The diocese offers several forms of financial assistance to congregations and individuals, in the form of grants, loans or scholarships.
Funds are available to help support campus ministry initiatives in the diocese. Note that recipients of the Campus Ministry Grants are required to participate in the Campus Ministry Collaborative.
The Church Foundation, an elected body of the diocese, awards grants primarily for one-time capital projects and/or emergency assistance for facility improvements. The trustees also are the title holders and have oversight of diocesan properties.
To apply for a Church Foundation grant:
- Complete the online application. Have the Vestry/Mission Council pass a resolution allowing the church to ask for the funds. Attach the resolution and other supporting documentation to the online application, OR send all requested documentation to the Diocese of Southern Ohio, 412 Sycamore Street, Cincinnati, Ohio 45202.
- The Secretary (diocesan finance officer) reviews the paperwork for completeness. The congregation’s history of diocesan support, the payment of pledges and assessments, will be examined. The Secretary places the request on the next quarterly meeting’s agenda. Only in rare instances, such as emergency situations, is the request voted on by the Trustees through a mail poll or telephone poll. Applicants should verify they are in compliance with the Bishop’s letter dated October 12, 2021, and the requested title and deed information be on file or accompanies the grant application.
- The Trustees of Church Foundation review the request. If approved, the secretary will notify the church, and the funds will be disbursed. If not approved, the secretary will inform the congregation as to why the request was denied.
Contact the Finance office at 800.582.1712 for any further information.
Commission on Congregational Life
The Commission on Congregational Life is responsible for developing and implementing a mission strategy for the diocese. The commission is charged with encouraging, supporting, evaluating and seeking opportunities for development and growth of all fellowships, missions and parishes of the diocese. CoCL offers grants to congregations for this purpose.
Questions may be directed to the Rev. Michael Tigner at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Continuing Formation (Professional Development)
It is expected that clergy serving full-time in congregations or other communities of faith be granted two weeks leave (separate from vacation leave) for professional development. The cost of continuing education courses and programs usually are divided between the clergyperson, the congregation or other community of faith he or she serves, and the diocese.
Energy Efficiency Grants/Loans
The Church Trustees, along with the Creation Care and Environmental Justice Task Force, have created a grant opportunity for diocesan congregations to take advantage of energy efficiency measures. The Task Force has been working over the past year to bring awareness to congregations of our need to be stewards of God’s creation. One opportunity we have is to utilize more energy efficient measures in our churches. This grant opportunity is open to all congregations to make their facilities more energy efficient and create less of a burden on creation.
Each congregation can apply for a $10,000 grant to improve the energy efficiency of their parish along with applying for a $10,000 loan at 3% interest payable monthly over five (5) years. The Trustees and the Task Force believe we can make an impact on our environment while at the same time saving our churches some money. Parishes are encouraged to find opportunities to improve their facilities by considering lighting, heating/cooling, water conservation and a variety of other opportunities to save money and assist creation.
Episcopal Community Ministries
Episcopal Community Ministries awards grants to congregations and affiliated ministries in addressing the issues of poverty.
Episcopal congregations, teams, task forces or commissions of the diocese are encouraged to apply for grants to support and create opportunities for ministries and programs that meet human need within the Diocese of Southern Ohio.
To see ECM’s funding criteria, grant application instructions and to download a copy of the grant application click here.
Faith in Life
Faith-in-Life was established as a commission of the diocese to administer an endowment fund set up as a result of the Second Century Campaign of the Diocese of Southern Ohio in 1974. The income of the trust has funded many programs and projects through the oversight of the Faith-in-Life commission.
For more information please contact the Rev. Canon Jason Oden, committee chair, at email@example.com.
The 141st Convention of the Diocese of Southern Ohio passed a resolution to support the new Sustainable Development Goals adopted in 2015 by the United Nations. As affirmed at the 145th annual convention in 2019, the diocese will continue designating 0.7% of our mission share budget for annual grants to organizations and groups that are affiliated with The Episcopal Church or are working in partnership with a parish, organization or individual in the Diocese of Southern Ohio that is involved in mission that support the SDGs and has been granted 501(c)(3) non-profit status by the Internal Revenue Service. The Canon to Formation has been tasked with managing the grant process.
