General Grant Opportunities | United Church of Canada Foundation

General Grant Opportunities

Supporting you and your ministry

The United Church of Canada Foundation provides several grants, bursaries, and other funding opportunities that are independent of our other grant programs. These grants support general life in the United Church, as well as specific initiatives including, but not limited to, youth ministry, Indigenous ministry, and diaconal ministry.

There are also funding opportunities available through the General Council Office and other United Church of Canada ministries, some of which are administered by the Foundation. 

Application deadlines vary based on the program. Please find each grant’s description below for application details.

Have questions?

We are here to help empower your ministry. If you have questions about the application process, or whether your project is eligible for funding, please contact Jenna Yango Leonard, Foundation Coordinator, at 1-866-340-8223, or fill the form out below.

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    General grant opportunities

    United, we” – Trust-based Grants

    Please note that applications are due October 15.

    The United Church of Canada Foundation stands as a pillar of support for various initiatives within the United Church community and its partners. While existing granting programs serve an essential purpose in funding innovative and new projects, a crucial gap must be addressed. Many deserving groups are engaged in valuable ongoing programs that contribute significantly to the mission and values of the United Church, but may not meet the criteria of these existing programs, thereby missing out on vital financial assistance.

    Recognizing that the Foundation’s traditional granting programs have been rooted in a colonial approach, the Foundation is expanding its trust-based granting efforts with the creation of a new granting stream called “United, we”.

    This program provides financial support to United Church organizations and partners who otherwise would not qualify for funding through existing granting programs. Funding supports the organization’s impactful existing work without requiring new or innovative work to be undertaken or tying the funds to a specific project.

    Funds are available annually and applications are welcome (but not limited to) projects and organizations that:

    • Espouse shared values with the Foundation and United Church of Canada;
    • Have a relationship with the Foundation and/or the United Church of Canada;
    • Align with at least one of the four Foundation priorities;
    • Have been identified as a priority group/project of the church;
    • Have been identified to benefit from a non-traditional and non-colonial way of granting.

    The maximum grant amount will be $25,000 per group per year. The annual deadline to apply is October 15th and requires the submission of an application/proposal.

    Learn more about our approach to trust-based granting here.

    The Centennial Granting Fund

    Please note the application due dates below.

    On June 10, 2025, The United Church of Canada and its communities of faith will mark a significant chapter in the story of our denomination: the 100th anniversary of church Union. The centennial is a testament to the enduring strength, resilience, and commitment to and of its community and faith; a time to celebrate accomplishments, progress in healing, and the spirituality that sustains us. To celebrate, many communities of faith will be eager to plan and hold services, events, and activities.

    The Foundation has recognized the need to support these groups by establishing the Centennial Granting Fund. This program represents a tangible expression of solidarity and celebration and emphasizes the importance of uniting to commemorate this historic achievement together by providing funding for events designed to mark the milestone.

    The Centennial Granting Fund will provide grants across four granting rounds beginning in Fall 2024. Applications are welcomed from any United Church ministry, community of faith/congregation, or other organization undertaking a special event to commemorate the United Church of Canada Centennial.

    Submissions for each round are due:

    • September 15, 2024
    • December 15, 2024
    • March 15, 2025
    • June 15, 2025

    Up to $100,000 total will be granted. The maximum grant amount available per group is $5,000, to ensure as many groups as possible across the church can receive support.

    Promotion Project Fund
    Please note that applications are due October 15.
    *at this time, this Fund is slated to provide grants in Fall 2024 only.
    This fund was established through a generous donation from Jack Scoffield with the purpose of supporting the marketing efforts of United Church of Canada congregations seeking to attract members, promote their ministry and programming, and retain/establish a strong presence in their communities.

    Marketing is the basic concept of presenting an offering of goods and/or services (in this case, the ministry of a particular congregation) to an audience in a manner that will appeal to them. Humans share common desires such as love, acceptance, hope, purpose, etc., which communities of faith are well-suited to address. Good marketing allows congregations to share with their community how they can meet the spiritual and other needs of their members. Mr. Scoffield is a strong proponent of congregations including marketing efforts in their annual operating budget, as he believes it to be a key component of sustaining congregational vitality.

