Free Money for Your Youth Ministry | UMC YoungPeople
Connecting young people and their adult leaders to God, the church, and the world
April 2018

Free Money for Your Youth Ministry

By Amy Shreve

Do you have a new idea for ministry, but need the money to get it off the ground? Think about writing a grant to get it started.
Grants for innovative ministry ideas are out there and could really change your ministry and impact.

I recommend getting a team together to help you write a grant. The first step is to know your problem and clearly state your need. Then, design a program that addresses that need.

Once you have that basic information, you can look for potential funders and determine who might fund your program. That’s where grants come in. Grants can be competitive and specific, so look local and national. Get to know the funder, give them a call and ask what type of projects they fund. Be sure your project fits the funder. Review the application or the questions the funder asks. Then begin writing the grant.

These are some online resources that will help you understand the typical application process:

Here are a few grants available for United Methodist-Affiliated ministries:



Open for Applications



UMC Young People

Creative approaches to ministry with, for, and by young people

June 1

UMC Collegiate / Rule 2

Various size grants and purposes from student initiated, continued program support, and innovative ideas


March 14

Young Clergy Initiative

assist young people to listen, discern, respond well to God’s calling



Youth Service Fund

project must involve youth in all aspects of the ministry. Youth ages 12-18, up to 24 for international projects


June 1

In addition to these high-level grants, many conferences have funds available either through grants or scholarships that can help you fund similar projects, and even help you send students to camps or retreats who cannot afford it. Simply call your conference office and ask for the information!

God keeps calling me into ministry with the church. After graduating from Ohio Wesleyan University with a useful Pre-Theology degree, I moved to Champaign, Illinois to work as a church youth director. Over 12 years, I have had the pleasure to work for three churches facilitating youth and family ministries and now serve the Illinois Great Rivers Conference supporting college ministry while pursing a Master’s in Nonprofit Administration. I am married to a professor and we have two kids. I enjoy camping, podcasts, and making friends.