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Q: Philanthropy -- Sources of Funding for Religious Cause ( Answered 5 out of 5 stars,   3 Comments )
Subject: Philanthropy -- Sources of Funding for Religious Cause
Category: Relationships and Society > Religion
Asked by: nronronronro-ga
List Price: $25.00
Posted: 09 Sep 2003 11:31 PDT
Expires: 09 Oct 2003 11:31 PDT
Question ID: 253904
Hi There !

I have a friend who is a researcher at a seminary in California.
He has a plan, and is looking for funding.

According to him, campus ministries for college
students have experienced steady funding cuts
over the last 20 years, at least in California.

(I don't have any "hard" data to support this,
nor do I know the reason for the cuts.)

My friend wants to set up/expand a ministry to
college students, especially those from other countries.

His rationale is...

"65,000 students come here to study from India each year.
63,000 from China,  45,000 from Korea.   These are the Top 1%
of students from those countries.  In 20-30 years, these will
be world leaders and important figures in their own countries.
Now is the time to speak with them..."

My friend estimates it will cost $365,000 to implement his
plan, though a scaled-down version could be done for less.

Who might fund his plan?
Foundations?  Individuals?   Organized church groups?
Another friend suggested the Templeton Foundation.

A 5-star answer to this question would be 5-7 possibilities
for funding.

All comments greatly appreciated !


Request for Question Clarification by tutuzdad-ga on 09 Sep 2003 11:35 PDT
I guess I'm still unclear on what "the plan" consists of. Can you give
us more detail?


Clarification of Question by nronronronro-ga on 09 Sep 2003 12:21 PDT
Thanks for asking, tutuzdad.

I don't really know what the plan is.  He mentioned something about
having one coordinator, and ten $1000-per month seminary interns.  I
assume they would arrange programs for foreign students.

I told him I try to find people or groups who might be interested in
sponsoring this niche.

Please ask additional questions, if needed.


Request for Question Clarification by byrd-ga on 09 Sep 2003 18:43 PDT
At what kind of seminary is your friend doing this research?  Is it
Christian, or some other religion.  If Christina, Protestant,
Catholic, or other?  What denomination?  These distinctions may or may
not matter to grant funding sources, but if they do, would be good to
know.  Also, does he envision this as an ongoing open-ended project,
or would he be willing to undertake this on a trial basis, with the
possibility of applying for further funding if it proved successful? 
The more detailed information you can provide about the proposed
project, the more likely it is that someone will be able to help you
locate possible funding sources.  Thank you.


Request for Question Clarification by byrd-ga on 09 Sep 2003 18:45 PDT
Whew, my fingers must be suffering a dizzy spell.  Sorry for that. 
What I meant to ask was: if the seminary is a Christian one, is it
Catholic, Protestant or some other variety?


Clarification of Question by nronronronro-ga on 09 Sep 2003 23:00 PDT
Thanks, Byrd.
He works at Golden Gate Baptist Theological Seminary.

Unfortunately, I don't know any more details about his plan.
I simply volunteered to look for possible funding sources;
he said he could take it from there.

Please ask more questions, if needed.

Thanks again!

Request for Question Clarification by byrd-ga on 10 Sep 2003 12:37 PDT
Hello again, Ron,

I've done some looking around for you, but there are some obstacles to
answering your friend's request as stated.  First of all, the amount
in question, i.e. upwards of $300,000 is very unlikely to be funded by
one source, particularly if your friend has no history or track record
of previous grants awarded.  And then, his desire for ongoing outside
funding is also going to be difficult to find.  Most grants are
one-time deals; few go beyond a single project or short duration;
almost none go for more than a few years.

I suspect your friend might benefit from a bit of education on the
whole grant-making process.  Even though it's about scientific rather
than religious matters, you might be interested in having a look at a
question I recently answered on similar subject matter, here:  and another, here:  Both give some
general information and advice about seeking grants and/or charitable

Now, I'm not saying your friend will be unable to obtain grant monies,
just that it is fairly unlikely he will 1) be able to get an amount
equal to his estimate from only one source, and 2) that he will be
able to find sources to continue funding indefinitely.  I'd suggest he
educate himself a bit on the process first, and then begin to think of
creative ways to put together a portfolio of grant funds from the
available sources.  I think it can be done, but it will take some
doing, some time, and a lot of research and hard work.

