Grant Lovell Chapel and Bethel AME Church, Moberly, and Macon MO
Grants and Donors information presented at the Church School Convention in Columbia, MO
Slogan: Communicate -- Share -- and Multiple
Grant Seeking Presentation: St. Louis/Columbia Conference – AME Church
Introduction: Why Our Churches Do Not Have Money?
Answer: Do We Communicate – Share – and Multiply?
Examples from the Bible – Jesus’ Principle of Multiplication – Sharing!
1.The woman at the well communicated with Jesus. This led to sharing her experience with other Samaritans, and eventually multiplication - successful evangelism – St. John 4:5-30.
2.Jesus fed 5000 men in the wilderness with 5 loaves of bread and 2 pieces of fish.
Question: When did the multiplication take place – while Jesus was praying or when he received the fish and bread? St. Matthew 14:13-21. Answer: During Distribution – Sharing.
The money you hold in your hand is not wealth. It becomes a wealth when you use it to benefit society.
Many rich people die in poverty not because they don’t have money, but because they were hoarding it. In the end, the money killed them.
How many people died, and later people discovered a large sum of money or valuables secretly kept and left behind? Did the money benefit them? NO! Jesus offered the best exchange rate – St. Matthew 19:16-30. (X Three) Increase your heavenly portfolio (Never had a crash, said Jesus) – Help the poor – preach the gospel.
Whatever Jesus places in your hands, he wants you to Communicate – Share – and Multiply!
Example: The $1 million grant does you no good if you don’t share it with other churches.
Websites to Raise Free Money for Businesses, Organizations, and Personal Use.
1.Donor Box: Used by over 50,000 organizations. https://donorbox.org/
2.Patreon: For artists and their creative work. https://www.patreon.com/
3.Edco: Good for Schools and clubs fundraising- Tree of Life Fundraiser (edco.com)
4.360Matchpro: These are companies willing to match donations for nonprofit organizations https://360matchpro.com/
5.Bonfire: Gives you tools to design apparel for your campaign. https://www.bonfire.com/welcome/cf325519858f4/
6.Money for Personal Needs: BeggingMoney.com: #1 Personal Donation & Fundraising Websites | Ask For Help Today (beggingmoney.com)
7.Money to Sponsor Inventions: Indiegogo: https://www.indiegogo.com/
9. JustGiving – global Fundraising for Charities and other causes Online fundraising donations and ideas - JustGiving
10.GoGetFunding - GoGetFunding | #1 Crowdfunding Website for Personal Causes
11. Begslist: begslist.com People needing financial assistance.
12. Fundable Fundable | Startup Fundraising Platform
13. FundMyTravel Need Vacation Money or for any travel FundMyTravel | Fundraise for Meaningful Travel
15.CrowdFundr Crowdfundr | Free Crowdfunding for Creators
16.Ulule: Ulule: fund a project, train, get started. Supports independent projects.
17.Seed&Spark: Specific for Filmmakers and TV Production Crowdfunding - Film and Storytelling | Seed&Spark (seedandspark.com)
18. CircleUp Looking for Business Investors CircleUp | Data Insights & Capital Financing for the World’s Best Consumer Brands
19. RocketHub RocketHub - The Best Lifetime Deals on Software – sponsoring projects.
20.GoFundMe: GoFundMe: #1 Fundraising Platform for Crowdfunding
Help You Evaluate Fundraising Sites; 12 of the best Fundraising Sites for Nonprofits and Individuals. https://donorbox.org/nonprofit-blog/fundraising-sites-for-nonprofits-and-individuals
Subscribe to Grants.gov Newsletter https://www.grants.gov/web/grants/connect/newsletter-archive.html
If any of these websites help you to raise funds for your project – share the information!
Grants Availability: Federal Government; Missouri State; Individual Organizations; Individual Businesses – Headquarters; Individuals; Foundations.
Examples: FEMA; Covid-19 Grant; Missouri Grant Watch (See the attached with a monthly list of grants).
These are just a few of the sources of grants available. Individual churches must do their own work based on the project to be sponsored. There are grants for everything you can imagine. Use the Internet as your best source. Be careful of scams. Search and read the reviews of each fundraising website.
General Requirements for Grants
Incorporated by the State of Missouri - https://www.sos.mo.gov/ Search for Incorporation.
Unique Entity Number if dealing with the government like FEMA. Issued by SAM.gov
Business EIN number issued by the IRS – Internal Revenue Service.
Website – A must for individual churches (Facebook is insufficient and crowded) Wix – offers a free website.
Reasons for a church website – list all your church activities with pictures. Website as your sales agent to potential donors.
Is your website functional? List your Presiding Elder and Bishop with links to the 5th District website. Let them know you are a connectional church and not an isolation.
Telephone: Church functioning phone with recorded greetings and opportunity to leave a message.
Church Financial records may be requested, but not in all grants.
