Sacred Sites Program

Grants for Sacred Sites

Grants and Grant Criteria

Bedford Park Congregational Church - A Sacred Sites Success Story
Bedford Park Congregational Church - A Sacred Sites Success Story
-Before
Conservancy Awards 13 Sacred Sites Grants
Conservancy Awards 13 Sacred Sites Grants
Kerhonkson Synagogue, Catskills
Conservancy Awards 23 Sacred Sites Grants
Conservancy Awards 23 Sacred Sites Grants
Grace Church, Brooklyn Heights
Saved from Demolition, St. Brigid’s is Rededicated
Saved from Demolition, St. Brigid’s is Rededicated
Congregation Tifereth Israel - Corona, Queens
Congregation Tifereth Israel - Corona, Queens
1939 tax photo
Conservancy Awards Two NYC Sacred Sites Grants
Conservancy Awards Two NYC Sacred Sites Grants
Church of the Heavenly Rest, Fifth Avenue
Conservancy Awards 23 Sacred Sites Grants
Conservancy Awards 23 Sacred Sites Grants
First Presbyterian Church, Buffalo NY
A Conservancy Matchmaking Tale
A Conservancy Matchmaking Tale
Rugged Cross Baptist Church
Rugged Cross Baptist Church
Installing Restored Stained Glass
Sacred Sites Grants Awarded
Sacred Sites Grants Awarded
Church of The Intercession
Conservancy awards prestigious Jewish Cultural Heritage grant to Astoria Center of Israel
Conservancy awards prestigious Jewish Cultural Heritage grant to Astoria Center of Israel
Detail of Art Deco murals illustrating a well-known aphorism from the Talmud tractate Pirkei Avot (Chapters of the Fathers): “Be bold as a leopard, light as an eagle, swift as a deer, and strong as a lion, to carry out the will of your Father in Heaven.”
Christ Church, Walton
Christ Church, Walton
Restored Tracery Window Reinstalled
Recent Wilson & Sacred Sites Grants awarded
Recent Wilson & Sacred Sites Grants awarded
Most Precious Blood Roman Catholic Church, Astoria
St. Brigids Demolition Halted
St. Brigids Demolition Halted
St. Brigids Church
Historic Catholic Churches in Crisis
Historic Catholic Churches in Crisis
Constructed in 1907, St. Thomas the Apostle Church was designed by the renowned ecclesiastical architect Thomas H. Poole and is one of many historic Roman Catholic churches facing demolition. Its detailed spire has already been removed.
St. Saviour’s Saved
St. Saviour’s Saved
St. Saviour’s Episcopal Church, Maspeth, Queens
West-Park Presbyterian Church - Manhattan
West-Park Presbyterian Church - Manhattan
Neighbors presented this preliminary design that incorporates the historic structure while expanding program space.
Greater New Hope Church of God in Christ - Buffalo
Greater New Hope Church of God in Christ - Buffalo
The Greater New Hope Church of God in Christ is housed in a Moorish Revival building, which is capped by a large dome and was designed as a synagogue in 1903.

Sacred Sites Grant Requirements
Robert W. Wilson Challenge Grant Requirements
Jewish Heritage Fund Grant Requirements (New York City only)
Consulting Grant Requirements (New York City only)

Application Process

The Sacred Sites Program assists religious organizations with two statewide matching grant programs: Sacred Sites Grants and Robert W. Wilson Sacred Sites Challenge grants. Congregations located in New York City are additionally eligible for our third grant program: Consulting Grants. Finally, our fourth grant program is available for historic synagogues in New York City only: Jewish Heritage Fund Grants.

The Program was launched in 1986 and is the only statewide nonprofit program in the nation responding to the preservation needs of historic religious properties. Since its inception, Sacred Sites has awarded over 1,200 grants totaling more than $8 million to over 700 congregations throughout New York, regardless of denomination. These grants have leveraged restoration projects totaling more than $560 million.

David Berg Foundation Doubled Gift

The David Berg Foundation, which helped launch the Conservancy’s Jewish Heritage Fund in 2009 with a $100,000 grant, renewed and doubled its gift in 2011. The Jewish Heritage Fund received $200,000 to underwrite challenge grants of up to $75,000 for major synagogue restoration projects. In the last four years, the Jewish Heritage Fund has awarded nine grants totaling $320,000 for the renovation of historic New York City synagogues. Roy J. Zuckerberg, who provided the initial $25,000 to launch the Jewish Heritage Fund, also renewed his gift. We are grateful for these donors’ support of Jewish History in New York City.