Just to let you know, yes indeed, the Templeton Foundation could well
be one of those sources.  I'd urge you (and your friend ) to check out
their proposal advice, however, here: which offers a great
deal of insight into the obstacles/challenges one faces in funding a
proposed work such as your friend envisions.

Now then, all that said, if you and your friend would be willing to
accept as an answer a listing of possible sources of grant funding
that are for less than the total amount he wants, and for a shorter
period of time, I can easily provide a list of 5-7 possibilities, and
probably more than that.  Let me know if that would be acceptable.

If not, that's fine.  Perhaps another Researcher might be able to help
you better.  In any case, I wish you both success in what seems to be
an admirable ambition.


Clarification of Question by nronronronro-ga on 10 Sep 2003 13:21 PDT
Byrd---that would be terrific!
Please post as an answer so I can give you 5 stars.

All the best,
Subject: Re: Philanthropy -- Sources of Funding for Religious Cause
Answered By: byrd-ga on 10 Sep 2003 18:09 PDT
Rated:5 out of 5 stars
Hi Ron,

First of all, let me give you the correct link for the question/answer
that has the general info on grants and the grant application process.
(I really need to fix this fumble-finger problem!) It’s located here:  and again, I
strongly encourage your friend to have a look at some of the links
provided, which offer excellent advice and guidance to those seeking
to learn about grants and how to apply for them.  In addition, there’s
some very good advice here:

All right, then let’s get to the meat of some funding sources for your
friend to investigate.  I’ve selected those that appear to me to be
most promising for your friend’s purpose, but I’ve also included some
sites that have listings of a number of grant-making entities that he
can look at to see if he thinks they might also work.  *Note: one
thing to keep in mind (and not be surprised at) is that there are
fewer sources of grants for individuals than for what is known as
“501(c)(3)” organizations, which is the IRS’s designation for
charitable tax-exempt groups.   It’s not that difficult to set one up,
if you think it might give you a better chance at obtaining funds.  
Okay, on to the list (in alphabetical order):


This group is affiliated with the American Baptist Church, so if the
seminary your friend is attending is of a difference Baptist group,
this likely wouldn’t work.  However, they do award grants, not only to
undergraduate and graduate students, but also to pastors and others
seeking assistance in establishing or running a ministry.  They state
“Educational Ministries is deeply committed to the professional growth
of American Baptist leaders, both lay and clergy. Through its endowed
Financial Aid Program, Educational Ministries supports American
Baptist students pursuing educational opportunities. The program
offers assistance to students enrolled in undergraduate programs,
graduate studies, and seminaries. Financial assistance is also
available to persons serving as pastors and in other church vocations,
in order to encourage continued growth in ministry skills. “

More information here: 



This organization does not allow individuals to make their own
applications, but suggests you “contact your state director of Baptist
collegiate ministries about submitting a request for assistance next
year. As the fund grows, more grants will be available.”

You can read more about this group here: 



Bill Gates actually has a global conscience, despite what many people
think, and is interested in putting his money where his mouth is.  His
foundation has in the past funded work of a religious nature (See this
article: ) ,
and also expresses an interest in education and global community, so
don’t bypass this source when looking at possibilities.

The main website for the foundation is at and the page with eligibility
information and guidelines is here:
 Remember, it may take some work to craft a proposal satisfying these,
but with some creativity and a bit of perseverance, it’s not outside
the realm of possibility.



Obviously, the purposes of this organization are quite in line with
what you’re envisioning, although of a different denomination,
specifically the Christian Reformed Church.  They are also interested
in multi-ethnic outreach, but It’s difficult to tell from the
information available whether they’d be open to partnering with a
different group, though it seems possible.  Their website is here if
you’d like to dig further and/or contact them about your project:  Their mission
statement is here:



Awards grants “to start, establish or initiate a new project or
organization; may cover salaries and other operating expenses of a new
project. Also called start-up funds.”  Their areas of interest do
include both religion and education.

See their site here:  and note the
clickable sections on the left-hand side for other questions.



