Grants Available

Providing financial resources for what God is calling you to do


Innovative Christian Community Grants

Fresh Expressions Mini-Grant — $500 (ongoing)

Overseen by the Vital Congregations Team and approved by the District Strategy Team

A fresh expression is a form of church for our changing culture, established primarily for the benefit of those who are not yet part of any church. In the Great Plains Conference, we have seen a variety of ideas financially supported, from lake church to hair salon church and dinner church.

Since 2019, there have been over 20 seed money grants given to Fresh Expressions in the Great Plains Conference. In addition to the $500, each district has monies available to add to the mini-grants to help fully develop the fresh expression. Applicants can expect to hear back within 45 days of submitting an application.


Lay Leadership Grant – $500 (ongoing)

Approved by the director of lay servant ministries and the Conference Committee on Lay Servant Ministries 

Lay Servant Ministries has financial backing to be able to offer scholarships for lay persons who want to experience advanced leadership development opportunities. This is a scholarship for lay persons pursuing almost any type of advanced training for ministry in their mission field. This is not for Certified Lay Servants, Lay Speakers, or Lay Minister training.  

Since 2020, this grant has supported individuals attending Leadership Institute, seminary courses and overseas missional training opportunities. Applicants can expect to hear back within 45 days of submitting an application. 


Network Grant (ongoing)

Overseen by the director of congregational excellence and approved by a Cabinet subteam

The Great Plains Conference is encouraging collaborative ministry among churches through a system of networks. As these networks determine ways to make disciples and do justice in their areas in accordance with district/conference strategy, the conference will provide seed money to the projects/initiatives.

Applicants can expect to hear back within 45 days of submitting an application.


New Church Development Grant

Overseen by the director of congregational excellence and approved by New Church Development

New Church Development grants help with starting a new community with new people for the sake of making disciples for Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world. For more information about grant availability, opportunities, and the application process visit

Contact Jeff Clinger for more information.


Urban Ministry Grant – $120,000 over a 4-year period

The Urban Ministry grant funding is provided from the sale proceeds of properties abandoned by discontinued congregations in counties with more than 50,000 in population. Urban Ministry Grant Funds assist districts to: 

  •  Start new faith communities in urban areas
  •  Develop ministries with the poor
  •  Develop effective and sustainable ministries  

The dollar range of grants is up to $120,000 per project over a four-year period.

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Kids, Youth and Young Adult Ministry Grants

Church-Campus Grant  – $1000

Any church that wants to reach out to any college in the area may apply for a $1000 grant to jump-start its ministry on campus. The first year will be a $1000 grant. For subsequent years, the $1000 will be a matching grant with the congregation. Many churches can apply for the same campus to provide ministries to as many students as possible. Applications available.


Matching Grant Internships – up to $1750 per intern, with the expectation to match your church’s contribution (applications due April 15 annually)

Overseen by the intergenerational discipleship coordinator and clergy recruitment and development coordinator

Many churches in the Great Plains have a rich history of summer interns. For other churches, they have cultivated someone within the congregation who is ready to take a step of faithfulness to explore a summer of full-time ministry. The conference is making available matching grants for churches who have identified someone who could serve as an intern for the summer. Three Types of matching grants will be considered: Pastoral Ministry, Youth Ministry, and Kids Ministry.


Youth Event Grant through Youth Service Fund – up to $2,000 (reviewed quarterly)

Overseen by the intergenerational discipleship coordinator with Leadership Lab Participants 

The Youth Service Fund is money raised by youth to support projects led by youth. The Conference Council on Youth Ministries (CCYM) administers the Youth Service Fund. Over the years, we have funded mission work, events, training, and projects for youth and by youth.

  • Received by August 1 = reviewed by September 15
  • Received by November 1 = reviewed by December 15
  • Received by February 1 = reviewed by March 15
  • Received by May 1 = reviewed by June 1

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Mercy and Justice Grants

Antiracism Education Advocacy Grant – $300 (ongoing)

Overseen by the mercy and justice coordinator and the Mercy and Justice team

These grants are meant to help our congregations and networks learn about white privilege and structural racism and develop strategies to overcoming these. We call on congregations, on pastors and on laity in leadership positions “to educate themselves about the root causes and manifestations of racism, ethnocentrism, and tribalism within communities of faith and to develop strategies for overcoming these kinds of social divisions.” (UM Revised Social Principles, Other Social Issues, L, p. 29) It is expected that the grant receiver will send a short report about the project which can be shared through GPconnect. Maximum Grant: $300


CONAM Grant (ongoing)

CONAM is offering grants to support an existing ministry or starting a new ministry targeting Native American people in the Great Plains Conference. The ministry could include an outreach project/event of a United Methodist Native American Congregation. The grants are not intended to be used as ongoing funding of a ministry program. Grants will be made as one-time awards and subsequent requests for the same ministry will require a new grant application. The funding for this grant program comes from the contributions to Native American Awareness Sunday in the Great Plains Conference.

Examples of grant purposes include, but are not limited to: lay leadership training events for Native American ministries; honoraria for speakers/presenters/native musicians for Native American events; and other opportunities to reach Native Americans in the Great Plains Conference.

Download the grant application (PDF or Word document) to learn more and apply for a CONAM grant.


Disaster Response Grant

Overseen by the disaster response coordinator

The Great Plains Conference Disaster fund is for the relief of persons who have suffered from a disaster(s) within the Great Plains Conference.