    United Church of Canada congregations are eligible to apply for a one-time grant of up to $10,000. Applications are due October 15. 
    Some helpful marketing resources as you plan and prepare your application:

    Successful applicants will be required to complete a report to evaluate the effectiveness of their marketing efforts. Since these may also be helpful as you complete your application, the report guidelines can be found here

    Capital Assistance Programs

    Grants and Loans Program

    The purpose of the Capital Assistance Fund is to provide financial assistance for the renewal and development of congregations, camps, education centres, community ministries, and chaplaincies. Assistance is available in the form of loans and targeted grants for eligible pastoral charges/congregations and other ministries that would otherwise be unable to undertake or complete these projects.

    Low-interest loans are the main way the church invests in local projects. The ability to repay a loan is obviously a key factor. In this way, money is “recycled” for use in various ministry situations. Loans of more than $100,000 are secured by mortgage.

    Some grants are available, especially in financially limited situations. Please check the eligibility criteria carefully, since monies are intentionally targeted toward smaller mission units.

    For more information please visit the United Church of Canada’s website.

    Academic Bursaries

    Alice K. McDonald Fund

    The Alice K. McDonald Bursary was established by Marion Bennell, her brother and her mother to support Candidates (students) for ministry in the Antler River Watershed Regional Council preparing to become ministers of United Church of Canada.

    For more information on this fund please contact:
    Jenna Yango Leonard

    Oxford United Church Endowment Fund

    Winnipeg Presbytery established The Oxford United Church Endowment Fund in December 2002 with a gift representing a portion of the proceeds of the closing of Oxford United Church in Winnipeg.

    Oxford United Church was a congregation in Winnipeg, Manitoba, founded in 1953 in the days of Church Expansion.  Its life and witness was as a neighbourhood church offering C.E. programmes, community & mission outreach, fellowship, and creative worship and music.  Throughout its 49 years, music contributed to the very heartbeat of the community – with many musicals staged, and always significant music leadership for worship!

    The establishment of this Oxford United Church Endowment Fund to support education for music ministry is in recognition of the music, the choirs, and the musicians that led this community of faith in its praise of God through the many changing scenes of our shared life.

    For more information and to apply, please visit their website here.

    The Transformational Learning Fund
    *this Fund is no longer accepting applications for 2024 and will reopen January 1, 2025

    The Transformational Learning Fund was established by the MacNeill family because they wished to support individuals who need resources to improve their socio-economic status and/or increase their transformative leadership.

    In the mid-1950s, Dorothy Bourne and Kenley MacNeill both felt the pull to serve in a leadership capacity in their beloved United Church of Canada. Coming from St. Johns, NL, and Malagash, NS, respectively, Dorothy and Kenley met at the Young People’s Union National Leadership Event at the newly established Atlantic Christian Training Centre (now Tatamagouche Centre). Dorothy soon became ACTC’s first secretary, while Kenley enrolled in further leadership training there. The Centre, with its vision of transformative education and experience-based learning, continued to play an important part in their lives. After marrying, the MacNeill’s returned to the Centre many times as participants, as leaders, and as volunteers. The Centre has always been a place of discovery, offering new models of education, new understandings of group dynamics, as well as new awareness of emerging societal and theological developments. The MacNeill’s established the Transformational Learning Fund to provide people the opportunity to experience the same transformative learning.

    The fund will provide bursaries to students enrolling in educational programs who demonstrate an openness to being transformed through their learning experience.  Applicants either apply, or are nominated by a United Church of Canada outreach ministry. The granting process will be undertaken by the United Church of Canada Foundation, and where possible input from the McNeill Family will be provided.

    Funds are available annually, and we welcome applications and nominations for individuals or programs which provide a transformative learning opportunity and where:

    • The individual/program has limited financial resources.
    • The individual/program has promise and the possibility to be transformative in the lives of the participant(s)
    • The bursary will help offset the schooling/professional development/course costs (including living and travel costs)

    To nominate someone or to apply, please download the application here.

