Psalm 61:1-4 KJV
Hear my cry, O God;
attend unto my prayer.
From the end of the earth will I cry unto thee,
when my heart is overwhelmed:
lead me to the rock that is higher than I.
For thou hast been a SHELTER for me,
and a strong tower from the enemy.
I will abide in thy tabernacle for ever:
I will trust in the covert of thy wings. Selah.
Funding for faith based programs comes from many resources. Some of those include, in kind gifts, donations and funding from grants. Funding from a grant is an important source of income for start up not for profit organizations and for organizations that have plans to expand programs or services.
Grants are one source of funding that is available. Some of the resources that offer grants are government grants, private foundation grants, family foundation grants and a few other sources. They all come under the category called fundraising.
Your new faith based organization will need a fundraising plan in order to be eligible to be considered to receive a grant. The most important thing you can do to help your organization is to pray and have a realistic goal. You might want to offer help for every Christian in your community who wants services from a Christian based program but cannot.
Here are a few things to consider when applying for a grant. Be realistic; the reality will be somewhere between your burning desire and the realistic elements necessary to run a program. Your vision might be to open a 50 bed facility and you can only get funding for a 10 bed facility. Be realistic and work on a plan the will offer the best service available to a 10 bed program.
The first grant I ever wrote was for funds to buy air tapes for a program I produced on public access television. I asked for $500.00 and I got the money. I was excited because I felt that someone believed in me, and I could finally get my message to the community. What I did not do was follow my original plan to ask for a specific number of tapes plus money to purchase a camera. When it came time to report to the foundation who granted the money I was told flat out I could not use any of the money to purchase a camera. I did not ask for money to buy a camera. I was not realistic about my needs and I was not honest about how I planned to use the money. That brings me to my next point for you to consider.
Be honest. Asking for money to by beds and then buying computers are two completely different issues, and it is not being honest. Do you really want to start like that? Besides, I can tell you from working as a grant writer and consultant, when you get caught, it will take a lot of explaining before you will be considered for any future funding from any foundation, private or public. You must report to the funding organization on how you used the money and they want to see receipts.
Grantwriting is a multidimensional discipline. It takes a well organized, mission driven plan in order to be a success. Grantmaking foundations look for specific information about the organization that is applying for funds. They want a detailed explanation about how the funds will be used and how the organization will continue to function after the funds have been used. Organizational sustainability is important to grantmaking foundations. Make sure the request for grant money is based on the mission and vision of you program.