Grants for Churches: The Ultimate Guide

man applying for church grants on his laptop

Written by Valerie Riese

10th August 2022

Here at ClickNonprofit, our Google Ads Certified team enables nonprofits and churches to reach thousands of people by helping them maximize the $10k per month Google Ad Grant. But of course, Google Ads isn’t the only grant available, and churches need a lot more than ads to spread the Gospel.

For many churches, “grant” is a magical, mysterious, and even scary word. But it doesn’t have to be. In this article, we’ll begin to de-mystify grants for churches. We’ll tell you 3 ways to find grants for churches (and a printable PDF chart), 4 things to look for in a grant, 5 pro tips to get a grant for your church, and where to go for help.

Table of Contents

3 ways to find grants for churches

1) Grant Databases

Grant databases contain listings for thousands of grants and funders for all kinds of needs and beneficiaries. Most databases offer tracking and notification dashboards to help you stay on top of your grant applications. While grant databases will save you a lot of time and headaches, they come at a cost.

A few of the largest databases include GrantScape, Instrumentl, FBO, GrantStation. We’ve provided a brief summary of each with their website descriptions, along with a printable PDF chart with details of each database, what type of grants they list, and the pricing.

GrantScape

GrantScape is powered by Thompson Grants, a division of CBIS, has been providing grants administrators, program managers and financial managers like you with trusted analysis on the most pressing grants compliance issues since 1972. Our products and services cover the entire grants life cycle from pre-award through closeout and will help you find the funding opportunities you need while making sense of the confusing and complicated task of complying with the uniform guidance.

Instrumentl

We propel the best nonprofits into a bigger, brighter future by building a better way to fundraise. Instrumentl brings grant discovery, research, and tracking to one place. With Instrumentl, development staff are more effective and efficient at finding the right grants for their nonprofits.

FDO by Candid

The most exhaustive and up-to-date knowledge and insight on the social sector to fuel any fundraising mission. Expanded, in-depth profiles of each grant maker plus inside looks at the grants they’ve actually made keep your organization operating at peak effectiveness.

Grant Station

Offers nonprofit organizations, educational institutions, and government agencies the opportunity to identify potential funding sources for their programs or projects as well as resources to mentor these organizations through the grant seeking process.

2) Search for Grants for Churches by Need

screenshot of google search for grants for playground equipment for churches

If you’re not able or willing to pay for a database, you can search by need. For example, if your church wants to build a playground, a Google search for “Grants for playground equipment for churches” will offer many options, including Planning a community playground (playlsi.com). Does your congregation need an AED? If you search for “grants for aed for churches,” you’ll learn that KMS Medical is a medically educated and morally driven partner who wants you to be ready to help someone. Whether your ministry needs a computer, Bibles, or even solar panels, you’re likely to find it by searching for “Grants for (fill-in-the-blank) for churches”

And on that note, the first nonpaid (as in organic—yes, we’re tootin’ our own horn) result for “grants for advertising for churches” is yours truly, Click Nonprofit. You can learn all about the Google Grant for Churches in our Ultimate Guide.

screenshot of google search for grants for advertising for churches

3) Find Grants for Churches from Local Businesses

As you probably noticed above, many businesses offer grants for the products or services they provide. You can search online for local businesses who may be wiling to sponsor your project. You can also call or visit them. Many potential funders don’t advertise their grant, so don’t hesitate to ask, especially if you already have a relationship with the business.

woman looking for local church grants

4 Things to Look for in a Grant

The good news is there are millions of grants available. The bad news is that finding the right one for your program can be overwhelming. Here are a few things to look for as you search.

Location

Most funders award grants for a specific region, so the first thing you should look for is what area the funder serves.

Deadline

The second thing to check is the submission deadline. If you don’t have enough time to put the grant application together, move on with your search.

Previous Grantees

How do you know if you have a chance at getting their attention over all the other applicants? Every funder has allotted the money for a particular cause close to their heart, so review who they’ve awarded funds to in the past and what types of programs were involved.

Management and reporting

Funders want a return on their investment, so there’s always reporting after a grant is awarded. Review their reporting requirements to determine whether you’ll have the capacity to follow through.

take careful notes when looking online for grants for churches

4 Pro Tips to Get a Grant for Your Church

Finding the grant is the easy part. Writing the grant application takes a lot of time, resources, careful tracking, and collaborative effort. Here are just a few tips to help you write a winning grant.

Be On Time

The most important rule of grant writing is to submit the application on time. A late submission is an automatic disqualification.

Be Complete

Be sure to include all required elements. Even one missing detail may cause your application to meet the circular file. Many funders believe that if you’re unable to complete the application, then it’s possible you won’t be able to manage the funds properly, so the application itself is often treated as a test.

Be Persuasive

Use relevant spaces to tell an engaging story about how your program aligns with the funder’s mission. Show them the difference their funds will make with a balance of anecdotal evidence supported by statistics.

Be Correct

Submit a perfectly written and proofread piece.

it's rewarding to find a grant online for your church

Need Help to Win a Grant for Your Ministry?

If it sounds like a lot, that’s because it is. Many churches and nonprofits avoid grants because they don’t have the knowledge or resources to find and apply for them. But there is help. Many colleges, technical schools, and online providers offer grant writing courses, and there are many books on the topic.

If you’d rather leave your church’s grant writing duties to a professional, there are many grant writers and grant writing consultants who will do the work for you. 

One of the top grant writing experts out there is Teresa Huff. She is the host of the Grant Writing Simplified Podcast and the go-to expert in grant writer coaching and nonprofit grant strategy. You can learn more and connect with Teresa at www.teresahuff.com.

clicker here to go to the Click Nonprofit Eligibility checker

If you are interested in an advertising grant designed to help your church expand its reach and attract people searching for churches near them, you should consider the $10K per month Google Ad Grant (yes, that’s per month). This grant is significantly easier to win than most grants as Google doesn’t set a limit to the number of churches that can receive it. Tens of thousands of churches and nonprofits already use this grant. Click Nonprofit helps churches acquire the Google Grant at no charge and then helps churches manage the free ads each month. Learn more about how you can get the Google Ad Grant for your church.

Summary

While free money sounds like a dream come true, writing a winning grant takes a lot of work. We pray these tips get you started on your journey toward funding your ministry’s next soul-saving project.

  • Search in grant databases, online, and in the community.
  • Review each application for location, deadline, giving history, and reporting guidelines.
  • Be on time, complete, persuasive, and correct.
  • Reach out for help.

Grant Databases Comparisons Chart PDF Download

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