Audited financial report. Usually not required for churches but can be requested by some organizations.
Project: Identify the project you want to be sponsored and be specific.
Names of staff members involved with your project.
Qualifications of your staff members for your project.
Reports: Regular report of the progress of your project to the state grant manager – FEMA.
Mission Statement: Church or Organization’s Mission Statement.
Other financial Contributions to the project.
Specific Requirements for Each Grant
Each grant has specifications by the grant giver.
Be sure your request matches the donor’s specifications.
Match your project or future project with the grant specifications and requirements.
A video summary of your project or programs may be requested.
With certain government grants: § 11.309. 53(3) | A charitable organization with total annual revenue of over $750,000 must file an audited financial statement prepared by an independent CPA.
Matching Fund: Some government projects like the building of low-income housing costing millions of dollars require matching funds.
Filling out the Grant Forms
Special Forms created by the grant giver to enter information with limited space and answer options.
Some of the forms may be in pdf format – FEMA, for example.
The uniqueness of each grant application.
Salient or Unspoken Questions Raised by Your Responses
Consistency in the information presented.
How does your request match your operational status?
Do you have adequate staffing for the project?
Have you done this before?
What is your action plan for the project?
How successful were your previous projects?
What is the impact of your previous project on society?
For Example, we are not just feeding the children after school, we are also preventing malnutrition so they will be able to do well in school cognitively wise.
IRS Response to Church Tax Exempt Status (From IRS website) Churches (including integrated auxiliaries and conventions or associations of churches) that meet the requirements of section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code are automatically considered tax exempt and are not required to apply for and obtain recognition of exempt status from the IRS. Donors are allowed to claim a charitable deduction for donations to a church that meets the section 501(c)(3) requirements even though the church has neither sought nor received IRS recognition that it is tax exempt. In addition, because churches and certain other religious organizations are not required to file an annual return or notice with the IRS, they are not subject to automatic revocation of exemption for failure to file.
General Sponsors: You can avoid all these aggravating specifications and requirements by grant givers if you design your own campaign and request sponsors from businesses, individual people, foundations, or organizations to sponsor your church projects. Design your project campaign for a specific purpose.
Some of the businesses sponsoring your project want exposure for their money. Make sure you state the estimated number of people exposed to your project program either online, or through your program distribution. Ask donors if they want to be listed among your sponsors or stay anonymous.
Anticipate Challenges – Be Prepared not Scared.
Grant seeking is labor-intensive work with many needed hours for the project and motivation to sustain the individual or group of people.
Either you do it yourself or hire somebody to do it or use dedicated and enthusiastic members.
Your mailing list is the only thing you don’t share if you want to maintain a longtime relationship with your donors. Each church should generate its own list based on responses.
Seek donation support from different businesses in your area or milieu. Send them a letter asking for their sponsorship.
Suggestion: Avoid doing any campaign with fellow AME churches. Many of our church members are seniors on fixed incomes or struggling financially. Go after people who got money outside your church, please!
Do not wait for deadlines to apply for grants, the work can be overwhelming.
Discouraging comments from other people may be some challenges to overcome.
Dealing with burnout and time to take a break.
Work on more than one grant at a time.
Trust in Jesus’ Divine Instructions and Directions. He will carry you through. Amen
Danger to Watch out For
Number #1 If you spend the money for what it was not originally specified for, grant-givers can ask for their money back.
Use the grant for what it is meant for with documentation. You are wise not to disclose the sources of your grant to the entire congregation. Only declare this to your financial committee.
People have different opinions on how things should be done or how money should be spent. The moment one of your members complains to the donor, it will immediately trigger an audit and an investigation.
For every money you give out, have documentation with the signature of the receiver and what is meant for well stated on the paper.
According to the not-for-profit clause, you can only spend the money on what was specified and approved by the donor.
Number #2 If the process is so intensive and taking a toll on your health, it’s time to stop, seek help from outside sources, or abandon the project.
FEMA offered $1500 for you to hire a person to fill out the form for you. However, the money will be taken out of your grant if you receive the award.
Number #3 Don’t put anything on your application you don’t have paper documentation for. This is to avoid fraud triggers.
Number #4 Create a new account to receive money from online donors. Do not use your regular church account. Transfer money to your regular account each week, or month based on your donation revenue.
Number #5 Don’t invest your church money in shady investments no matter who brings an agent. Many churches have been defrauded out of money due to Ponzi Schemes. Go traditional with church investments.
Presented July 14th, 2023, at St. Louis/Columbia Church School Conference at St. Paul AME Church, Columbia, MO. Hosted by Rev. Stephanie Allen. Presented by Rev. Victor Vidal, Pastor Grant Lovell & Bethel AME Churches, Moberly, and Macon, MO.
Rev. Clayton Goodman, Presiding Elder - - - Rev. Clement Fugh, Presiding Bishop 5th District.
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