Church Grants Can Help You Serve Your Community Better

Churches are well-known for helping with charitable works in the community. They fund and assist with programs like meals for the homeless, food banks and other community services. Most churches have volunteers to help with these programs, but sometimes the church budgets don’t allow them the financial freedom to do as much as they would like. Many churches, though funding projects in the community, are grossly underfunded themselves. You can be awarded churches grants from various endowments and corporations, as well as some government entities. These monies can help your church flourish in all your good works.

Grants will generally only be awarded to faith-based groups if they have specific needs to address. In the case of Churches Grants, these needs may vary from construction of a new church or church building, to setting up a community center for the homeless. There are various grants available, and consulting companies can help you learn to properly write a grant request, so that you can find the funding for the current goals that your church has.

The term church obviously does not refer only to the building where you worship. A church is a congregation that meets to worship and serve God. Churches grants can help new or struggling parishes to construct buildings to meet in and to use for service to the community. These grants may be used for remodeling existing buildings or building new ones. Were it not for grants, some towns would not even have a place for homeless people to sleep and eat, or any programs that aid people in getting back on their feet. These grant monies help churches to perform vital functions in the community.

Learning grant writing is an all-important skill, because it can mean the difference between having funds to help the church and its community, or not. If you use the services of a company, they can help you perfect your grant writing, as well as finding the possible grants that would be most beneficial to your faith-based organization. Low cost services are available to aid your group in obtaining churches grants.

Applying for help in obtaining your 501(c)(3) status and then writing grants will enable your organization to obtain funding for projects that will benefit your congregation and your community. Select a company with high quality services to help you to obtain grant monies. These services are available in the United States and many foreign countries as well.

Jeffrey J. Rodman is a Certified Fund Raising Executive (CFRE) and a Certified Grants Specialist (CGS). He is an experienced grantwriter, fundraiser, nonprofit executive, and public speaker who operates Here-4-You Christian Grant Consulting and Church Grant Writing providing consultation for grant writing to Christian ministries and Churches worldwide. Jeffrey received his BS and his M.Ed. from George Mason University. He has written 100’s proposals, secured millions of dollars in funding, and maintains a funding rate of nearly 80%. He has successfully managed over 25 different grants as a grant administrator and has also served as a grant reviewer on a state, federal, and local level as well as on foundation review panels.

The Trillion Dollar Blunder and the Resurgence of the Great Recession

America’s fiscal challenge has become increasingly daunting and we run the risk of plummeting back into recession. Often times the second dip is worse felt than the first. Through too much political posturing and too little actual problem solving, we are facilitating the resurgence of the great recession. The United States fiscal policy has been described as “gas now, brake later,” without clearly establishing how and when to brake. All told, the current stimulus initiatives have added $1 trillion to the national debt. The problem is not only the amount per se, but that the stimulus packages have done virtually nothing to stimulate growth in any sector. In fact, one might venture to say that our stimulus bills exemplify the dangerous absence of any strategy that would deflect a downward spiral. Along our current path we run the risk of a recessionary resurgence, but we still have a tiny window of opportunity through which we can reverse our fortunes.

The balance of the entire $1 trillion in stimulus monies has been earmarked, but not a single penny has served to reverse the economic slide facing the US and the world. What is congress’s answer, “spend now, let someone else deal with it later.” Even without a clear action plan in place to address our hyper-indebtedness, legislation is being considered for an additional $134 billion in stimulus monies, of which, $79 billion qualifies as more band-aids to include extended unemployment and health subsidies. An additional $26 billion has been earmarked as “emergency aid” for government employees who now face layoffs while the rest of the funds are distributed to various “other” constituencies that will not contribute a dollar to battling our economic crisis. In real money terms, our mismanagement of funds over the past 2 years has cost us not only the one trillion dollars in spent money, but billions of dollars in unearned revenues. Had the stimulus monies been distributed more correctly to support the free market instead of frivolously and ineffectively expanding the public sector we could have been well clear of this recession by 2011. Despite being on the verge of a double-dip recession and enduring a colossal misappropriation of tax dollars, America may still yet have a chance to level her wings.