Conservancy Receives Major Gift to Help Launch New Jewish Heritage Fund Initiative (2009)

The David Berg Foundation awarded a two-year, $100,000 grant to help establish a new Jewish Heritage Fund. The Jewish Heritage Fund will, for the first time, allow the Conservancy to make Challenge Grants of between $25,000 and $50,000 to assist major repair and restoration projects in New York City. Click here to learn more.

In its inaugural year the Jewish Heritage Fund pledged three grants totaling $120,000 to the Free Synagogue of Flushing, the Astoria Center of Israel and Congregation Beth Elohim in Park Slope Brooklyn.

Robert W. Wilson Challenge Grant Program Extended (2009)

Thanks to the generosity of Robert W. Wilson, the Conservancy is pleased to announce that the Challenge Grant program will continue. For major restoration projects in New York State, we will have $300,000 in annual Challenge Grant funding until at least 2015.

Our largest Wilson Challenge Grants to date are two $70,000 pledges to Rugged Cross Baptist Church in the Bedford-Stuyvesant section of Brooklyn, which helped support the replacement of a severely deteriorated roof over the belltower and sanctuary, and the Church of St. Jean Baptiste on Manhattan’s Upper East Side for assistance with a project to replace 24 limestone columns in the belltower cupolas.

The two Challenge Grant programs and Sacred Sites Grants programs offer two rounds per year. (Click on the links above for eligibility information, and the links to the right to download application PDFs.) In 2012, we awarded $300,000 in Robert W. Wilson Challenge grants, $95,500 in Sacred Sites grants and $40,000 in Consulting Grants. We pledged three Jewish Heritage Fund Grants totaling $95,000.

Our typical Sacred Sites Grant award is between $3,000 and $6,000, with last year’s grants averaging about $3,800. Last year, the average Wilson Challenge Grant was $37,500.

Program Staff

  • .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address), Director
  • .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address), Grants Manager

Celebrating 25 Years of Preserving Sacred Sites

The Conservancy’s award-winning Sacred Sites Program celebrated its 25th anniversary in 2011; it is the oldest and largest statewide grant program to help landmark religious properties. It has helped more than 660 religious institutions of all denominations across New York State with $7.3 million in assistance. The grants have leveraged overall projects totaling $530 million. Some 200 New York City congregations have received $3 million of that grant total. Common Bond, our free journal of technical advice for religious properties, reaches 6,000 subscribers nationally. Regular workshops help congregations with everything from energy conservation to fundraising.

Click here to take a look back at the last 25 years of the program.

And to watch our video.

Recent Projects

Bedford Park Congregational Church - A Sacred Sites Success Story
Conservancy Awards 13 Sacred Sites Grants
Congregational Assets Roundtable
Conservancy Awards 23 Sacred Sites Grants
Saved from Demolition, St. Brigid’s is Rededicated
Sacred Sites Program Gives Assistance to Storm Damaged Properties
Congregation Tifereth Israel - Corona, Queens
Conservancy Awards Two NYC Sacred Sites Grants
Conservancy Awards 23 Sacred Sites Grants
A Conservancy Matchmaking Tale
26 Applications Received in January Sacred Sites Grant Round
Sacred Sites Receives a Special Citation Award
David Berg Foundation Renews, Doubles Gift
Work is Underway at Christ Church in Walton NY
Conservancy hosts panel at National Trust Conference in Buffalo
Rugged Cross Baptist Church
Sacred Sites Grants Awarded
Sacred Sites Program Pledges 24 Grants to Congregations Across State
Church of the Most Precious Blood
Conservancy awards prestigious Jewish Cultural Heritage grant to Astoria Center of Israel
Video Highlights Conservancy Efforts in Buffalo
Conservancy Announces $206,500 in Sacred Sites Funding to 17 Religious Properties
Christ Church, Walton
Recent Wilson & Sacred Sites Grants awarded
St. Brigids Demolition Halted
Historic Catholic Churches in Crisis
St. Saviour’s Saved
West-Park Presbyterian Church - Manhattan
Greater New Hope Church of God in Christ - Buffalo
Chapel of the Good Shepherd - Roosevelt Island
Advocating for Historic Roman Catholic Churches