Grants for PSWD Churches

NEW: Ministry & Improvement Funds for District Churches

Ministry & Improvement Fund Application (click). Created at District Conference 2019, the Ministry & Improvement Fund will provide support to PSWD congregations across the next five years. Funds are available in the following four areas:

While these funds are for physical repairs, improvements, and projects, it is the hope of the district that your congregation will prayerfully consider and discern the spiritual dimensions and aspects of these projects. We encourage you to consider how the spiritual aspects and physical aspects of these projects intersect.

1) The maximum total a congregation can receive through this grant is $20,000. There is no congregational matching funds requirement.
2) As part of the application, please provide a detailed project budget and attach any estimates you have received for your project.
3) The district encourages each congregation to enter conversations regarding the impact any project will have on ADA regulations and compliance with an ADA specialist. The district can help foster these conversations.
4) Project area examples:
     a) Cosmetic – interior and exterior painting, new carpets, benches, pews, chairs, lighting
     b) Technology – projection system (screen, projector, and laptop), sound system, streaming capabilities
     c) Structural/Property – New Roof, Sprinkler System, A/C/Heating System, Fencing
     d) Investments – Solar Panels, Astroturf, Water Softening and Filtration System

New Ministry Opportunities fund provides grants to fund monies for existing congregations to supply seed money to support the congregation in engaging with new opportunities or expanding existing ministries that engage their community with the gospel, both in word and actions.

Amount: Grants of up to $10,000 per congregation or ministry project per year are awarded with a maximum of $25,000 being allocated to any one ministry project over 3 years.

Matching Funds: Requesting congregations must match up to half of the grant amount with their own resources.

Application Process: The application will require basic information such as amount requested, description of the project, budget, and goals. Affirmation that the congregation will provide matching funds and approve the project as recorded in the minutes of the congregation’s decision-making body.

Oversight & Accountability: Recipients are required to submit a written evaluation signed by the board chair and pastor at the conclusion of the grant period. Include financial accounting, an evaluation of the project, and other information specified on the reporting form. Failure to meet reporting requirements renders a congregation ineligible for future grants. In cases where grant funds are not expended for the intended purpose the Oversight Committee may request repayment of some or all of the grant amount.

Guidelines:
1. Grants are for ministries in which members of the congregation are actively involved. They are not to be passed through the congregation to another organization that the congregation supports.
2. Fresh and creative ideas for outreach ministries are preferred.
3. A portion of a grant may be allocated to wages/salaries for staff or others involved in providing leadership for the outreach ministry that is funded.
Examples:
1. Feeding program or shelter operated by the congregation.
2. Education or training events, especially if they include peace/service/justice/poverty components.
3. Community outreach events.
4. New opportunities that expand existing ministries that engage the community.

These monies are designed to assist pastors and congregations as they strengthen their leadership and the skills of the congregation for ministry. Funds are being allocated to three specific areas to support pastors and congregations:

Coaching for Pastors – $350 per pastor per year will be provided to support their work with a leadership coach. Coaching is an ongoing conversation focused on personal growth or improvements in professional performance. The goal of coaching is to help resolve present issues or handle specific aspects of the job. Pastors will apply to the district indicating who they have contracted with as a coach and an annual report discussing how coaching has had a positive impact in their ministry will be expected.

Annual Conference Attendance Support – The Annual Conference, in addition to facilitating business, provides many opportunities for attendees to grow through participation at insight sessions, meal events, and other workshops, in addition to deepening a participant’s understanding of the Church of the Brethren beyond the local congregation or district. Up to twelve $1000 scholarships per year to encourage people to attend. These funds can be used to reimburse travel, registration, lodging, or meal events. Applications will be taken in January of each year with priority given to first-time attendees. A report after the conference will invite reflection on what they experienced and how their participation will enhance the local church.

Conferences, Trainings, and Events – The district will work with local leaders to discern areas of ministry that many congregations are needing and desiring to give attention to developing at any point in time. Then we will work to either identify a conference or event that is already planned, or we would endeavor to create an event in the district, which provides training and assistance with growing ministry in that area. The cost for a local congregation to participate would be kept low, with the expectation that a team from the congregation would attend and commit to working together to help their congregation develop leaders for this form of ministry. If you have an area of ministry that you would like to see addressed please contact Russ Matteson at de@pswdcob.org
(link to pdf of this application section)

Monies will be used to help local congregations grow in ministry with youth through training and program development. For purposes of this funding, youth related programs are those that work to support ages 11 through 27. Funds can also provide scholarship opportunities for youth to participate in Church of the Brethren programs like work camps, Christian Citizenship Seminar, National Youth Conference, and Brethren camps.

Maximum funding is $5,000 and the congregation is expected to cover 40% of the total cost of the request. A report following the event, or every six months for program development, will be expected.

If congregations want to collaborate on a grant for program development or training, as an incentive, the maximum percent of grant coverage will be raised to 70%, leaving 30% of costs to be split by participating congregations.

Link to Ministry & Improvement Fund Application (click)

The Report Form is not available yet for churches to report their results.

Continuing: Ministry Partnership Funds for District Churches

(started in 2015) Are you looking to try something new? Want to have someone work with you or your congregation as a coach? Is your congregation a mission point in a poor or at-risk neighborhood? Ready to take on the work of revitalization? PSWD Ministry Partnership Funds provide a way for the District to partner financially with your congregation to make things happen.

These funds are easy to apply for, provide for a quick decision, ask for focused reports on what you are learning, and are an opportunity to encourage experimentation. Many of our congregations have received Ministry Partnership Funds. What’s stopping your congregation from being next?
  • PDF Flyer from District Conference with details on each of the 4 Partnership Fund categories
    1. Revitalization Cohorts – Training for leaders and the congregation to revitalize the local congregation.
    2. Mission Congregation – Financial support when a significant portion of the church has income levels below the poverty level.
    3. Coaching / Training – Events to implement change inside a congregation.
    4. Ministry Opportunity – Help a Church with a vision and plan to engage their neighborhood with a ministry or missional opportunity.
  • Link to “Flowchart” of the application to help you plan. “Ministry Partnership Fund requests submitted by the fifteenth of any month will have a response by the end of the following month. Decisions on approval of Partnership funds will be made by the Congregational Vitality Task Group, and reported to the Executive Board.”

Bible Grants – Margaret Carl Trust

Purpose of Trust Fund with current funding

  1. To distribute Bibles, Testaments, and Gospels

Applications are due by April 1st or October 1st each year. Applications received after those dates are considered in the next cycle. Funds should not be spent, expecting a grant, unless the applicant is prepared to pay if a grant is denied.

  • Margaret Nininger Carl Trust Fund
  • c/o Pacific Southwest District Church of the Brethren
  • PO Box 219, La Verne, CA 91750-0219
Old versions of the application form will be returned for reapplication with the new form.
Recipients: Remember to send us copies of receipts showing how you spent your grant.

Norma Morris is the trustee: CarlTrust@pswdcob.org  Call the district office with any questions 909-406-5368

Extended help with PDF Files

  • Ideas originated from Joe Vecchio, Administrative Assistant (2/18/2016).
  • Help with the Adobe Reader PDF files on our website, click HERE.

Sample Financial Statements

  • Please click HERE for further instructions about financial statements.