How to Apply for Home Mission Grants

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Applying for a grant from the Subcommittee on Catholic Home Missions does not require special expertise. Submitting incomplete information, however, can delay or even block the consideration of an otherwise good proposal. Before filling out an application form, please read the following instructions carefully.

General Instructions

The Guidelines state that only three groups of people, divided into two classes, may apply for CHM grants: diocesan bishops; provincials of religious institutes; and heads of national, regional, or interdiocesan Catholic organizations (see Guidelines for Funding). Under no circumstances will the subcommittee entertain applications from any other source. NOTE: Due to limited resources, the Subcommittee is only approving grants to dioceses and eparchies at this time. Contact staff for more information at @email.

Grant Coordinator
Each applicant should appoint a coordinator for the grant application. This person should ensure that all the pieces of the application are properly completed and submitted in a timely fashion. The coordinator’s name, address, telephone number, fax number, and e-mail address should appear on the Grant Application Summary form. Occasionally, CHM staff must request further information regarding a grant application. It is important that the coordinator respond in a timely manner to such requests. Incomplete applications cannot be considered for approval.

Grant Size
There is no minimum grant for which you may apply. The maximum grant any arch/diocese, religious institute, or organization may receive is $125,000.

All applications must be signed by the applicant (diocesan bishop, provincial, head of organization).

Every grant application must include a bishop’s endorsement.
         Arch/Diocesan Applicants: Besides signing the application, the diocesan bishop is asked to write a separate letter of endorsement explaining the value of the program to the diocese. This letter should be sent with the rest of the application materials.
         Religious Institute and Organization Applicants: The CHM will not consider applications from provincials or heads of organizations unless they carry episcopal endorsement. Please ask at least three diocesan bishops whose dioceses the program will affect to send original letters explaining its value to their diocese. The bishops should send endorsement letters directly to the Catholic Home Missions office no later than April 1.

Financial Statements
All applicants must submit their financial statement for the fiscal year just completed. Audited financial statements are required. Summaries or simple balance sheets are not acceptable. Financial statements must cover current beginning and ending fund balances, current assets and liabilities, and revenues and expenditures for the fiscal year. If the most recent statement is not yet available, do not include financial information from the previous year; simply indicate on the Application Checklist when the information will be available.

Applicants are encouraged to include comments on the data presented in their financial statements. This is especially important if the statement indicates the possession of large assets or includes potentially confusing notes or figures.

Arch/Diocesan Applicants must furnish a copy of:

  • an audited financial statement for the fiscal year just completed. This statement should not be "consolidated," but rather should cover the accounts of the diocese's central administrative offices.
  • an audited financial statement for any diocesan foundations (if applicable).

Religious Institute Applicants must furnish a copy of their most recent financial statement that covers the accounts of the province. If there is not a province, the statement should cover the congregation as a whole, including retirement funds.

Note: Religious institutes should also include current information indicating the total number of members, the number of active and retired, and the average age of membership.

Organization Applicants
Must furnish a copy of their most recent financial statement.
Submit an original and one copy of all application materials. Clearly mark which copy is the original and which is the copy. Please do not place applications in elaborate bindings. In order to assist you in submitting all required materials, we have provided a checklist. Please submit two copies of the checklist with your application packet.

Application/Grant Cycle
The online application site is open in early January each year; all applications must be received by April 1. This deadline must be strictly observed. Late applications cannot be accepted unless prior written notice has been given that compliance with the deadline is impossible. The Subcommittee makes grant decisions once a year in October, applicants are notified of a decision by mid-November, and grants are disbursed semi-annually beginning in January.

General Tips
Be concise but thorough; stick to the facts. Only answer the questions asked. Try to make the descriptions something you would enjoy reading. Include real life details which bring the project to life, as well as concrete examples of how the project has impacted the community. If citing statistics, provide original sources. Do not include attachments (i.e: brochures, newsletters, newspaper clippings, etc.) unless directly relevant to the program for which funding is requested.

How to receive a grant application:

Contact Ken Ong at @email.

Mail applications to:

Most Reverend W. Shawn McKnight, Chairman
USCCB Subcommittee on Catholic Home Missions
3211 4th Street, NE
Washington, DC 20017-1194

Specific Grant Instructions

Each application should include the following specific information on each program proposed for funding. Please supply all the information requested under each heading:

Describe the program briefly, touching on its goals, general structure, staffing, and actual or projected operation. The description of the proposal should be concise but complete. If the program in question is complex, please explain each major component. Photos of program in action are welcome (please include name(s), date, location, explanation of photos).

Indicate as precisely as possible how the program falls within the description of "home mission activity" given in the Guidelines for Funding. It is extremely important that the applicant make a persuasive case, especially if the home mission nature of the program is not immediately clear. Please note that the guidelines cover different classes of activity, such as proclamation of the Word, pastoral services, personnel training, and the formation of faith communities.

The Subcommittee wishes to serve where the need is greatest. Applicants should explain the urgency of their program in light of the whole mission of the Church.

Need for Outside Funding
Frequently, grant proposals are disapproved because the applicant fails to show convincingly that outside funding is needed.

Program Budget
Please complete attached sheet.

Future Funding
Applicants should detail their financial plans for the future. They should specify the amounts they expect to request of the Subcommittee, the number of years they expect to renew their request, and the sources of revenue they expect to draw on when their relationship with the Subcommittee ends.

For Further Assistance

Questions about eligibility or about any of the information requested for the application may be addressed to:
Ken Ong
USCCB Subcommittee on Catholic Home Missions
3211 4th Street, NE
Washington, DC 20017-1194
Phone: (202) 541-3400 or (202) 541-3010
E-mail: @email

Staff will make a special effort to help those who have little experience in applying for grants.