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Grants to USA Nonprofits, Agencies, and
Black Churches for Preservation Projects

Preserving Black Churches

Agency Type:

Foundation / Corporation

Funding Source:

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Lilly Endowment Inc. and the African American Cultural Heritage Action Fund

Conf. Date:


LOI Date:


Deadline Date:



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Grants to USA nonprofit organizations, public agencies, and Black churches for preservation projects. Applicants must submit a letter of intent prior to submitting a full proposal. Funding is intended to improve the capacity of preservation organizations, community groups, and historic congregations to manage, steward, and use historic structures. Preserving Black Churches will uplift these often-overlooked places and ensure that the Black churches’ legacy of spirituality, history, and democracy endures.

As the oldest institutions created and controlled by African Americans, Black churches are a living testament to the achievements and resiliency of generations in the face of a racialized and inequitable society.

To preserve and uplift America’s historic places, the Lilly Endowment Inc. and the African American Cultural Heritage Action Fund are investing in an initiative to help historic Black churches and congregations reimagine, redesign, and redeploy historic preservation to address the institutions’ needs and the cultural assets and stories they steward.

Grants from Preserving Black Churches are intended to preserve historic Black houses of worship (with either active or non-active congregations) and advance ongoing preservation activities. Grant funding will strengthen capacity for historic congregations, preservation organizations, and community groups to better steward, manage, and use their historic structures.

Project Categories - Grant awards may be made for activities and projects in the following categories:

  • Capital Projects
  • Project Planning
  • Programming and Interpretation
  • Organizational Capacity Building and Operations 
  • Endowment & Financial Sustainability

For more information, see*w31hlf*_ga*NDU5ODU4NjI0LjE2NTkyNzMyNTE.*_ga_Z0Y4H4RFKN*MTY1OTI3MzI1MS4xLjAuMTY1OTI3MzI1MS42MA..&_ga=2.90255196.718684074.1659273252-459858624.1659273251.

GrantWatch ID#:

GrantWatch ID#: 204895

Estimated Total Program Funding:


Estimated Size of Grant:

Grants range from $50,000 to $200,000.

Additional Eligibility Criteria:

Eligible Applicants include:
- Historic Black Churches with active and non-active congregations. Active congregations are those which hold regular worship services and public programming in historic religious buildings (defined above).
- 501(c)(3) nonprofit organizations stewarding non-active Historic Black Church buildings reused and repurposed for community, programmatic, and interpretive uses are eligible to apply, including statewide and local preservation organizations, churches, accredited private colleges or universities, historic sites, museums, historical societies, and genealogical associations.
- Public agencies: State or local agencies including boards, commissions, departments, accredited public colleges or universities, offices, agencies, public bodies, or political subdivisions of the state or of a county or municipality. Examples include state historic preservation offices, city and county preservation offices and planning departments, state and local commissions focused on different aspects of heritage, and publicly owned historic sites and museums.

Historic Black Churches:
For this grant, eligible applicants are entities representing Historic Black Churches. Historic Black Churches are defined as one or more of the following:
- Religious historic buildings built and erected by Black congregations and continuously occupied by active Black congregations.
- Religious historic buildings designed and/or constructed by Black architects/builders, currently occupied by active Black congregations, or repurposed for Arts, Culture, Community, and Social Justice programs.
- Religious historic buildings not originally built by or for Black congregations, but continuously occupied by an active Black congregation for at least 50 years.
- Active historic Black congregations that are a part of historic Black religious denominations including, but not limited to African Methodist Episcopal Church (AME), African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church (AMEZ), the Baptist Church, Christian Methodist Episcopal Church (CME), Church of God in Christ (COGIC), Non-denominational.
- Active historic Black congregations that are a part of traditional religious denominations including, but not limited to the Baptist Church, Episcopal Church, Lutheran Church, United Methodist Church, Presbyterian Church, Catholic Church, Non-denominational.
- Non-Christian Black congregations and churches* (non-Christian churches will be funded on a case-by-case basis in consultation with the Lilly Endowment).

For ineligible activities and expenses, see*jb6fvd*_ga*NjI4ODM5NjI3LjE2NTkyODgyNzI.*_ga_Z0Y4H4RFKN*MTY1OTI4ODI3Mi4xLjAuMTY1OTI4ODI3Mi42MA..

Pre-proposal Conference:

Register for an informational webinar on August 10 at 1:30 p.m. ET:

Pre-Application Information:

There is a two-step process to receive a grant from Preserving Black Churches:
- Letter of Intent (LOI) Deadline: Friday, September 2, 2022, at 11:59 pm local time.
- Full Proposal Application Deadline: Thursday, November 10, 2022

The Letter of Intent review period will take approximately six weeks. All applicants will be notified of their status at the end of this initial review period, likely in late October. If the applicant’s LOI is accepted, a full application will be requested. Instructions on how to complete the full application will be sent only to those applicants moving forward. You will have approximately four weeks to complete and submit the full application once you receive a notice to proceed.

Matching Requirements
- Grants from Preserving Black Churches may be used to fund up to 100% of the proposed project.
- Matching funds are not required for the following funding categories: Capital Projects, Project Planning, Programming and Interpretation, and Organizational Capacity Building and Operations. Projects in these categories that are leveraging additional investments are strongly preferred.
- Matching funds are required for the Endowment & Financial Sustainability funding category. Existing funding received from the African American Cultural Heritage Action Fund's National Grant Program cannot be used as match for the African American Cultural Heritage Action Fund’s Preserving Black Churches Endowment & Financial Sustainability grants.

For more information, see*w31hlf*_ga*NDU5ODU4NjI0LjE2NTkyNzMyNTE.*_ga_Z0Y4H4RFKN*MTY1OTI3MzI1MS4xLjAuMTY1OTI3MzI1MS42MA..&_ga=2.90255196.718684074.1659273252-459858624.1659273251.


Contact Information:

Before starting your grant application, please review the funding source's website listed below for updates/changes/addendums/conferences/LOIs.

Log in to apply:

To learn more, email

National Trust for Historic Preservation
2600 Virginia Avenue NW
Suite 1100
Washington, DC 20037

URL for Full Text (RFP):

Geographic Focus:

USA: Alabama;   Alaska;   Arizona;   Arkansas;   California;   Colorado;   Connecticut;   Delaware;   Florida;   Georgia;   Hawaii;   Idaho;   Illinois;   Indiana;   Iowa;   Kansas;   Kentucky;   Louisiana;   Maine;   Maryland;   Massachusetts;   Michigan;   Minnesota;   Mississippi;   Missouri;   Montana;   Nebraska;   Nevada;   New Hampshire;   New Jersey;   New Mexico;   New York City;   New York;   North Carolina;   North Dakota;   Ohio;   Oklahoma;   Oregon;   Pennsylvania;   Rhode Island;   South Carolina;   South Dakota;   Tennessee;   Texas;   Utah;   Vermont;   Virginia;   Washington, DC;   Washington;   West Virginia;   Wisconsin;   Wyoming

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