I know I’ve already mentioned them, but here’s the link to their
“Funding Guidelines and Application Procedures.”  They are indeed a
source that should not be overlooked in this venture:



This group “is a public charitable organization, which works to
promote projects consistent with its values.”  Those values are stated
--A belief in the oneness of life
--A belief in the spiritual nature of the human individual, with
respect for the integrity and wholeness of the person and the human
--A belief in the existence of a spiritual order designed and ordained
by God, with a recognition of the wholeness and holiness of God’s

They award grants “in the Spring and Fall,” which “are aimed at
supporting projects which encourage growth and development of various
kinds.”   The grant amounts appear to all be in the neighborhood of
$2,000.  Check them out here:



This is a personal foundation, separate from the corporate
pharmaceutical company and its corporate foundation, Eli Lilly and
Company Foundation.  This one was established by members of the Lilly
family in order to fund projects and activities in which they were
personally interested.  That includes religious ones, as indicated by
this article, here:
.  However, they don’t have guidelines and other information posted on
a website, but request you contact them by mail directly.  Their
mailing address is posted here:



Their mission statement is “To enhance and encourage effective
Christian ministries that are strategically called to advance Kingdom
priorities.”  Grant amounts range from $2,500 to $10,000 in one of
eight different “areas of interest.”   I think your friend’s project
would likely fall under the “Education” area, but he would have to
study each in depth to really know for sure which would be most
appropriate for his needs.

Their website (which includes information on applying) is here:



This is “a cooperative of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ),
the Presbyterian Church USA, and the United Church of Christ dedicated
to supporting ecumenical campus ministries, is offering a Student Peer
Ministry Development Grant. With this program, UMHE intends to help
ecumenical campus ministries fund a program for student peer ministry
through granting start-up funds with the expectation that the program
will be self-sustaining after three years.”

More information about this grant opportunity can be found here:



They say “The primary purpose of these grants is to provide resources
that can be used by creative leaders to strengthen teaching, learning,
and reflection on Christian practices within the varied contexts where
people engage in practices. A secondary purpose is to provide the
Valparaiso Project and its grantees with an opportunity to learn about
the openings for and obstacles to Christian practices in contemporary

Grant amounts range from $1,000 to $10,000 and are awarded annually
with the expectation they will be used within eighteen months.  They
say that additional funding will require a new proposal and will be
approved only in exceptional cases.  However, unlike many other
sources, they do award grants to individuals without requiring that
you first establish a 501(3)(c) charitable organization.



--In addition to the above specific sites, here are some general sites
with information on a variety of different grant sources:
--Religion grants:
--Private foundation grants:
--Grants for Nonprofits: Religion and Social Change: 
--Grants for individuals: Religion and religion-affiliated: 
--List of Top 50 Foundations awarding grants for religion (circ.1999)
(.pdf document):


I hope this information will prove helpful to your friend as he
pursues the implementation of his vision for campus ministry and
outreach to the international community of scholars. If anything isn’t
clear, please do be sure to ask for clarification before rating and
closing this question.  Thank you for the opportunity to provide some
assistance with this project.

Best regards,

Search strategy:

I began by using these terms:
private religious foundation grants baptist OR christian
christian campus ministry grants OR funding
individual religion grants OR funding OR “grant sources” OR
“campus ministry” grants OR funds OR funding
“private foundation” religion grants OR “funding sources” OR funding
As I sifted through the results, I followed those links that seemed
likely, which led me to other search terms, such as names of
individual foundations.  I also followed links within the pages to
other sources.
nronronronro-ga rated this answer:5 out of 5 stars
Byrd---you have outdone yourself !
I will forward this to my seminarian friend


Subject: Re: Philanthropy -- Sources of Funding for Religious Cause
From: byrd-ga on 11 Sep 2003 06:11 PDT
Hi Ron,

Thank you so much for your kind words and the five-star rating.  I'm
very glad you were pleased with the information provided, and I hope
your friend will be too.  Now I hope at least some of it will work out
for him in obtaining the funding he needs to begin his ministry work.

Best wishes to you both,
Subject: Re: Philanthropy -- Sources of Funding for Religious Cause
From: bcoffer58-ga on 31 Mar 2004 19:35 PST
Here is an organization with a similar ministry:
Subject: Re: Philanthropy -- Sources of Funding for Religious Cause
From: nronronronro-ga on 31 Mar 2004 20:38 PST
Thanks, bcoffer58.  I greatly appreciate it !


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