The SDGs expand upon the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and create a broader range of mission that might be supported by a SDG Grant.
Funds must be used only as specified in the mission project proposal. Any unused funds must be returned to the diocese. Grants are only awarded for mission work outside of the United States in developing nations. Grants are not renewable, but new grant applications may be submitted in subsequent years. The maximum grant amount is $7,000.
Grants are awarded twice a year:
· January 1
· July 2
A report is required upon completion of the mission project and is due by December 1 for all grants and must be submitted before applications can be submitted for the following year.
Inquiries, applications and reports should be sent to:
Diocese of Southern Ohio
800.582.1712 or 513.421.0311 ext. 103
PLEASE NOTE: There is no funding for this program in 2023. Funding will be reinstated in 2024. If you have a program that you would like to receive funding in 2023, please contact Kristi Reynolds in the Bishop’s office for assistance.
William Cooper Procter Memorial Fund
Through a trust fund established by William Cooper Procter, the Diocese of Southern Ohio has a unique opportunity to reach out in areas of special ministry, providing “…support for innovative activities which go beyond the day to day operations of the church.” The Procter Fund earnings are allocated annually by the Bishop and Trustees of the Diocese, subject to program evaluation, in four distinct areas of activity following the four criteria as determined by the terms of the bequest.
Under the terms of the bequest, annual budget and grant decisions as well as oversight of the investment of the Procter Fund are the responsibility of the Bishop and Trustees.
The Four Criteria
“The giving of relief to those in trouble and need, especially where there would be an opportunity for restoring physical, mental or spiritual well being.”
- “The building up of the quality of the clergy in the Diocese by perpetuation of the plans for grants to supplement salaries in churches where there is real promise for the future.”
- “The development of a more widespread sense of responsibility in the parishes and missions of the Diocese for the support of the missionary work of the Church. Grants should be made on the same such basis as was used in connection with the refinancing fund given by Mr. Procter in 1933: aid is given to certain churches in time of emergency in return for an agreement pledging those churches to adequate support of the Church’s program.”
- “The use of grants to take advantage of unusual opportunities for advance work in the Church’s as distinct from the regular running expenses covered by the budget. The responsibility for the maintenance of the regular work must be borne by the rank and file of its membership, but opportunity should be offered to support any experiments which would afford a chance to take a step forward. The essential unity of the Church’s work requires that there should be no geographical limitations upon these grants so long as the purposes of the fund, as described above, are expressed in the use of this income. Part of the annual income from this fund shall be used for the work of the Church outside of the Diocese of Southern Ohio.
How to apply
During times of Bishop transitions, the Bishop’s discretionary fund is approved by the Diocesan Chapter. With this new process you are asked to complete an application that can be found at the link below.
Applications are reviewed quarterly and must be submitted by the dates listed below.
1st Quarter submittal date – March 1
2nd Quarter submittal date – May 30
3rd Quarter submittal date – August 30
4th Quarter submittal date – December 1
The Chapter seeks to support the best possible projects linking the Diocese and its congregations to the community within the guidelines of the four criteria and the Diocese’s priorities. The goal is to help strengthen the work of the Church by supporting innovative projects. Site visits are sometimes included in the ongoing evaluation of Procter Fund projects.
A letter of interest describing the proposal may prove helpful to send along with your application. The completed application should be mailed to:
The William Cooper Procter Memorial Fund
Diocese of Southern Ohio
412 Sycamore Street
Cincinnati, OH 45202-4179
ATT: The Diocesan Chapter
For more information, contact Kristi Reynolds, Diocese of Southern Ohio, via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Mail can be sent to 412 Sycamore Street, Cincinnati, OH 45202. Phone: 513-421-0311.
412 Sycamore, Inc.
Before applying to the 412 Sycamore, Inc. Trustees for a mortgage, the congregation must have the approval of the Diocesan Standing Committee for an encumbrance on their church property. See encumbrances policy.
