Building Churches and Other Facilities

Goals

To meet the facility needs of evolving or growing Catholic communities through construction, expansion, or renovation of critical facilities.

Summary

Building Churches and Other Facilities funding helped the expanding St. Mary Presentation parish community in the Diocese of Spokane
Click here to find out how “Building Churches and Other Facilities” funding helped the expanding St. Mary Presentation parish community in the Diocese of Spokane.

Catholic Extension funds the construction, expansion, or renovation of churches and facilities that enable the dynamic practice of faith and promote the experience of church community. In this category, Catholic Extension will consider the facility needs of a diocese, to help ensure that spaces are adequately-sized, safe, and that they meet the needs of the local populations. Catholic Extension will favor those projects where the communities have urgent facility needs, a convincing funding strategy and business plan, demonstrated strong local support for the proposed project, and evidence of their limited means to raise all of the funds themselves. Catholic Extension only supports active building and renovation projects and does not give funds to service debt on projects where work has been completed. Therefore, the ideal point at which Catholic Extension should be engaged for this funding is when a parish/organization is still actively raising funds and the project is within one year or less from starting.

 

Qualifying Funding Areas

Catholic Extension will consider funding minor and major facility requests only for the following types of facilities:

  • Church Buildings - places that regularly celebrate the liturgy
  • Community Space - places where a community can convene outside of the liturgy (i.e. parish halls and parish community centers)
  • Program Space - facilities that provide religious education and other church ministries
  • Residential Facilities for Ministers – modest housing for leaders in extremely under-resourced communities
  • Temporary Structures - for faith communities in transition due to population changes, recent disaster, etc.

Please note:

  • Catholic Extension only supports active church building and renovation projects and does not give funding to service debt on completed projects.
  • Catholic Extension does not offer funding for building projects for Catholic schools.

Minor Funding Requests

Catholic Extension will fund up to 100% of the following minor projects only for the most under-resourced applicants:

  • Repairs - periodic improvements that are necessary for a fully functioning space
  • Equipment/Small Furnishing Needs - audio equipment, chairs, other basic furnishings etc.

Major Funding Requests

Catholic Extension will consider funding a portion of a major building project's total budget, the amount of which is determined on a case-by-case basis. Funding amounts generally do not exceed $100,000. The following building projects will be considered for all applicants in mission dioceses:

  • Renovation - major enhancement or restoration of existing church building or facility space due to age, weather-related needs, updated safety-code requirements, or natural disasters
  • Expansion - enlargement of a church building or facility space, necessitated by community growth
  • New Church Construction - a new church building or facility space, justified by the needs of the community

Major funding requests will be handled in two ways:

  1. Matching Challenge - This funding approach is intended for expansion, renovation, and new construction projects. After presentation and approval of the request, funding strategy and church business plan, Catholic Extension will pledge a specific amount and lay out the matching challenge benchmarks and conditions. The matching challenge duration, funding amount and aggressiveness will be handled on a case-by-case basis. Such factors will be considered: parish financial capacity, fundraising to date, and the actual building project timeline. The qualifying matching dollars must be raised after the matching challenge approval date. Any fundraising and pledges made prior to the matching grant approval date will not count toward the matching challenge. However, these savings and funds will be noted as a demonstration of the project's momentum and feasibility. If the intended recipient fails to raise matching dollars in the agreed upon period of time, the matching offer will be rescinded.
  2. Final Dollars - This funding approach will be used for both small and large-scale church building projects, including expansion, renovation, and new church construction. If the funding request is approved, Catholic Extension will pledge the last portion of funding. The size of the agreed upon commitment will be largely dependent upon the following factors:
    1. The financial need of the community
    2. The urgency of the facility request
    3. The community’s demonstrated initiative and participation in the fundraising and/or building process
    4. An analysis of the investment’s ability to energize the community or enhance its mission
    5. The availability of Catholic Extension funding

Funding Request Document Requirements*

For small equipment and minor repairs

  • Online Funding Request
  • Letter of endorsement from the diocesan bishop (one letter is sufficient for simultaneously submitted requests, but a copy of that letter should be attached to each request)
  • Financial statements of the parish/community sponsoring the project 
  • Project Budget - Delineation of repair or equipment cost estimates and relevant documentation to support such estimates, and other sources of revenue. 
  • Any relevant documentation on fundraising activity to date, if applicable

For renovation, expansion and new church building projects

  • Online Funding Request
  • Letter of endorsement from the diocesan bishop (one letter is sufficient for simultaneously submitted request, but a copy of that letter should be attached to each request)
  • Financial statements of the parish/community sponsoring the project
  • Project Budget - Delineation of construction cost estimates and relevant documentation to support such estimates
  • Drawings or sketches of current structure and proposed end product
  • Business plan for building, detailing plans for ongoing maintenance and uses of the facility
  • Funding plan and any relevant documentation on fundraising activity to date 
  • Relevant insurance documentation, if the building was destroyed or damaged

*Please explain fully in writing if any of these documents are unobtainable or excessively burdensome to procure.