FAQs for Current Recipients


What is our grant number?

It is a good idea to memorize your grant number. All correspondence with the Vital Worship, Vital Preaching Grants Team should include your grant number in the subject line.

How important is the Letter of Agreement?

Carefully read the Letter of Agreement you received. After we send you back the countersigned copy keep it handy for easy reference.

What if our contact information changes?

Please notify us in writing (preferably an email to worshipgrants@calvin.edu) if there is any information change regarding personnel or contact information. If for any reason the Project Director is unable to fulfill the responsibilities, please inform us promptly by email.

How often should we communicate with CICW?

We want to support and encourage you throughout the grant year. Feel free to email us with any questions, frustrations or excitements regarding your grant. We will send an occasional email to all project directors to share highlights of some of the grants and to provide additional information or reminders about the grant process. If a telephone conversation would be helpful for you, please let us know by writing to worshipgrants@calvin.edu

Are there any publicity guidelines?

Yes, publicity must ALWAYS be submitted to us for approval in advance. Page 3 of the Letter of Agreement states "No release shall be made without the Institute’s approval." In any publicity or other printed material about this program, this notice must be included: "This program is made possible through a Vital Worship, Vital Preaching Grant from the Calvin Institute of Christian Worship, Grand Rapids, Michigan, with funds provided by Lilly Endowment Inc."

You may wish to establish a relationship with a local reporter who will publish information about your receipt of the grant, about events you are planning that are open to the public, and about results that may emerge from your project. Having photos available will help promote your grant. We ask that you send us links to or copies of any articles that have been published.

Must we use the publicity wording in our church newsletters?

We appreciate your using the publicity guidelines for all public announcements and advertisements. We trust your judgment for using the guidelines in your church’s bulletins and newsletters. While we understand you may not want to repeat the publicity statement every week, we trust you will ensure that your church knows the funding source of your project.

Can we change our project?

If you find new ideas and new learning leads you to propose a change to your plan, within the overall purposes of your approved grant project, please let us know! We would consider those changes along with a budget revision proposal. Just remember that the same restrictions on funding for equipment or personnel, etc., will apply. 

Do you have any financial management suggestions?

A separate checking account for grant funds is strongly encouraged. Good communication between the Project Director, Budget Officer, and anyone who will be involved in financial aspects of the grant, will assure accurate reporting of grant funds.

Can we increase the amount of our grant?

No, we cannot increase the amount of the grant that was approved and awarded.

Can we ask for budget revisions?

Yes. You may need to revise your budget as you implement your project and find that either costs have changed or your learning compels you to go in different directions.

What if people in our congregation want to use grant funds for things not in the budget?

Grant funds cannot be used for purposes other than for the grant project. Also, remember that food costs must be for grant-related events.

Can we apply for another grant next year?

We have learned that it is best to focus on the grant you have this year, and leave thinking about a new grant for another year.

Can we have an extension? A year isn’t long enough!

We have learned that extensions usually are not effective. It is better to stick with your timeline and plan. So, it is important to begin well and to finish well...and on time!

How do we evaluate our grant year?

Don’t forget about the assessment process you described in your grant proposal. Watch for ways to evaluate your project along the way as well as when the grant is completed.

Some key points for evaluation:

  • Are we practicing new habits of worship?
  • Has there been broad ownership of our project, indicating that it will have lasting effects?
  • Have we listened to and recorded feedback received in conversations?

Do staff members of CICW offer consulting and coaching?

Assistance and consultation are available to grant recipients through the expertise of the staff of the Calvin Institute of Christian Worship and some of its recommended partners in topic areas such as leadership and congregational change, collaborative worship planning, music, visual arts and presentational technology, drama and liturgical dance. If you desire some coaching, contact the grants team for advice at worshipgrants@calvin.edu.