UPDATED April 2017: Funding Technology for Your Church
Could technology help you enhance your ministry’s effectiveness? Did you know that there are numerous faith-based technology grants available? To check this out, there are three important steps to follow.
Find out if your church is a 501 (c) (3) nonprofit organization.
If it is, in most cases, you are all set to begin applying for funding to support your technology needs.
If not, consider applying for 501(c)(3) status. A 501(c)(3) is a ruling by the IRS that declares an entity as a charitable organization. Without this determination from the IRS, your church will be ineligible for most, if not all, public and private grant sources.
Next, research funding resources.
Most major denominations have resources and funding to help local churches be more effective in ministering to their communities. Most denominations place great emphasis and importance on evangelism and outreach.
Here are a few funding sources to get you started grouped by denomination:
United Methodist Church
- General Board of Church and Society
- Foundation for Evangelism
- Each United Methodist Area Annual Conference also has a United Methodist Foundation to support its member churches.
- United States Conference of Catholic Bishops: Catholic Campaign For Human Development
- Catholic Extension
- Some archdioceses also provide funding to local parishes.
If you aren’t a member church of a major denomination, this site lists 731 foundations that support church technology grants. There’s probably at least one in your area.
The John C. Lasko Foundation Trust was established to build churches that will last forever and will never deviate or change from God’s mission. Grants from the Lasko Foundation are exclusively for the construction of worship space, defined as the sanctuary portion of the church building. To learn more about grants from this trust up to $500,000 click here
Last, clearly define your need.
It’s very important to establish a clear idea of WHAT your grant request needs to cover. Being able to clearly define your need with a strong purpose – your WHY statement – is critical for success. When you’ve identified a specific technology need and purpose for your church, you’ll be better able to determine which funding sources’ goals or focus align with yours.
Keep in mind that most foundations won’t supply funding for the day-to-day operations. Foundations generally fund projects with clear definable goals and impact statements that can be measured. As you write the narrative (also known as a case statement) of the grant, keep your goal at the center of your argument.
For example, if your ‘WHAT’ is to acquire video recording and live-streaming equipment, your ‘WHY’ might be the importance of providing the homebound an avenue to continue to attend church regardless of physical limitations. Next, back up your ‘WHY’ with data. How many individuals would be impacted each week, month or year? Hard numbers bring validity to your grant appeal.
The bottom Line.
Carefully think through your vision, mission and purpose for the strategic use of technology within your ministry setting. A clear, concise and measurable plan is the sure path to funding your ministry needs.
Once you have funding in place, or even if you have questions along the way, give Stark Raving solutions a call at 866.275.3261 to find out how we can help meet your technology needs.
David Sisney is VP for Business Development at Stark Raving Solutions in Kansas City and has successfully helped raise funds for nonprofit and for-profit entities throughout his career.