Congregation Social Service Outreach Ministry

Funding Strategy


Funding Goal

To positively impact the lives of hurting people by strengthening the capacity of and supporting congregations in becoming an integral part of the health and well-being of their community.


Social service outreach ministry is defined for this Funding Focus Area as activities or services designed to reach out to others on a local level (St. Louis metropolitan region). Examples include a food pantry, senior visitation program, after-school program for youth, citizenship classes for New Americans, and much more.  The focus is on bringing the care of Jesus Christ into the lives of hurting people in the community, rather than serving the congregation’s own members. This funding focus area is not meant to support “Word and Sacrament” activities.


Target Population

Our grant support will focus on Christian congregations (primary), social service outreach ministries (primary), and faith-based organizations (secondary).


Impact Areas

Impact Areas describe, in broad terms, the measurable change within each Funding Focus Area that Lutheran Foundation would like to see in the lives of those served by Grantees.  Impact Areas allow the Foundation to aggregate outcomes across multiple Grantees to determine our community impact.

Organizations seeking funding from the Foundation must demonstrate how their program will address one or more of the following Impact Areas:


  • Impact Area #1: Congregations/organizations have in place quality social service outreach ministries that meet the needs and assets of the congregation/organization and the community.
  • Impact Area #2: Congregations/organizations believe that part of their response to the Gospel is to become engaged in the hurting lives of people in the community.
  • Impact Area #3: Those served by congregation/organization social service outreach ministries experience improved outcomes.



Potential Funding Interests

Regular Grants

Any St. Louis area Christian congregation can apply for a grant to support a new or expanded social service outreach ministry effort. Existing ministries will be considered but are not a priority.

Mini Grants

Any Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod (LCMS) congregation in the St. Louis area can apply for a Congregation Mini Grant. The geographic area supported by the Foundation is identified in our Core Values.  Congregation Mini Grants are available for up to $5,000; a church can only have one active Congregation Mini Grant at a time.


Multi-Year Funding
Lutheran Foundation is open to providing grant support for more than one year for a particular program (typically awarded annually), although funding for the same program is usually limited to a total of three (3) years.  Tracking and reporting requirements will increase with each subsequent year of funding.  For more information, see the Application & Reporting Requirements section and/or the User's Guide.

Beyond Funding
Lutheran Foundation is interested in seeing our grantees’ efforts thrive.  Thus, in addition to providing funding, the Foundation partners with Send Me St. Louis to offer capacity building support to area congregations and faith-based organizations through trainings and one-on-one consultation to:  

  • Equip congregations and faith-based organizations with tools and knowledge;
  • Inspire congregations and faith-based organizations with faith tools, resources, and stories; and
  • Help congregations and faith-based organizations participate in meaningful acts of service.

Click here to learn more about the organization and how your congregation/organization can access these valuable services.