We are church together, working toward a just world where all are fed.
ELCA World Hunger Domestic Hunger Grants accompany congregations and their partners throughout the United States and Caribbean as they draw on the strengths of communities to address local issues such as food security, clean water, housing, job readiness, human rights, policy change, leadership development and more. Together, these ministries are part of a comprehensive approach to breaking the cycle of poverty and hunger — for good.
To learn more about ELCA World Hunger and to apply, check out the resources on this page.
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Accompaniment of communities toward a just world where all are fed means breaking down barriers between neighbors, ensuring just laws and policies for all and addressing the root causes of hunger. That’s why ELCA World Hunger is excited to partner with ministries and projects that are transformative, holistic and integrated, providing bread for today and hope for tomorrow.
Transformative ministries work to break down barriers, reduce inequality and build strong relationships that can move us toward a just world where all are fed. Transformative ministries build relationships across the lines that divide our communities with an eye toward justice for all. This might look like projects focused on reducing disparities based on race, gender, economic status, sexuality or citizenship.
The ELCA is called to be both a serving and a liberating presence in the world, meeting the immediate needs of neighbors through mercy and working for long-term, systemic change through advocacy. For example, many holistic ministries start with food — and then address the broader challenges that lie at the root of hunger and poverty. Holistic ministries may address these root causes by creating opportunities for people facing hunger to advocate for meaningful policy change, or they may organize the people most affected for collective community action.
Integrated ministries draw on the many strengths of communities to respond to need in multiple, related ways. Maybe this means providing food for families while advocating for affordable housing, building case management into a financial literacy program or providing safe space for people who are vulnerable while offering job readiness assistance. Addressing multiple causes of hunger and poverty through integrated services can make ministries and projects more sustainable and effective.
Click the image below to read the story of Table Grace Café, an integrated ministry in Omaha, Neb.
Our Domestic Ministry Partnerships and Investments
This year, ELCA World Hunger is partnering through Domestic Hunger Grants with 77 ministries spread out across 63 synods and 33 states (plus Puerto Rico and Washington, D.C.).
ELCA World Hunger is also investing in five ministries that demonstrate excellence, innovation and best practices that align with ELCA World Hunger’s priority areas in substantial, sustainable ways through one-time Big Dream grants. Big Dream grants are by invitation.
Sign up here to receive news from ELCA World Hunger about what our incredible ministry partners are up to!
Domestic Hunger Grant Application Essentials
- Awards will be for a three-year cycle, with a maximum award of $10,000 per year, contingent upon fund availability and the completion of annual evaluations.
- New applications are accepted annually. The application period typically opens in spring.
- At a minimum, ELCA World Hunger Domestic Hunger Grant applicants must be:
- a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization;
- able to demonstrate a strong, recognized and established relationship with a congregation, ministry or institution of the ELCA;
- able to demonstrate a strong, recognized and established relationship with the community in which the work will take place; and
- actively engaged in the work described in the application.
- Given the priority areas described above, ELCA World Hunger especially seeks to support ministries that:
- clearly address root causes of hunger in communities;
- demonstrate strong commitment to diversity and inclusion in leadership and decision-making, including direct engagement of people who themselves are experiencing hunger or poverty;
- create or foster opportunities for advocacy toward systemic change;
- leverage local assets through partnerships with other local ministries and organizations and invest their own time and financial resources in the ministry.
- As a ministry of the church, ELCA World Hunger will prioritize ELCA congregations in the award process.
- Organizations that discriminate among guests and neighbors, require participation in faith-related activities as a prerequisite for services or apply as “pass-through” organizations will not be considered for funding.
What you need to apply
- Your organization’s contact and tax identification information. If awarded a grant, you will be required to provide a current letter verifying your organization’s 501(c)(3) status.
- The current budget for your organization and the projected budget for the ministry described in your application.
- A personal testimonial from a participant in your project or ministry that describes its impact for them and/or their community -- in their own words.
- A letter of support, from rostered or lay leadership of an ELCA congregation, that illustrates the relationship between the ministry and the congregation. How does the ministry’s relationship with the congregation nurture life-changing relationships with God, one another and the world? If the applicant is an ELCA congregation itself, the letter can come from its own leadership.
- Registration open: April 1-May 31, 2019
NOTE: Applicants must be registered in ELCA GrantMaker to access the application. Allow up to two weeks for registration approval. If you have not registered by May 31st, you will not be able to start a new application. If you have already registered in ELCA GrantMaker, you do not need to register again.
- Application open: April 15-June 17, 2019
- Application review: July-September 2019
- Awards announced: November 2019
Check back soon to apply.
To learn more about Domestic Hunger Grants and the new ELCA Grantmaker system, click on the link below for FAQ and a recorded webinar that reviews our granting priorities and covers the basics of applying.
Webinar and FAQs