As a stewardship leader in the Annual Conference, the United Methodist Foundation of Louisiana is double tithing--giving 20% of its annual income to others through grants.
Thanks to a long time board member who, when he died with no children, left his half of the marital estate in a 50-year trust at the Foundation to support its work.
Since 1995, his gift and the Foundation's decision to double-tithe have allowed the Grants Program to give more than $5 million to United Methodist ministries. The majority of projects approved for grants are those that take an innovative approach to leadership development, new church development, ministerial education and recruitment, and hands-on mission projects throughout the Louisiana Annual Conference.
Priority is given to those grant applicants who:
- Request a challenge grant to be matched by local resources
- Include two or more church communities working together
- Are actively building endowments at the Foundation
- Have a record of 100% giving of Conference apportionments
Grants are approved by the Foundation’s Grant Review Committee and are subject to the approval of the Executive Committee or the Foundation Board of Trustees.
For more information on Foundation grants, contact Grants Administrator Tracie Wharton.
Grants have been awarded to many churches, organizations and ministries, including:
- UMFLA Seminary Education Program. The United Methodist Foundation of Louisiana has granted $1,182,000 in financial assistance to over 150 qualified seminary students from Louisiana since 2000. Stipends are repaid when the recipients serve in the Louisiana Annual Conference for five years upon graduation. In 2016, the Foundation expects to grant another $100,000.
- Centenary Leadership Conference. Grants to this organization help sponsor a community luncheon with nationally known speakers such as Kirbyjon Caldwell and Adam Hamilton to benefit theological study and innovative leadership training.
- Stewardship Education. In the last few years, the Foundation has hosted several in-depth, 4-day stewardship event with Horizons Stewardship Academy where pastors and lay leaders learned about stewardship realities, theology of stewardship, banking, fundraising and planned giving. Two of these events are scheduled for October of 2017: one in Baton Rouge and one in Shreveport.
- Campus Ministries. The Foundation has a long history of support for campus ministries such as the Wesley Foundation at various colleges and universities around the state. Since the Foundation began awarding grants in 1995, $201,200 has supported this ministry. In 2017, the Foundation hosted a free workshop with Dr. Clif Christopher of Horizons Stewardship on "Fundraising for Church-Related NonProfits."
- Pastoral Leadership. Since 2013, $300,000 in grant money has been awarded to sponsor or host pastors at LEAP, our own two-year intensive course of leadership designed to enhance the skills of competent pastors and shape long term vision and APL, a similar, five-year leadership program in Texas for younger pastors.