    Indigenous Ministry and Justice

    Healing Fund

    The Healing Fund, established in 1994, offers financial support to grassroots projects that focus on healing and reconciliation. The Healing Fund Council, with representatives from the All Native Circle Conference, British Columbia Native Ministries, and Ontario/Quebec Native Ministries, seeks to represent the diversity of Indigenous communities across the country, determines the fund’s criteria, and evaluates applications.

    Project must be connected to the continuing need for healing from the legacy of the Indian Residential Schools system. Many name a need for mending, restoring, and celebrating—a sense of loss, along with hope for rebuilding identity.

    For more information please visit the United Church of Canada’s website or contact:

    Healing Programs Coordinator
    416-231-7680 ext. 4057
    1-800-268-3781 ext. 4057

    Justice and Reconciliation Fund

    The Justice and Reconciliation Fund was established in 2000 by the Residential Schools Steering Committee of The United Church of Canada to assist the church to understand and respond to the legacy of harm and broken relationships that have resulted from the Indian Residential School system. The fund supports projects, initiated by Conferences, presbyteries, congregations, outreach/community ministries and education centres, that foster dialogue, reconciliation, and relationship-building between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal peoples. Projects initiated outside the church but that meet the goals of the fund and involve church members as participants are also considered.

    The fund considers projects or events that are educational and relationship-building initiatives created specifically to facilitate dialogue, understanding, and right relations between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal peoples within the context of Indian Residential Schools and related Aboriginal justice and rights issues. Since its creation, the fund has supported projects across the country and disbursed over $755,000.

    For additional information, or to apply, please visit the United Church of Canada’s website or contact:

    The United Church of Canada
    3250 Bloor St. West, Suite 200
    Toronto, ON M8X 2Y4
    1-800-268-3781 ext.4128

    Dorothy Jenkins Fund

    The Dorothy Jenkins Fund promotes community development strategies, healing models toward truth and reconciliation, healing the spirit, building right relations, and continuing education for ministry personnel.

    For more information please contact:

    Healing Programs Coordinator
    416-231-7680 ext. 4057
    1-800-268-3781 ext. 4057

    Youth Ministry

    Vision Fund

    The United Church of Canada Youth and Young Adult Vision Fund’s purpose is to provide financial support for youth and young adult ministries and programs in The United Church of Canada. The Fund offers three grants for United Church congregations:

    1. Seed Grants for trips or projects for new initiatives in youth and young adult ministries in the United Church of Canada;
    2. Flourishing Ministries supports identity-shaping and transformative youth and young adult ministries. Two grants are available in every triennial funding cycle; and
    3. Bursaries for continuing education and development of youth and young adult ministry leaders.

    For More information please visit the Vision Fund’s webpage.

    Innovative Ministries

    Good Samaritan Fund

    The Good Samaritan Fund was established by The Good Samaritan Foundation Board of Directors, Montreal Presbytery and the United Church of Canada to carry on the good work of the Griffith McConnell Residence which served the seniors of Montreal for many years.

    This Fund focuses on granting to programs that work with seniors at risk (with special attention paid to those within the Montreal Presbytery’s jurisdiction) which will both benefit most from these funds and remain consistent with the original intent of the mission of The United Church Montreal Homes for Elderly People Griffith-McConnell. Capital improvement projects will not be considered.

    For more information please contact Nakonha:ka Regional Council and visit their website here.

    Diakonia of the United Church Funds

    The Barbara Elliott Trust Fund for Innovative Ministry

    The Barbara Elliott Trust Fund for Innovative Ministry supports innovative and/or non–traditional ministries that find it difficult to secure regular funding. It was established in memory of Diaconal Minister, Barb Elliott.


