Matching grants and the difference they make to congregations

Over the past five years, the Center for Congregations has awarded an average of 92 matching grants each year to Indiana congregations. Those matching grants range in amount from $450 - $15,000, and the funding covered a variety of programs and projects. Some congregations seek funding to hire architects for building issues. Capital campaign consultants are hired to help raise money to implement an architect’s plans. Coaches, facilitators and conferences help congregants develop spiritually and as leaders.

We follow up with grant recipients to learn how they achieved their stated goals – to obtain blueprints from an architect, to receive a fundraising feasibility report from a consultant, etc. Congregational leaders overwhelmingly report that they experienced benefits they didn’t anticipate. While grant recipients were likely to suggest that the availability of financing was the biggest “game changer” provided by the Resource Grant, the impacts of the project went beyond the money.

Resource Grants allow congregations to expand the circle of participants in the grant projects. Teams became larger, and the impact of the grant activity was wider.

“If it hadn’t been for the grant, I would have been the only one to have gone [to this conference],” reports the pastor of a church in Seymour. 

“We would have done it [the project] anyway, but it would have been a lot harder for us to find the money. It made us more free to invite more people to attend the learning community immersion. It reduced the stress on us…we would have done it anyway, but with more stress,” explains a lay leader of a church in Fort Wayne.

Is your congregation interested in expanding the scope of an upcoming initiative? Click here to learn more about “Making the Most of Your Resource Grant” or contact the Center for Congregations office near you.

 

Kara Faris