Sacred Sites Program

Challenge Grant Criteria

Applications for Sacred Sites Challenge grants must be postmarked by January 15th or June 1st, or the next following business day if those dates fall on Sundays or holidays. Awards are issued approximately five months later.

For large-scale restoration projects at a historic religious institution, our Sacred Sites Challenge offers matching grants of $25,000 to $75,000. In 2016, our average Sacred Sites Challenge Grant was $28,000.

Priority will be given to large scale, comprehensive restoration of steeples, slate, copper, or wood shingle roofs and related drainage systems, and exterior masonry walls. Consultants’ fees and planning documents will not be funded. Projects must meet the Secretary of the Interior’s Standards for the Treatment of Historic Properties. Grants to restore stained glass windows will only be considered if the windows are highly significant and severely deteriorated. No grant shall exceed half the project cost.

Funds cannot be used for consulting fees, planning documents, pipe organ restoration, minor repairs, interior work, mechanical upgrades, or routine maintenance. Note: Applicants can submit second applications for matching grants towards soft costs, such as architectural or engineering fees associated with a large scale restoration project, either prior to or simultaneously with challenge grant round. (Click here to see Sacred Sites and Consulting Application). Grants will not be considered for work that has been started or completed at the time of application.

In order to receive funds, congregations must raise matching funds within one year of the date of the award letter. Generally, matching funds must be donated from new sources (See application with instructions for additional detail on grant match requirements). In-kind services and existing reserve funds or endowments cannot contribute to the match.

Application for Download

Click here to download the application.