Grant Writing Resources

Writing Successful Grants for Your Congregation: A basic resource guide

The Episcopal Diocese of Northern California wants to be a place all of our churches thrive. We are always looking for new tools and resources to help this be true, and so we have created this sheet as a first step toward helping you find new grant money for your ministry. 

We know that writing a grant can feel intimidating and maybe even overwhelming if you are entering this process for the first time. We hope this short guide and an upcoming webinar will give you the courage to jump in. We will be here on the journey, coaching and rooting for you to join the ranks of successful grant-writers. 

This webpage is a first-start in the process. What you’ll find here:

  • Grant writing basics
  • Frequently asked questions (FAQ)
  • A starter’s guide to find granting organizations that give to churches
  • Who to contact for more information

Grant-writing Basics:

Tips for a successful grant proposal

  1. Read the funder’s instruction and strictly follow the directions
  2. Do some research and back it up with data from your work
  3. Highlight potential challenges of your project to keep your story authentic
  4. Check grammar and spelling
  5. Get a non-expert/external opinion to read your proposal for feedback 
  6. Use same language funder used, as possible
  7. Align both the project and a budget narrative
  8. Set SMART goals. SMART = Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, Time bound
  9. Add an evaluation component to measure your impact/success

Frequently Asked Questions:

What are the general universal components of a proposal?

  1. Abstract/Summary
  2. Statement of Need or Problem Statement
  3. Project Activity, Methodology and Outcomes
  4. Evaluation Process (sometimes required by funder sometimes not)
  5. Findings Dissemination (how you will tell about your work)
  6. Budget and Sustainable Funding Plan

What do funders look for in a proposal?

  • Focused on a pressing community need/problem the funder has identified,  not only on your organization
    – Aligns with your organization’s mission and is a high priority in your goals setting
    – Has a specific, realistic plan for implementation (SMART)
    – Have a clear, measurable impact (SMART)
    – Engages the community in the design, planning, or implementation
    – Can be replicated or sustained with other sources of funding
  • Is data-driven to share with others as a success story (qualitative and/or quantitative)

A great resource on how to write a fundable budget narrative:

What supplemental documents get attached to a proposal?

  • Info on your Board of Directors, if applicable
  • Resumes/Bios of involved staff 
  • Audited Financial Statements
  • Most recent IRS 990 Tax Filing 
  • IRS W-9 Form
  • Support letters from partners

Where can I find grant opportunities for our church’s mission and goals?

Episcopal Foundation of Northern California  (annual grants, plus Mustard Seed – $500 grants, year-round)

Episcopal Community Service (EDNC) (renewable annual grants, with mentoring)

United Thank Offering (annual grant – theme changes annually) 2024 info here.

Roanridge Trust  (annual grant, rural emphasis, applications open late Sept.)

National Fund for Sacred Places  (Provides matching funds for capital improvements to churches with historic value – either architectural or cultural)

Great! Now I have more questions! Who can I contact?

A word of gratitude: these resources would not have happened without the gracious (volunteer) assistance of Ms. Rania Ahmed, Research Director at the Urban Strategies Council in Oakland, CA. Thank you, Rania!

GRANT OPPORTUNITIES in the Episcopal Diocese of Northern California

Episcopal Community Services has been in the forefront of helping create a CULTURE OF COMMUNITY in the Diocese of Northern California communities. In every Deanery there are congregations that are quietly doing their part to improve life for its local area. Thanks to our generous donors ECS was able to fund over $47,100 of grants for open arms projects reaching out to the people in our communities.

Visit their website!

Episcopal Diocese of Northern California | Grant-Writing Workshop

Successful Proposal writing webinar

Workshop 1: Getting Funded Part 1 – Elements of Successful Proposal Writing From Start to Finish

Workshop 2: Getting Funded Part 2: Funding Research – The Path to Finding Your Best Research Partners