American Baptist Churches USA (ABCUSA) welcomes applications by September 1 for Matthew 25 Grant awards, a three-year-old initiative. Beginning this fall, we will be moving to a one grant application period each year rather than two. To qualify for a grant, the applicant is required to be in a direct relationship with ABCUSA.
The Matthew 25 Grant is designed to channel gifts to help meet the needs of “housing, feeding, education and health with regard to the less fortunate.” The grants are made possible by a generous, anonymous donor whose primary wish is to support initiatives that ameliorate poverty.
Since the Matthew 25 Grant’s formal inception in 2013 some 360 grants have been awarded to congregations or initiatives they relate to. Total of grants awarded is nearly $850,000 so far. The range of the awards has been from $500 to $5,000 and involves initiatives being undertaken across the country and abroad.
The scope of awardee programs is inspiring and wide-ranging. For example a Connecticut church has traveled the Dominican Republic to install solar panels so that an impoverished village can generate electricity for pumps to water its gardens and power a school and church. A Washington, D.C., church is offering training to ex-offenders to make it easier for them to get jobs and re-enter society. A West Virginia congregation in a region where mines are closing, creating additional poverty, a large clothing drive for children is being offered. Two congregations in poor locales are prepping meals for school children to take home on weekends to be assured they are adequately fed away from school. A New York City church is using part of its grant to purchase Metro cards so that unemployed people can afford public transit to get to job interviews around the city.
Due to the limited funds available, the application process is competitive, with grants being awarded to ministries that best exemplify the goal of helping to end poverty. A committee reviews the applications and makes the awards, and will consider only one application per ministry/church in a 24-month period.
The application process is structured to help small ministries with limited staff time. Each applicant will need to complete the form, explain the need for and uses of the awarded funds, submit a budget for the ministry, and finally complete a report with stipulations detailing progress and outcomes related to the use of the grant. Since the donor has asked that the funds be directly used to assist impoverished persons, staff positions will not be funded by these grants. Grant funds may not be used to supplement a church’s budget, although direct ministries that receive funds from a church’s budget will be eligible to apply.
For additional details on the Grant initiative including how to apply and where to send an application, go to: www.abc-usa.org/matthew25/.
For questions about the Matthew 25 Grant, please contact Tina Turner at Tina.Turner@abc-usa.org.