On our current course by 2015 America will suffer a structural deficit of more than 6% of GDP. This is expected to be higher than the entire Euro-zone in the same time frame. So where does recovery begin?

For starters, government borrowing for public services needs to be subordinated to private sector economic revival initiatives. Additionally, governments have pushed to depreciate their currencies in order to boost export with other countries. While this addresses one segment of the problem, it further harms another. What is overlooked with the depreciation strategy is that foreign holders of local currency will suffer massive losses further crippling a nation’s ability to stabilize its economy. Depreciation is not an effective strategy to solve the root of the problem. Funds must be redirected from massive public projects to smaller private ones with large probabilities of success. Relief shouldn’t just come in the form of tax cuts. While certainly they help, they don’t do anything to get struggling entrepreneurs cash ready to move forward building their business. They simply delay a collapse. Allocating “emergency aid” for innovative private sector projects will produce far more advances in our economic recovery than any other stimulus plan. Further, we have to let market prices adjust to realistic levels. Many of our financiers are living in a world of over-valuation utopia. This is very harmful to a fragile economy’s recovery. According to one source our S&P Composite price/earnings ratio is still trading at 20 times earnings. The only other time we’ve experienced a spike this erratic was right before the market collapsed in the late 1920’s and early 1930’s. We can get prices back to normal faster by not giving away stimulus money that does not get a return. If our governments act on these strategies the consumers will come and the recession will be left behind for good. Our window to adjust our out of control spin is fast closing. If not probably managed through, I fear we will succumb unwillingly to a second dip in this crisis.

Merahs Diab holds an MBA from the University of Miami and a Bachelors Degree in Political Science from George Mason University. He is a frequent guest speaker on various topics related to operations management and organizational behavior and has authored numerous works on economics, organizational efficiency, marketing, and business decision making. He is the founder of DCG Advisors, a boutique management advisory firm that assists small to mid-sized companies in capital ventures, restructuring, virtual modeling, and in depth market analysis.

The History of UK Equity Release Schemes

Equity release is an increasingly attractive option for those seeking financial relief. However, this was not always the case, and it’s interesting to note that these plans first became available in the UK in 1965. When first introduced, the main goal of these plans was to create an option for those who had invested in property but needed cash funds to cover certain expenses.

In the 1970s, the prices of houses in the UK soared, and this made it possible for financial institutes to offer clients and even wider range of options in terms of equity release plans. At first, the equity release market took off, and a large number of property owners signed these agreements. However, for those who opted for the “home income” plan, things didn’t pan out quite as they’d hoped. This plan meant that the property owner would need to agree to buy an annuity as well as an interest only mortgage loan. It was marketed in a way that it appealed to those who were seeking an additional monthly income to subsidize their pensions. They only needed to make monthly payments to cover the interest.

In the 1990s, however, interest rates spiked, and house prices dropped. This was disastrous for many, and this resulted in a ban on this particular plan. Not to mention the bad reputation equity release received as a result of numerous unhappy clients. This was, however, during the earlier stages of these plans and, since then, several factors have changed.

By the end of the 90s, the prices of houses were on the rise again, and interest rates were improving too. Financial experts came up with improved equity release plans with added protection policies in place to protect everyone concerned. Despite its earlier slump, equity release made a remarkable comeback and, today, previous records are being smashed with more and more pensioners choosing these options to solve their financial troubles. As added reassurance, homeowners also have the help and protection of rules set out by the Equity Release Council (ERC) and all plans need to conform to specific criteria. One of the most important protective measures in effect is the “No Negative Equity Guarantee”. This means that, no matter what, the amount payable upon the conclusion of the deal will never be greater than the value of the home. In other words, your equity release plan will never result in debt since selling your property will cover the full amount at least.

