Yes, there are available grants for black churches in the United States. It might interest you to know that most charities and nonprofits usually depend on grants to survive and fulfill their mandate, and black churches are not exempted.

As a matter of fact, in order to prevent historic black churches in the United States from going into extinction, over $20 billion have been issued to them so that the congregation will continue to worship in such historic edifices. Although not all churches receive grants from the government, but among the 40 organizations receiving grants from the government, we have four historic black churches making the list.

Aside from grants that come from the federal, state, and local government, it is important to note that there are other organizations and philanthropists that also give out grants specifically to black churches. Having said that, if you run a black church and you are looking for grant opportunities that will help you fund the church, then you might find the following grants helpful.

4 Available Grants for Black Churches

  1. The African American Cultural Heritage Action Fund (Preserving Black Churches Project)

One of the grant opportunities available to black churches in the United States is the African American Cultural Heritage Action Fund which is given via a project known as the Preserve Black Churches Project. Preserving Black Churches is a project of the African American Cultural Heritage Action Fund of the National Trust for Historic Preservation.

The once-yearly grant is used for preserving historic Black worship centers even if they have active or nonactive congregations. The purpose of the grant is to help preserve their historic structure.

The worth of the grant that awardees receive from Preserving Black Churches is between $50,000 and $200,000. Interestingly, applicants have the option of applying for any of the following; Endowment and Financial Sustainability, Organizational Capacity and Operations, Capital Project, Programming and Interpretation, or Project Planning.

  • Your organization must be regarded as a Historic Black Church.
  • Your church must be considered a Historic Black Church with either active or non-active congregations.
  • If the project involves property, the church receiving the grant must either be the owner of the property or should have a written agreement with the owner of the property stating that the grantee has permission to carry out the project the grant is meant for.
  • Your church is in 501(c)(3) IRS compliance.
  • Additional grant conditions may be required by the National Trust’s philanthropic partners. This will be clearly in the grant contract.
How to Apply

You are expected to apply for this grant by sending in your Letter of Intent (LOI). The Letter of Intent (LOI) is an online application for applicants to prove that they are eligible and show an initial indication of interest and capacity. All Letters of Intent (LOI) must be submitted through the National Trust’s online grant application system before the deadline, or they will not be reviewed.

All those applying for this grant are required to submit just one Letter of Intent (LOI) under any of the listed funding categories.

Though only one type of grant will be granted for each window of the grant opportunity. Please note that the Letter of Intent review period will take about six weeks. All applicants will be informed of their status at the end of this initial review period, and this may be towards the end of October.

  1. Black Leadership Projects Grant

The United Christian Missionary Society inaugurated the Black Leadership Project in 1970. These grants are awarded to applicants whose projects develop, nurture, and strengthen the leadership in churches that are mainly filled with African American congregations.

The Black Leadership Project is designed with the aim of assisting clergies and laity who wants to attend any educational or empowerment program that will help them become better and deliver their mandate with the highest professionalism.

Please note that the Black Leadership Grant funds may not be used toward an academic degree program (They have other funds dedicated to academic degree programs).

  • Your project must be geared toward developing the leadership of the Black church.
  • Your church must be in 501(c)(3) IRS compliance.

Your Project should fall under any of the categories:

  • Leadership in Congregational Life
  • Leadership in Outreach Ministries
  • Faith Development of Leaders
  • Scholarship Support for Leaders
  • Leadership in African American Programming
How to Apply
  • The deadline for the Grant is May 31st of each year.
  • If you are interested in submitting a project, you are expected to review the stated guidelines and application procedures.
  • You are required to submit a completed application with the required document on or before May 31st to Marissa Ivey Chiles, Ministry Associate and you can contact her via 317-713-2641.
  • You can call Rev. Monique Crain Spells at 317-713-2641 should you need further clarification on how to go about applying for this grant.
  1. The Mustard Seed Foundation

The Mustard Seed Foundation is yet another organization that a black church should consider if they are looking for funds to support their church. The Mustard Seed Foundation provides seed funding through matching grants for start-up projects of local churches in the largest urban centers of the world.

The Mustard Seed Foundation gives priority to projects that are grassroots or plan to become locally managed and sustained. Mustard Seed is an organization that helps to launch projects as a minority partner, providing funds over a limited time period and in a way that encourages self-sufficiency and reliance on the local church.

Please note that The Mustard Seed Foundation does not give grants that will cover the whole funding of the project, they can only award 50 percent of the total cost required to start and finish the church project within the stipulated year.

  • Applicants must come up with creative initiatives that offer innovative approaches to local church-based ministries.
  • The project or program entered must be centered around expressing the love of Jesus to the world but in words and action.
  • The church must be willing to commit 50 percent of the required finance in a project.
How to Apply
  1. Go through the details and guidelines as they relate to your peculiarity, your region, and the project you want to undertake.
  2. Contact them and tell them:
  • A description of the initiative
  • The cost of the project
  • Grant amount you are looking for
  • Your major sources of financial support (including that of a church or churches)
  1. A staff member will respond to your inquiry and, if you qualify for funding, will send you a grant application form to complete.

The application form includes:

  • Personal Statement of Faith of the applicant
  • Background Information
  • Project Summary/Purpose of Grant
  • Local Church Involvement
  • Current Year Church Budget
  • Previous Year Church Budget
  • Project Budget
  • Church Governing Board Members
  • Legal Documentation
  • Church Statement of Faith/Mission Statement
  1. The Community Foundation of West Georgia

The Community Foundation of West Georgia is yet another organization that is awarding grants to Black churches in the United States of America. They are able to carry out this through what is known as the Church Improvement Fund. The purpose of the Church Improvement Fund (CIF) is to provide grants for capital improvements to predominately African American churches in Carroll County, Georgia.

The Community Foundation of West Georgia gives preference to churches that can hardly raise funds to carry out any project aside from paying their employees and footing their normal operating expenditures.

For this reason, the Community Foundation of West Georgia pays attention to applicants who want to carry out building projects that will help accommodate their congregation. Please note that the fund will not cover the purchase of pews, chairs, electronics or the beautification of the church and the church property must not be a rented or leased property but must be owned by the church.

  • Your church must be in existence for a minimum of 10 years.
  • A cash match of 25/75 will be required (This means that the applicant church will be responsible for 25 percent of the project costs with the CIF providing the remaining 75 percent.)
  • Applications will be evaluated on the demonstrated need (plans, cost estimates, community service, etc.) and the financial stability of the church.
  • Multi-year grants are allowed; however, a church cannot receive more than 3 grants in a 5-year period.
How to Apply

To apply, you are required to fill out the application form on their website and also upload all the required documents. Please note that even though the online application gives room for uploads of required documents; you may choose to provide paper copies and you mail them to:

Community Foundation of West Georgia

807 South Park Street

Carrollton, Ga 30117

In Conclusion,

It is important to note that you cannot receive grants from either the government or a private foundation if your church is not registered as a 501(c)(3) entity. So, if you are planning to apply for any of the stated grant opportunities, then you must have the right legal structure.