Grants and Loans
The Unified Funding Task Force (UFT) of the Baltimore-Washington Conference assists congregations with grants and loans for new faith ministries, new church starts, short term equitable compensation, and strategic growth. Grants and loans are available for congregations seeking financial assistance for facilities and programs that enable them to grow disciples for the transformation of the world.
Before you apply
You should carefully read the procedures and process before completing an application. All applications require approval by the district superintendent, the pastor and the administrative/church council of the local church. Applications for New Church Starts also require approval of the Director of Vibrant Communities.
- April 1: Spring applications due (Applications should be submitted to the district superintendent by March 20.)
- October 1: Fall applications and equitable compensation requests* due. (Applications should be submitted to the district superintendent by September 20.)
* Equitable compensation requests are only accepted in the fall.
- Building Grant/Building Loan Request
- Equitable Compensation Support Grant
- New Church Start Grant
- New Faith Ministries Grant
- Strategic Growth Initiative Grant
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
What is the process to apply for a loan or grant from the Unified Funding Task Force?
To use the provided Word docs:
- Right-click the link and choose ‘Save file as…’ to download the application form to your computer. Be sure to note where you have saved the file.
- Begin a new Word document using the Unified Funding Application document, complete the form, save and print.
You should submit your application to your district superintendent at least 10 days prior to the spring and fall deadlines (April 1 and October 1). The district superintendent will review and, if approved, forward your application to the Unified Funding Task Force (UFT). Requests will be reviewed and acted upon by the conference UFT. All loan applications will first be processed by the task force, and if approved, they will be sent to the conference Board of Trustees for final approval.
Notification of awards will be made by the conference UFT. Fall awards become effective January 1 of the upcoming year. Spring awards become effective July 1 of the same year unless otherwise notified in the funding award letter.
For more information regarding the procedures of the task force, contact the project manager, Jo Chesson, at 410-309-3490 or 800-492-2525 ext. 490.
What are the principles of the Unified Funding Task Force?
- The UFT awards grants and loans that support the conference vision, mission and strategic goals.
- The UFT reviews and processes all requests for grants and loans.
- The UFT reviews requests that are received by the stated deadlines.
- Awards are granted upon available funding.
- Each project will be reviewed twice a year and funding will be based on milestones/benchmarks being met.
- Payment of award will be made based on benchmarks being met.
What leads to a “yes” decision?
- Congregations that demonstrate funds requested are tied directly to their congregational goals and objectives that contain specific benchmarks and mark progress and clear measurable outcomes.
- Congregations that plan to use funds as a leverage to increase resources and have a long-term plan and capacity for funding the ministry/program beyond the grant or loan.
- Congregations that partner with other congregations, community groups or organizations to build ministry and to accomplish goals.
- Congregations that have already applied for funding from other sources so that the conference serves as a secondary partner.
- Congregations that submit requests that demonstrate vision, discernment, and the leading of the Holy Spirit.
- Congregations that have demonstrated connectionalism by attending the Annual Conference Session, trainings and events, working collaboratively with other congregations and completing conference requests accurately and on time.
- Congregations that have faithfully paid apportionments and conference obligations.
What leads to a “no” decision?
- Congregations that do not have Administrative/Church Council support.
- Congregations that do not meet deadlines.
- Congregations that cannot demonstrate the capacity for the ministry requested. Capacity includes personnel, space, time, need and congregational involvement.
- Congregations that do not follow through on required benchmark reports including an annual audit, annual statistical report, pastor/church evaluation and required charge conference forms.
Who are the members of the Unified Funding Task Force?
- All District Superintendents
- Director of Connectional Ministries
- Director of Vibrant Communities
- Assistant to the Bishop
- Chairperson of Equitable Compensation Commission
- Chairperson of Conference Council on Finance and Administration
- Conference Lay Leader
How should a New Church Start Grant be used?
New Church Start Grants may be given to existing congregations or charges or United Methodist-related organizations who have been working with the Director of Vibrant Communities to plant a new congregation. These grants are generally given for partial compensation, program funding, and training costs. These grants may be given for 1-5 years.
How should a New Faith Ministries Grant be used?
New Faith Ministries grants may be provided for existing churches and charges that are initiating new ministries. Priority will be given to projects that are engaging with the poor in ministry, addressing issues of health, or developing principles of Christian leaders. The grants are generally one-time grants that are offered to assist with the purchase of equipment, minor building renovations, etc.
What is a Strategic Growth Initiative Grant?
Strategic Growth Initiative grants may be given to existing congregations or charges that are seeking to revitalize, innovate, or continue to grow in order to meet the needs in a specific area of strategic growth. This area might be geographic or demographic. These grants are typically provided for salary and program support for 1-5 years.
When should a church or pastor apply for an Equitable Compensation Support Grant?
Equitable Compensation Support may be provided to a church or charge that is not able to pay the minimum equitable compensation amount approved by the annual conference. The support may be provided upon the recommendation of the DS and approval of the Unified Funding Task Force.
How should a Building Grant/Building Loan to be used?
Building Grants and Building Loans may be granted for churches and charges that need to do significant building renovations. Grants are generally given to churches to do renovations in order to develop a new ministry. Loans are generally given to churches for maintenance such as boiler replacement and roof repairs. Loans are only given if churches or charges can demonstrate the ability to repay the loan. Loan applications that are recommended by the Unified Funding Task Force are forwarded to the Conference Board of Trustees for final approval. Building grants and loans are generally one-time awards.