advocacy = A Funded Federal Grant Application.

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Excerpted from Faith-Based Grants: Aligning Your Church or Ministry to Receive Abundance by Bev Browning. Available for immediate download.

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