Want to Be Awarded Grant Monies? Follow the Instructions!

You could have the most worthy cause in the universe, and your project could exactly match what a prospective grant giver wants to fund – but if you don’t follow instructions, you’ve failed before you begin.

Grant givers receive far too many applications to fund them all, so they have to develop systems for choosing.

One way they make it easier for themselves is to first weed out every application that wasn’t submitted according to their specific instructions.

Note that I said their specific instructions. Just because you know how giver A wants to receive your information doesn’t mean you should assume giver B wants the same things.

Once you know the project you want to fund, do a search. If any grant givers look like likely prospects, then delve into their instructions.

Some want a letter of inquiry first, some don’t. Some want you to send photos and related materials, some don’t. Some want your application in a binder, some don’t.

These folks can be picky. If they want a summary of your work in 200 words or less, they’ll toss your application if it the summary is 225 words. If they want it double spaced, single spaced entries go in the round file.

Almost all want to know your current financial picture, along with how you are achieving the goals of your organization. Be prepared to give them this information!

The financials seem to be the toughest for small non-profits. Too often, no one is keeping good track of what money comes in and where it goes out.

If you want to get grants, change that immediately.

You’ll also need estimates of what your new project will cost, and they’ll ask how you plan to carry on with it after grant funding is used. You need to know the answers.

Do know the scope of the project first. Too often, groups find a source for grant money and then try to make up a project to fit – that’s backwards and rarely works.

If your work is local, grant givers may want to know the demographics of your area. Do some research into your state’s websites and come up with the facts.

The good news is that most of the information you gather for the first grant application will be the information you need for the next one, and the next.

It’s the method in which you present the information that will change from giver to giver.

So – the first one is the toughest, but each one demands your detailed attention to instructions. Learn as you go, and just keep trying. You KNOW your cause is worth your efforts!

Marte Cliff is a Freelance Copywriter who specializes in making people feel good about donating to worthy causes.

She has extensive experience in writing fundraising letters, search engine optimized web copy, postcards, space ad copy, press releases, and more. She is also available for fundraising plan creation and editing services.

Helping Someone in Need

Even the richest person in the world cannot help EVERYONE, but we can all do our part by helping someone in need. It is not difficult to find someone who could use a helping hand in his hour of hardship or pain. There are many to whom society has not been entirely kind.

Although some people feel that those begging for help by holding out a cup as they approach strangers on the sidewalk of busy streets do not deserve money, there has to be a good reason they are there. Many are mentally ill or physically handicapped. Surely they would not be beggars on the street if things were going well for them. While it may be true that there are some scammers among them, most of these people are truly in need. It is an easy matter to give them a little cash or food.

Since we were attending a film showing in the city one night, we decided to eat first at an Italian restaurant. We had some leftovers, which we asked to have boxed up. We had intended to try to find a homeless person who might need food. Although we forgot to ask for a plastic fork, the waitress asked if we wanted utensils to which we replied yes. We went to the place where the movie was held, but we did not see any homeless persons so we took the bag of food with us. When we were walking to our car about 9 pm, we noticed that there was a man lying on the hard cement of the sidewalk next to a building. He was in bed for the night, but he was awake. My husband asked if he would like some food for which he seemed quite grateful. We also gave him some cash. He immediately ate the food, and he must have been going to bed hungry. It was a small gesture, but it was a way to help someone in need.

During World War II when Japanese Americans and immigrants from Japan who were living on the West Coast of the United States were incarcerated in camps, they experienced much discrimination and hatred against them. They found few friends as they were forced to leave their homes. After the war was over and those who could do so returned to their former places of residence, most found that there was nothing left of their property and belongings. However, there were some few who were fortunate enough that someone had helped them in their need. Some kind neighbors cared for the homes and possessions of those few lucky Japanese Americans.