Our Grant Funding Mission: To strengthen and expand the relevance of the Methodist Church in Arkansas by providing financial support for innovative & creative ministries.
Grant funding comes from a steady flow of endowment resources to support Church ministries and is awarded by the MFA Grant Committee. Endowment funds can be designated by donors for specific causes or left to the discretion of the Grant's Committee. The donor's original gift, or principal, in each endowment remains intact to assure perpetual support, and the annual income is used to underwrite Methodist programs, projects, and activities.
In 2023, MFA continued to make a dramatic impact on the Methodist Church in Arkansas. Over $1.5 million in grants were made at the discretion of the Foundation’s Board of Directors to high-priority areas, including leadership development, human welfare, clergy financial education, and Conference institutions.
Visit our News page to read more about our grants, upcoming events, and the latest updates at MFA.
The Bishops’ Club & Grants
Our ministry thrives in partnerships! We are proud of our partnerships with local churches and with Methodist institutions. The Foundation’s Bishops’ Club is our greatest partner. This group of friends invests in our work and shares our story with others. Members of the Bishops’ Club have always helped us accomplish our mission of strengthening Methodist ministries in Arkansas.
In the past, Bishops’ Club funds supported the Foundation’s daily operations. Today, the funds still help us accomplish our mission, but in a more direct way. Since 2021, 100% of the money raised goes directly to our thriving grants program.
Guiding Principles for Granting Funds
The Grant Committee of The Methodist Foundation for Arkansas refers to the following principles in our consideration of requests for funds.
- The Methodist Foundation for Arkansas funds programs and ministries which address our priorities. Priority is given to projects in Arkansas.
- The Methodist Foundation for Arkansas prefers to make substantial commitments to ministries with potential for wide-spread impact. Consequently, priority will be given to grants which encourage collaborative efforts of multiple partners.
- The Methodist Foundation for Arkansas has no desire to become the perpetual funder of any ongoing program, organization or ministry. Applicants will be asked to describe strategies for funding support in the future.
- The Methodist Foundation for Arkansas seeks to fund activities that have the capacity of enriching multiple congregations and communities. Consequently, replicable programs will receive priority consideration. Requests from individuals and local congregations will receive secondary consideration.
- The Methodist Foundation for Arkansas conscientiously communicates with the leadership of the Arkansas Annual Conference to better understand and respond to the Conference’s needs and strategies.
Priorities for Granting Funds
1. Clergy and Laity Education
Ministries and organizations that improve the knowledge and leadership skills of pastors and congregational leaders.
2. Clergy Selfcare
Ministries and organizations that assist clergy and clergy families lead a healthier and more productive lifestyle.
3. Community Health
Ministries and organizations that offer health, mental health, and medical services to local communities.
Ministries and organizations that support initiatives that foster inclusivity and understanding among groups of people with differing beliefs and backgrounds, particularly in race relations, gender, and theology.
5. Enable Education and Employment
Ministries and organizations that support and provide educational services for our children and youth, affordable childcare, rehabilitation, child safety in a violent society, and re-entry programs.
6. Environmental Awareness and Energy Education
Ministries and organizations that seek to bring awareness of environmental issues and ways to educate the public on critical challenges in the future.
7. Evangelism and Discipleship
Ministries and organizations that extend the Gospel of Jesus Christ in local communities.
8. Food Insecurity
Ministries and organizations that provide a source of healthy food and food education to local communities.
Ministries and organizations that create healthy living arrangements among fellow citizens and address the reversal of such conditions that cause the lack of quality housing.
Ministries and organizations that attempt to reverse poverty in local communities and eradicate the root causes of poverty.
Support for organizations and ministries that provide assistance to persons in need.
The Grant Committee of The Methodist Foundation for Arkansas refers to the above priorities in their discussions and the grant award process. In addition, The Methodist Foundation for Arkansas Grant Committee prefers to partner with ministries and organizations that reach targeted populations and present new, innovative, non-traditional ministries. Under certain circumstances, the Foundation may provide operational support to achieve the stated goals of a proposed grant.
Scholarship Assistance for Congregations and Individuals attending COR Leadership Institute and the New Room Conference
Scholarship assistance to attend COR Leadership Institute and the New Room Conference is available under these conditions: a “one off” policy (there must be one year between events) and only two persons may be granted assistance for registration and per diem amounts, the pastor and one lay person. While the Foundation will provide for the regular registration fee, MFA will not provide for any additional late fee cost. In addition, the Grant Award policy is in effect (referring to disaffiliated churches and existing clients).
Approved Sponsorship of Events for Organizations/Ministries
Beginning January 1, 2024, upon the approval of an application from a ministry, NPO or organization, the amount to be provided to the sponsorship event grant will be limited to $2,500. MFA will provide one sponsorship per organization per year.
Scholarship Assistance for Certification and Continuing Education Programs
Effective August 10, 2023, MFA will provide up to 50% of the total cost of an approved Certification or continuing education program. While not required, preference will be given to areas of study at a United Methodist school or approved United Methodist agency.