Church Construction Grants

by Lisa F. Wilson, studioD

Churches can't survive, grow or be built on faith alone; they require funds to cover construction costs just like any other building endeavor. Fortunately, there are several resources that can provide the money needed. Sources for church construction grants fall into two main categories: denominational grants and private grants.

Catholic Church Extension Society

The Extension Society was formed to expand the Catholic church’s presence in isolated or financially insolvent areas of the United States. The society provides grants for both building churches and for capital improvements on existing churches or Catholic schools. Catholic Church Extension Society of the United States of America 150 South Wacker Drive, 20th floor Chicago, Illinois 60606 (800) 842-7804 catholicextension.org

United Thank Offering

The national body of the Episcopal church provides United Thank Offering grants to congregations across the United States, provided that the money used has a significant impact on the church community. In other words, construction money to build a church food bank would be considered, while a request to add air conditioning to a building would not. The Episcopal Church Center 815 Second Avenue New York, NY 10017 (800) 334-7626 episcopalchurch.org

J. Bulow Campbell Foundation

This foundation provides assistance to religious institutions in Georgia, Alabama, Florida, North Carolina and South Carolina. Unlike many foundations that have capital campaigns and construction projects low on their list of priorities, the Campbell Foundation gives preference to requests for the funding of new churches. J. Bulow Campbell Foundation Suite 270 3050 Peachtree Road, NW Atlanta, GA 30305 (404) 658-9066 jbcf.org

Raskob Foundation

This private foundation focuses on Catholic-based projects. While it does fund construction projects, they are not the primary goal of the Raskob Foundation and are not high on its priority list. This does not mean, however, that your church should not apply; often, smaller requests--those under $200,000--are met with acceptance. The Raskob Foundation P.O. Box 4019 Wilmington, DE 19807 (302) 655-4440 rfca.org

Dan Murphy Foundation

This foundation concentrates its efforts in the California area but is not exclusive to the state. Founded in 1959, the Dan Murphy Foundation funds a wide variety of projects with an emphasis on those that benefit the community. The Dan Murphy Foundation 800 West Sixth St. Los Angeles, CA 90017 (213) 623-3120

About the Author

Lisa Wilson has a diverse background that includes starting and running a construction company, working as a business consultant, and three years as the development director for a Catholic high school. She has freelanced for 10 years and has been published in "Irish America," "Woodcraft" and various trade journals and newspapers.

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