    Funding Criteria

    1. Financial support from the Barbara Elliott Trust Fund is for ministries that do not have secure regular funding. Funding should be seen as seed money to get new projects started, or for new aspects of existing programs, or to enable a one-time special project, and not for support of ongoing work. A project is only eligible for one grant.
    2. Projects should be led (in staffing or volunteer positions) by diaconal ministers or people whose work in ministry reflects a spirit of commitment to diakonia. Further understanding of this is expressed in the Diakonia of the United Church of Canada Statement of Vision (2009). Applicants are not restricted to those affiliated with the United Church of Canada.
    3. The ministry should be focused on building community strength not primarily on providing support for individuals.
    4. Projects need to demonstrate an identified need for this ministry.
    5. Projects must have a mechanism of accountability to a charitable organization, either as a direct project of a recognized charity, or, be sponsored by a recognized charity. Projects must demonstrate oversight of a volunteer board of management.
    The Kaufman Renewal and Emergency Fund

    The Kaufman Renewal and Emergency Fund is to help with the cost of retreat, reflection, renewal and rest experiences and to make possible a grant or loan for people who are in an emergency situation. United Church Diaconal Ministers and graduates of the Centre for Christian Studies (and its forerunners) are eligible to apply. For a brochure with more information click here.

    Emma was born in what was then Berlin, Ontario (now Kitchener) to German immigrants, Jacob and Mary. Her parents became prominent citizens of Berlin and supported many causes, including the YMCA and YWCA, as well as being active in their church. Following high school, Emma attended the Ontario Ladies’ College in Whitby Ontario, studying household science. Following six months teaching cooking in Japan, she became a student at the Methodist Training School, graduating in 1911. In her second year, Emma was elected Class President. She did extremely well academically, but was also noted for her bargain hunting propensities!

    Following graduation and further training at Teachers’ College, New York and Japanese Language School in Japan, Emma worked at the YWCA of Japan for many years. Although she was wealthy, she insisted on the YWCA paying her an adequate salary (which she promptly donated back) so that her successor would be paid adequately. She purchased land for the new Toyko YWCA, making it clear that she expected to be repaid, although without interest.

    In 1940, Emma returned to Canada and worked with Japanese Canadians who had been interned as enemy aliens in British Columbia. She was the first Canadian to be a member of the World YWCA Executive, which asked her immediately following World War II to survey the needs of women in the Caribbean which eventually led to the development of YWCAs in Jamaica and Trinidad. In 1965, Emma received a citation from International Co-operation Year, honouring her for her services in international affairs, particularly in relation to Japan.

    Emma had a lifelong commitment to deaconesses and to the Training School/Covenant College/ Centre for Christian Studies. She donated a substantial amount of money to set up the Emma R. Kaufman Scholarship through Covenant College, designed for School graduates to study outside of North America. She also made a large donation to help make possible the purchase of Kaufman House as a rest and holiday house. When that site was no longer suitable and the house was sold, the money from it made possible the building of Kaufman Cottage on the Cedar Glen, Ontario property – and later still funds from the sale of that Cottage became the capital for the Kaufman Renewal and Emergency Fund.

    Emma died on March 1, 1979 at the age of 97.

    For more information please visit the Diakonia of The United Church of Canada’s website.

    Environment and Building Energy Reduction

    Faithful Footprints

    United Churches are doing their part to address the climate crisis by gby working to reduce their own carbon emissions. Through a partnership with Faith & the Common Good, the United Church of Canada is offering grants and support for churches to measure their energy use and reduce their climate pollution, in ways that save money and strengthen congregational renewal.

    The United Church of Canada is committing to reducing its carbon emissions by 80% by 2050, in line with the Paris Climate Targets. With an initial focus on buildings – one of the church’s largest source of emissions – the program Faithful Footprints will be working with 500 congregations by 2025 to reduce their energy use and energy costs.

    To find out more and get your congregation involved, visit their website here.

    United Church Women (UCW)

    Agatha Kaasa Bursary Fund

    This bursary is eligible to any woman who is part of the United Church and not in paid accountable ministry and supports leadership training and education, continuing education, and projects or events that promote education, mission, outreach, spiritual nurture, and ecumenical and interfaith dialogue, locally or abroad.

    Application dealines are April 15 (for June 15 decision) and October 15 (for December 15 decision) with a maximum bursary amount of $1,500.

    For more information and to download an application please visit The United Church of Canada’s webstie.

    Dorothy Amos Fund

    This is available to any woman who is a UCW member and supports greater connection of members of the UCW with church women in Canada and around the world. These connections may be fostered by visits, exchanges, or support of UCW members attending special events.

    The application dealine is July 2 (for September 1 decision).

    For more information and to download an application please visit The United Church of Canada’s webstie.


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