LGBTQIA Missional Leadership Grant - up to $1000 (ongoing)

Overseen by the mercy and justice coordinator

According to the 2019 Annual Conference session, the Great Plains Conference approved making $20,000 in grant funding available to local congregations for ministries that raise up LGBTQIA+ persons as missional leaders in the Great Plains Annual Conference to make disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world. LGBTQIA+ persons in your church, network, or district who are interested in training, a new ministry idea or an experience to help them take the next step in their missional leadership can apply for this grant.

Since 2019, a dozen grants have been awarded throughout the Great Plains.


Mission Engagement Grant – $500-$6000 (ongoing)

Overseen by the mercy and justice coordinator and the Mercy and Justice team

Mission engagement grants are for domestic and foreign missions, including engagement with both mercy and justice ministries, projects, and trips. Teams are prioritized who incorporate intentional reflection on faith and discipleship, learning about local culture and history, and whose efforts support self-sustaining solutions among the locals. The team leader and all team members must be Safe Gatherings certified.

Since 2019, 15 grants of varying amounts have been awarded for teams, networks, and congregations.


Social Justice Seed Money Grant – $1000 (applications accepted June 1-September 30 annually)

Overseen by the mercy and justice coordinator and the Mercy and Justice team

Do you have a project that you think could address a social justice issue, but you need a little help to get started? Social justice seed money grants are available to local churches within networks for outreach ministries focusing on root causes of injustices and the underlying reasons of why people are in need and working toward structural changes. Applications open June 1 and close by September 30.

Ten grants have been awarded over the last three years.

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Multi-Ethnic Church Ministries

Emerging Ethnic Ministries Grant – (applications due December 1)

Overseen by the director of congregational excellence and the Vital Congregations team

The Vital Congregations team has grants available for ministry to and with ethnic minority communities. These grants are specifically designed for new ministries to and with ethnic minority communities, and are a one-time grant, with the possibility of being renewed or extended in future years. Applications are due no later than December 1, 2022, and grants will be awarded by year’s end. Questions can be directed to the Rev. Jeff Clinger, director of congregational excellence.

Ethnic Minority Local Church Grant – $800 (ongoing)

Overseen by the director of congregational excellence and the Ethnic Minority Local Church Grant team

Grants are awarded to programs that reflect the ethnic ministry objectives (These objectives apply to
churches, youth and laity as well as pastors serving ethnic churches and current ethnic pastors):

  • Programming and support for ethnic minority churches
  • Leadership development of ethnic minority clergy and lay
  • Support for ethnic minority youth: camping, Institute, leadership development events,
  • Support for participation in ethnic caucuses

Applicants can expect to hear back within 45 days of submitting an application


Intercultural Development Inventory (IDI) Grant (ongoing)

Overseen by the mercy and justice coordinator and the clergy leadership coordinator

IDI research in organizations and educational institutions confirms two central findings when using the IDI:

  • Interculturally competent behavior occurs at a level supported by the individual’s or group’s underlying orientation as assessed by the IDI.
  • Training and leadership development efforts at building intercultural competence are more successful when they are based on the individual’s or group’s underlying developmental orientation as assessed by the IDI.

Congregations interested in taking the IDI in their congregations may apply for this grant for a leadership team to take together. Three components of the Inventory include: 1) the assessment 2)group debriefing and 3) individual debriefing.

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Clergy Grants

Clergy Covenant Group Grant – $500

The Clergy Covenant Group Grant is being made available for groups of three-eight Great Plains UMC clergy with the following intent:

  • To provide incentives for existing groups to reimagine their covenant together by enhancing their current group practices
  • To encourage new groups to form
  • To address needs of limited financial resources that may be a barrier for some groups in meeting face to face
  • To enhance the fruitfulness and health of clergypersons


Clergy Well-being Grant – $450

As encouragement to care for yourself, we invite clergy of the Great Plains UMC to apply for one or more mini grants designed to give you the space and/or persons to help you renew and recharge. Learn about spiritual self-care grants here.


Culture of Call Grant – $500-$2000

The Culture of Call grant was designed to provide churches, campus ministries, and United Methodist organizations in the Great Plains UMC with resources to fuel their imaginations in creating opportunities to cultivate a Culture of Call. Grants will be awarded in the range of $500 - $2,000. Early deadline to apply is March 1, late deadline is Sept. 15.


Rev. Paul Holmes Scholarship – up to $10,000

The Rev. Paul Holmes Memorial Scholarship is a scholarship (up to $10,000, based on availability) to be used for continued education for clergy (sabbatical leave, renewal leave, or a major continuing education experience). Download application. And read more about the scholarship here.

All scholarships are subject to the availability of funds and that consideration will be given to first time applicants. If you have any questions regarding this scholarship, please contact Alice Purvis, chair for the Covenant Team of the Board of Ordained Ministry.

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Foundation Grants

Kansas Methodist Foundation Grants

Nebraska United Methodist Foundation Grants

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Capital Improvement Grants

Matching Grants for Capital Improvements in Local Churches

Overseen by Capital Improvement Grants Sub-Committee of the Great Plains Annual Conference Board of Trustees

Grants are available to United Methodist Church congregations within the Great Plains Conference. These grants will provide matching funds up to $25,000 for capital improvement projects that will help churches respond to their local mission field. Submission of a grant application does not guarantee funding will be received. Applications are due November 15, 2022 and awards will be announced by December 15, 2022.


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