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Grand Canyon Synod

Grants Program

Each year the Grand Canyon Synod offers grant funds for new and renewing ministries, and other ministry outreach projects.


Funding for these grants is limited and comes from the gifts this synod has received from the bequests of individuals (Warner Trust Fund), congregations sharing a tithe of a bequest they have received, the sale of closed congregations, grant funds from the West Valley Lutheran Thrift Shop, and allocation of unrestricted gifts to the synod. 

Grant proposals that align with the Grand Canyon Synod Strategic Plan will be given preferential consideration.

  • Links to the grant application forms for 2020 funding are below.

  • Please note the deadline to submit applications of October 18, 2019. Application Period will open September 2, 2019.

  • Funding of approved applications begins February 1, 2020.

  • Questions about the grant process or applications should be directed to Theresa Thornburgh in the Office of the Bishop at

Thank you for your partnership and your commitment to ministry! Want inspiration? See stories of current grant dollars of work»

Grant Categories

There are two categories of grant applications:

  1. Project Support Grants, and

  2. New Start / Redevelopment Grants.

Please read each description carefully before starting the application process.

Project Support Grant


  • All organized congregations of the Grand Canyon Synod

  • All New Starts and Special Ministries of the Grand Canyon Synod

  • Institutions and agencies in good standing with the ELCA or Grand Canyon Synod


Project Support Grants will be awarded in amounts of $1,000 - $8,000.

The Project Support Grant is available for a specific, new PROJECT that serves one or more of the following Grand Canyon Synod Strategic Plan goals:

Communicate Jesus

  • Encourage, empower, and equip communities of faith to expand the understanding of our unique ELCA identity and witness.

  • Strengthen our ecumenical relationships and ministries.

  • Grow our public witness through advocacy, integrating our ELCA theology and engagement with current issues and contextual realities.

  • Deepen our global engagement by connecting local witness and global relationships.

Connect People

  • Equip disciples – inclusive of lay leaders, pastors, deacons and youth – to build healthy and vibrant faith communities.

  • Foster a spirit of collaboration and intentional connection across the Synod as we participate in Synod events.

  • Provide a ministry of presence and resources to support ministries in transition.

  • Grow our partnerships with our Southwest colleagues (Region 2).

  • Support new leadership and ministry initiatives including youth ministry, coaching and ministry networks.

Create Possibilities

  • Grow in gratitude and generosity to strengthen our financial capacity for ministry and witness

  • Seek and create new ways to connect and grow our rich diversity through multi-cultural ministries.

  • Align and structure the GCS for effectiveness, efficiency and support to our ministries

  • Accompany congregations and ministries to increase their capacity to be adaptive, right-sized, and vital.

  • Raise up and support new leaders for the church’s ministry through a revitalized candidacy process.

New Start / Redevelopment Grant


A ministry that is a New Start or a Congregation in Redevelopment and has been previously approved by the Grand Canyon Synod New & Renewing Mission Team, may submit an application for this type of grant. 

New Starts include Synodically Authorized Worshipping Communities (SAWC’s), SAWC Explorations, Congregations Under Development (CUD), Newly Organized Congregations, and Special Ministries.

Congregations in Redevelopment include congregations that are formally recognized as such by the ELCA Congregational and Synodical Mission Unit (CSM).


The New Start/Redevelopment Grant is available to help support new and redeveloping ministry sites as they work toward establishing self-sustainablility. Grants will be awarded for up to $25,000.


 Important Dates/Information

  • Grant info posted to website in July 2019.

  • Annual Grant Application Period will open September 2, 2019.

  • Applications must be submitted by October 18, 2019. No late applications will be accepted.

  • Grant committee review will take place during October and November 2019.

  • Final review by Bishop, Synod Council Vice President and Treasurer by November 15, 2019.

  • Approval of Grants by Synod Council on December 7, 2019.

  • Notification of grants awarded will be the week of December 9-13, 2019.

  • All grants begin with the Synod's fiscal year, February 1, 2020.

  • Funding of grants:

    • February, 2020 for one time payments.

    • February, May, August, November 2020 for quarterly payments.

Grant Applications and Instructions

Click a button to view/download an application in PDF format.

  • All application questions must be answered in full.

  • You have the option to save your application and return to complete it at a later time.

  • All applications must be submitted electronically.

  • During the review process the GCS Grant Review Team may contact the applicant with questions or to schedule an interview.

  • All ministries that are awarded grants are expected to submit progress reports which will be due on May 31, 2020, October 31, 2020 and January 31, 2021. Failure to submit the appropriate report may result in future grant funds being held.


Grant Funding Guidelines


Allowable Categories for Grant Funding

  • Educational Materials – ELCA/Christian Resources/Sunday School/Young Adult/Special Outreach Projects

  • Program launch – marketing materials, social media platform start-up expenses.

  • Scholarship support for ELCA youth camps/youth gatherings.

  • Start-up support for new church building furnishings (ie., chairs/tables/altar etc.)

  • Church banners, program materials for worship services, communion sacraments, musician support for worship services.

  • Travel expenses for ELCA sponsored trips,youth gatherings,partnership outreach through Global Missions commitments, Churchwide Assembly etc.

  • Building repair as related to food pantry services (required per Health Dept. licensing).

Non-Allowable Categories for Grant Funding

  • Salaries (except for redevelopment congregations).

  • Capital equipment including laptop and personal computers.

  • Continuous operational expenses (i.e., health benefits, rent, building/vehicular insurance expenses, utility payments).

  • Recreational/social activities.

  • Travel expenses based upon individual church/member interests.

  • Vehicle purchase/vehicle payments/mileage reimbursement.

  • School/pre-school uniforms.

  • Licensing for health/food pantry services.