- Once the Church has received the Standing Committee’s approval for an encumbrance, the application is submitted to the Diocesan Financial Officer. The Diocesan Financial Officer is also Corporate Secretary for 412 Sycamore, Inc. The Financial Officer, usually, automatically submits the request to the Trustees of 412 Sycamore, Inc. once the Standing Committee has approved. Most of the documents required have already been given to the Financial Officer, when the congregation requested the encumbrance from the Standing Committee. Some paperwork might need to be updated or more recent financial statements might be required.
- The approval or disapproval of the mortgage by the Trustees of 412 Sycamore, Inc. will be communicated to the congregation by the Financial Officer.
- The law firm of Porter, Wright, Morris & Arthur in Columbus will prepare the necessary legal documents including the title opinion, Promissory Note and Mortgage Deed. The Note and Mortgage will then be sent to the congregation for execution and return. The Senior Warden and Junior Warden are responsible for signing the note and loan documents. The congregation should also furnish a copy of its fire and extended coverage insurance policy with “loss payable” endorsement naming 412 Sycamore, Inc. as mortgagee to the Financial Officer. The amount of the insurance coverage should not be less than the amount of the loan.
- Upon receipt of the executed documents, the Financial Officer is authorized to release the loan proceeds to the congregation. All legal fees are the responsibility of the church.
- The Finance Department at the Diocese will set up the monthly invoicing of the loan. Mortgage payments are due monthly, normally the first of the month.
- In the event of a parochial housing loan, the 412 Sycamore, Inc. loan is to the church, with the mortgage recorded on the church property. The church is responsible and required to lend the proceeds to the minister, and duly secure and record a mortgage on the priest’s house. Proof of the legal documents securing the church’s loan is required before release of diocesan money.
Episcopal Church Building Fund (ECBF)
The Episcopal Church Building Fund (ECBF) assists parishes and ministries by providing loans for building and renovation projects. They invite applications for projects large and small.
ECBF has a long history of serving Episcopal Church ministries. ECBF was founded in 1880 in response to the rapid expansion of the Episcopal Church in the United States. Over the course of these 125+ years, they have assisted in building new churches, helped congregations to grow, and provided guidance in opening church doors to important ministries. And when you borrow through ECBF, your interest payments are reinvested to support the critical, forward-thinking work of ECBF—and the growth of this church.
You can access their website at https://www.ecbf.org/loans
The Diocese of Southern Ohio offers scholarship assistance to women and minority students who qualify under certain guidelines.
Book of Remembrance Memorial Scholarship Fund
The ECW Book of Remembrance Scholarship Fund provides scholarships for lay and ordained women of the diocese to do graduate study in areas related to church work, special ministries, and helping professions. Funds are also available for short-term non-degree training in workshops, special seminars and skills training, in church related or social service fields.
The ECW Book of Remembrance, started in 1926 by the Women’s Auxiliary of the diocese, the predecessor to Episcopal Church Women, is a listing by parish of deceased women whose congregations want to honor their memory. The request for entry of a name can be submitted by a congregation, ECW or individual, along with a donation of at least $15. Donations are added to a trust fund which provides the scholarships.
Every parish benefits from the work of women who serve God and church without thought of reward. We hope that your congregation or ECW will support the ECW Book of Remembrance Memorial Scholarship Fund and honor the memory of cherished deceased women of your congregation by submitting their names for inclusion in the ECW Book of Remembrance. The names of women added to the Book by August 31 are read during the celebration of the Eucharist at the annual ECW conference held each Fall, at which time the Book is placed on display.
Checks should be payable to ECW Book of Remembrance. Scholarship applications should be requested in time to submit them by March 1. Applications for assistance for short-term training can be submitted at any time.
To get a scholarship application or to submit a name for the ECW Book of Remembrance, please contact:
1309 Manchester Ave. Apt 1B, Middletown OH 45042
Lawrence Home Association Academic Grant for Minority Women
The Lawrence Home Association, founded in 1896 under the will of philanthropist Eleanor Earnshaw, was started to “provide a Christian home for self-supporting, young women on limited means, the most important aim being to help them elevate their standard of life.” To this day, the Lawrence Home Association provides opportunities for young women.
An eight-member board of women, appointed by the bishop, meets once a year to vote on recommendations for academic grants for minority women, scholarships for clergy daughters and funding for social-service agencies whose mission is to serve women of limited means and help them move out of conditions related to poverty, abuse, etc.
