Google Answers Logo
View Question
Q: Foundation Grants for Christian Schools ( Answered 5 out of 5 stars,   1 Comment )
Subject: Foundation Grants for Christian Schools
Category: Business and Money
Asked by: maggie6-ga
List Price: $50.00
Posted: 02 Jan 2004 12:16 PST
Expires: 01 Feb 2004 12:16 PST
Question ID: 292455
I have been asked to write grants to various foundations to help fund
projects of our school.  Although our student body draws from 37
different area churches, we are technically owned by a single church,
under that churches 501(c)3.Regarding our ability to aquire grant
dollars from various foundations, are ther advantages to the school
becoming its own 501(c)3, and if so why and what are they?  In
relation to this, I have noticed that many foundations will award
dollars to religious organizations, but not to individual churches. 
Is there a tax law that prompts foundations to establish their
guidelines in this way, or is it simply each organization's preference
as to whom/what they want to help fund?

Request for Question Clarification by jbf777-ga on 08 Jan 2004 12:16 PST
Hello -

Can you tell me what state you're in and what denomination the church/school is?


GA Researcher

Clarification of Question by maggie6-ga on 11 Jan 2004 22:41 PST
Thanks,  The State is Iowa.  The church is a Bible based,
fundamentalist church that started the school under their own 501(c)3.
 The student body includes at least 37 area churches including mostly
protestant denominations, Babtist, Methodist, Presbyterian, Lutheran,
and some Catholic families as well.  We are interdenominationally
represented, yet technically owned by the one church that started kthe
school.  Thanks
Subject: Re: Foundation Grants for Christian Schools
Answered By: jbf777-ga on 12 Jan 2004 15:22 PST
Rated:5 out of 5 stars
Hello maggie6 -

If you choose to rate this answer, please feel free to ask for any
further clarification or information you may require before doing so. 
Thank you for your understanding.

My father happens to own two 501(c)3's and has consulted with a lawyer
on very similar issues.

I talked to other various sources to research your question, one of
whom was Mr. Richard Neal, the president of Fundraising Fundamentals
(visit, an organization that specializes in
fundraising for nonprofits.  I encourage you to contact Mr. Neal at
901.624.0062 to freely discuss some of your specific needs and issues.
 He has a database of applicable sources that you may opt to pursue
for funding, as well as other relevant consulting capabilities that
may help you in your endeavor.

To address your question:

There are a couple advantages to having your own separate 501(c)3.

A first major advantage would be the significant increase in
visibility to available fund sources.  There are simply more available
sources for funds if the school were to be unaffiliated with the
church.  There's also more flexibility in how you can present
yourself.  If you remain affiliated with the church, you must request
funds in the name of the church, thus limiting your funding options to
foundations willing to give grants in these circumstances.

Mr. Neal tells me that one of the largest religious charities in the
United States has their own separate non-religious 501(c)3 for
purposes of obtaining funding from government-oriented sources that
were traditionally barred from contributing to religious entities (the
landscape of which has changed vis-a-vis Bush's moves to expand the
purview of governmental funding).  So you can see that the creation of
separate corporate entities for specific purposes occurs at the
largest of levels.

The second advantage is independence of visibility and clarity of
establishment.  Because of concern with today's questionable ethics,
seeking funds as your own entity may be less "intimidating" to a
possible grantor when the funds are going from point A to B, rather
than from point A to point B to point C.  If a foundation were to
donate funds to the church, they may be concerned with the possibility
of the funds getting "lost" (a kind term) in the general funds, since
they'd be ceding the money to a "middleman" of sorts (especially if
the check is made out to the church).  Setting up your own 501(c)3
should help mitigate any apprehension on the part of a foundation in
this regard and serves to show the school's independence as a bona
fide corporate entity in its own right.

To answer your other question regarding why some foundations don't
give to churches, a prominent reason is: they do not want to be deemed
official supporters of a particular denomination.  They want to avoid
the "politics of exclusivity."  It is each organization's preference,
however, in this matter.

GA Researcher

Search strategy/sources:
Search terms: nonprofit advice
              nonprofit information
Nonprofit Assistors LLC ( 
Director of Jezreel International (

Additional links:
NAC Seattle

Iowa Attorney General

Nonprofit Risk
maggie6-ga rated this answer:5 out of 5 stars and gave an additional tip of: $20.00
Wow! He gave far more than I imagined, and then provided other sources
of assistance as well.  I am totally impressed, and will utilize this
service again.  This man deserves a tip.  Magie6

Subject: Re: Foundation Grants for Christian Schools
From: jbf777-ga on 28 Jan 2004 22:07 PST
Thanks for the kind words, rating and generous tip!  All the best in
your grant writing!


Important Disclaimer: Answers and comments provided on Google Answers are general information, and are not intended to substitute for informed professional medical, psychiatric, psychological, tax, legal, investment, accounting, or other professional advice. Google does not endorse, and expressly disclaims liability for any product, manufacturer, distributor, service or service provider mentioned or any opinion expressed in answers or comments. Please read carefully the Google Answers Terms of Service.

If you feel that you have found inappropriate content, please let us know by emailing us at with the question ID listed above. Thank you.
Search Google Answers for
Google Answers  

Google Home - Answers FAQ - Terms of Service - Privacy Policy