How often are the grants awarded?
Grants are awarded twice a year.
What are the deadlines to apply?
Application deadlines are March 15 and September 15. Notification of grant awards will be made by May 15 and November 15.
For how much may my organization apply?
Grants will normally range from $1,000 to $8,000; in exceptional cases, a grant of more than $8,000 may be granted, up to a maximum of $12,000.
Grants will normally be a one-time award. Funding may be extended for an ongoing project, but applicants must submit a new application after the first year’s award. Reports are expected upon completion of all projects, and must be received before funding is extended.
Who is eligible to apply?
ELCA-affiliated ministries, such as seminaries, synods, congregations, and other entitites.
What is the purpose of the grants?
The Stewardship of Life Institute seeks to promote stewardship education in the ELCA, especially with seminarians and rostered leaders. We are looking for grant proposals for projects, workshops, or events that encourage stewardship education.
What must the application include?
Grant proposals should include a compelling narrative, not only explaining how the money would be used, but also how the proposal aligns with the program’s purpose, what participants would learn, what follow-up would be done and what long-term benefits would derive from the program. Applicants should make the ‘best case” for their proposals.
Grant proposals also must include the application and a detailed budget. SOLI anticipates that its grant funding is part of a budget that includes “skin in the game” by the sponsoring organization and/or participants. “Skin in the game” can include money appropriated, as well as staff time, resources and in-kind contributions.
What makes a good proposal?
In keeping with SOLI’s mission, proposals of primary interest will be those that assist in seminarian education or first call theological education. Of secondary interest will be proposals that assist in stewardship leadership education among laity and clergy.
SOLI is especially interested in proposals that that are repeatable and scalable across multiple constituencies and/or that involve collaboration within the ELCA.
SOLI discourages applications for congregations or judicatories that would pay the fees of commercial stewardship consultants. While effective, they are not in the creative, innovative, DIY spirit that the grants hope to encourage.
Whom can I contact for clarifications?
If you have any questions, please contact SOLI’s executive director, the Rev. Dr. Martin Otto Zimmann, email@example.com.
Here are some projects SOLI grants have funded:
Here are some of the creative proposals that received grant funding:
-Lower Susquehanna and Delaware-Maryland Synods, ELCA, to hold “Stewardship with People under 40,” a daylong seminar focusing on how to reach a new generation of givers.
-Luther Seminary, St. Paul, Minn., to provide scholarships for 20 first-call pastors to Luther’s “Rethinking Stewardship” event.
-ELCA Region 8, to help fund the “Money Talk/Steward Walk” component of First Call Theological Education required for new leaders.
-Southwestern Minnesota Synod, ELCA, to fund holistic stewardship education in “First Call Pastors Family Camp” as part of required First Call Theological Education.
-Trinity Lutheran Seminary, Columbus, Ohio, to strengthen its program of “Personal Financial Coaching” for seminarians and create a unit, “Introduction to Congregational Finance.”
-Lutherans Restoring Creation (in conjunction with ELCA seminaries) to produce six half-hour videos to help give valuable instruction on components of stewardship of creation for current and future church leaders.
-The Northwest Synod of Wisconsin, ELCA, to provide one-on-one financial coaching and distribute financial literacy resources to its rostered leaders.
-The Western North Dakota Synod, ELCA, to educate leaders about holistic stewardship under the theme “Living in God’s Abundance.” The grant will support the cost of producing videos and curriculum.
-Southern Ohio Synod, ELCA, to help pay for “4G Networking: God + Grace + Gratitude + Generosity,” through which church leaders will explore stewardship at intense two-day workshops to be held at three locations.
-ELCA Region 9 Stewardship Council and Lutheran Theological Southern Seminary, to help fund “The First Call Theological Education Stewardship Cycle Retreat.”
-Lutheran Theological Seminary at Philadelphia, to fund development of two classes, “The Stewardship of Bricks and Mortar” and “Financial Stewardship: Planning, Budgeting and Management.”
-Metro Chicago Synod, ELCA, to fund a cohort of first-call pastors and those in small congregations to receive stewardship education.
-Central States Synod, ELCA, to give first-call pastors training and education at a stewardship conference.