Congregation Community Engagement- Congregation Mini Grant

Lutheran Foundation of St. Louis

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Deadline: Rolling

Grant amount: Up to US $10,000

Fields of work: Human & Social Services Senior Services English-As-A-Second-Language (ESL) Education Immigrant Services Basic Human Needs Homelessness Services Tutoring & Mentoring After School /Summer Educational Programs Teen Parenthood Recreation Youth Services Community Development & Revitalization Addiction & Substance Abuse Preventative Healthcare Physical Fitness Wellness & Healthy Living Ex-offender Services Show all

Applicant type: House of Worship (e.g. a church, temple, mosque, etc)

Funding uses: Education / Outreach, Project / Program

Location of project: Counties in Illinois: Clinton County, Jersey County, Madison County, Monroe County, St. Clair County Show all

Location of residency: Counties in Illinois: Clinton County, Jersey County, Madison County, Monroe County, St. Clair County Show all

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About this funder:



Congregation Mini Grant Program

Lutheran Foundation recognizes that each congregation is at a different place when it comes to their social service outreach ministries. Some congregations want to “test drive” an idea before developing a full project/effort. For this reason, the Foundation created the Congregation Mini Grants program. The purpose is two-fold:

  • to provide funding to congregations to pilot an idea for a new social service outreach ministry, and 
  • to provide free coaching support in further refining and implementing an idea.

Examples of Possible Ministry Projects

  • Health screenings
  • Substance abuse services
  • English as a second language
  • Citizenship classes
  • After-school mentoring/tutoring
  • Job training for ex-offenders
  • Food pantry/clothing closet
  • Health fairs
  • Fitness/healthy living programs
  • Services for pregnant and teen moms 
  • Meals on wheels
  • Adult mentoring
  • Outreach to the homeless (food, shelter, clothing )
  • Recreation activities for underserved youth
  • Social activities for seniors
  • Exercise programs for seniors
  • Community computer room/classes
  • Community revitalization

Idea Exploration

Congregations should know what they want to do and have an idea of how to get started. If you are not at this point, coaching services to assist your congregation are offered through Lutheran Foundation’s relationship with Send Me St. Louis. Services include coaching and guidance on:

  • mapping the congregation’s and community’s assets, 
  • researching opportunities for social service outreach ministry, and/or
  • planning for a social service outreach ministry.

There are no grant deadlines for the Congregation Mini Grants. Application can be made at any time of the year.

You can learn more about this opportunity by visiting the funder's website.


  • Any Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod (LCMS) congregation in the St. Louis area can apply for a Congregation Mini Grant.
  • The geographic area supported by the Foundation is identified in our Core Values.
  • A church can have two Congregation Mini Grants in a year, with a maximum of two per year, but can only have one active Congregation Mini Grant at a time.
  • Congregation Mini Grants are designed to help congregations pilot new social service outreach ministry projects.
  • At least 50 percent of program participants/service recipients should be non-members of the congregation.


  • Preference will be given to efforts that serve people in underserved communities.
  • Creativity in developing proposals for novel or experimental approaches to social service outreach ministry is encouraged, even if this means the prospects for a “successful” program are less certain.


  • Mini Grants are not to be used to expand existing activities.
  • In general, requests for capital improvements will not be considered.
  • Examples of Ineligible Funding Requests:
    • Vacation Bible School
    • Sunday school activities
    • Confirmation classes
    • Youth groups
    • Bible studies, unless it is a component of a larger outreach effort
    • Playgrounds
    • Homebound visits for Word and Sacrament
    • Evangelism programs
    • Capital repairs/church renovations
    • Vans
    • School ministries
  • In general, Lutheran Foundation does not provide funds to purchase food for a food pantry or assist in paying for clients' housing or utility bills.
  • Further, the Foundation typically does not fund the purchase of building supplies/equipment, unless supplies/equipment are needed to help launch/carry out the program.