How Two Churches Found Grants for Ministry
Church leaders discuss ins and outs of grants.
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Two church leaders shared how their churches received outside funding to help with their respective ministry efforts.

Park Avenue United Methodist Church

Park Avenue United Methodist Church in South Minneapolis has received grant funding for decades through a separate nonprofit attached to the church called Park Avenue Youth and Family Services (PAYFS, formerly known as the Park Avenue Foundation). Many churches around the country have developed separate nonprofits in order to attract new funders, partners, and volunteers into their ministries.

Throughout the years, PAYFS has secured foundation, corporate, and government grants for a wide variety of programs, including a computer learning center, a summer program for youth, health and legal clinics, and most recently Tronix, a science enrichment program that works with community partners to reach middle-school students in 22 public schools. Tronix is funded by a number of science and technology companies in the Minneapolis area that are particularly interested in science education as a way to create a strong and capable future workforce.

Grants are valuable to PAYFS because they often provide a larger "chunk" of money all at once, which other types of donors can't provide.

But grants pose challenges, too.

Tessa Trepp, director of PAYFS, says grants also bring administrative burdens.

"It's a strong point of integrity for us to be able to meet all the standards of the funder and do what we said we would do," she says. "We have to be honest and accurate in what we report, but it can be challenging to collect data on the impact of our programs."

Posted: November 6, 2009

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