The purpose of the Academic Grant for Minority Women program is to help finance the postsecondary education of minority women, regardless of age, who are affiliated with an Episcopal church within the Diocese of Southern Ohio.
The association expects to make eight grants in 2022. The application deadline is March 25, 2022. All applicants for the 2022-23 grant period will be selected by April 21, 2022, and notified after May 1 about the status of their applications.
- The Academic Grant for Minority Women is open to all minority women who are affiliated with an Episcopal church in the Diocese of Southern Ohio.
- Applicants must be in pursuit of a postsecondary education in a degreed program or on a postsecondary track toward a professional certification.
- No age restrictions apply.
- No socioeconomic criteria apply.
- Applicants must fill out a brief application (links below) that includes a biography and an essay to be considered.
- Applications must be signed by a member of the clergy in the Diocese of Southern Ohio.
- Grant awards are limited to four consecutive years, beginning with the 2023-24 academic year for undergraduate studies.
- Grant awards for master’s or doctoral students are limited to two consecutive years beginning with the 2023-24 academic year.
- Grant awards are based on the availability of funding for the Lawrence Home Association’s Academic Grant for Minority Women program.
- Upon award, applicants must present a class schedule or school registration.
Lawrence Home Association tuition assistance for clergy daughters
Tuition assistance is available for daughters of priests who are in active service in the diocese. The grants are offered by the Lawrence Home Clergy Daughters Tuition Assistance program. Candidates must be undergraduate students in the 2022-2023 academic year.
Priests who have a daughter who meets these qualifications should contact Kristi Reynolds at email@example.com by March 17, 2023 with the following information:
- Your name
- Home address
- Daughter’s name
- Academic status year i.e. sophomore, etc.
- Name of college/institution
Students are eligible to receive a grant each year for up to four years. Last year’s recipients must resubmit their names to be considered for the 2022-23 grant. Requests arriving after the deadline will not be considered for assistance. Please contact Kristi Reynolds with any questions at firstname.lastname@example.org or 513.421.0311 ext 103.
Minority Empowerment Initiative Trust
The Minority Empowerment Initiative Trust awards scholarships to minority students. Black high school graduates living in the Diocese of Southern Ohio, who have been admitted to an accredited school or program of advanced learning are eligible to apply for a grant. Priority is given to those students with the greatest economic need, as judged by the MEIT board.
These federal funds are available to all eligible students who are pursuing higher education. All MEIT grant applicants must provide a copy of an approval or disapproval letter for a PELL Grant. if an applicant is not eligible for a PELL Grant, information verifying the family income must accompany their application, i.e., current tax and payroll statements.
MEIT grants are designed to leverage the applicant’s available school resources and ensure the student’s ability to attend school. Before consideration can be given to a grant request, applicants are required to show that the majority of the funds needed for school are available. If there is a significant difference between what is available to the student and what is needed, the application is likely to be rejected.
- Applicants must provide written evidence, as requested, to confirm compliance with the above statements. Subsequent yearly grants are not automatically given. A new application must be filed each year.
- Application must be typed and completed. Any omissions must be explained in writing. Unexplained omissions will result in the application being rejected
- All figures must be legibly recorded and added and/or subtracted correctly. Mathematical errors will result in the application being rejected.
- All required documentation must be attached to the application. Documentation includes:
- A signed copy of a current income tax return
- A written statement from the academic institution verifying all school costs listed in the application
- A copy of your PELL Grant Award or rejection letter, if applicable.
- The information should be believable. For example, an application showing expenses that far exceed the income shown, raises suspicions about the authenticity of the information provided. If the above situation is determined, the application will be rejected.
- All grants are paid directly to the school by academic quarter or semester, upon reciept of a billing statement from the school.
- If there are unusual extenuating circumstances that you wish to share regarding an application, please attach an additional page.
- Limited staff will not allow continuous debate about any aspect of the application. All decisions by the MEIT Board are final. Applicants are strongly encouraged to ask questions before submitting their application. Questions should be directed to the Rev. Dr. Benjamin Speare-Hardy II at email@example.com.
- Timeline for submitting applications: May 1 until funds are exhausted.