Developing a Grant Proposal


The process for developing a grant proposal for your worshiping community’s project has several steps:

1. Gather a Collaborative Team

Developing your grant proposal should be a group effort. Therefore, the first step is to gather a group from your organization’s leadership and community who can explore and learn about worship together.

2. Identify a Project Director

From your group, select a project director. The project director’s main roles are to administer the grant project and be the point of contact with the Calvin Institute of Christian Worship.

3. Study What Vital Worship Means

Review the following resources as you consider your grant proposal.

Required Reading:

Additional Resources:

4. Discuss Your Context

The SWOT assessment tool—which stands for Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats—will help your project team assess the context of the proposal. Assessing these factors about your community will help you determine the best path to success for your project.

Find the SWOT Tool

Use these guiding questions to start the conversation about your community’s context.


  • What does your worshiping community do really well?
  • What do congregants and visitors remark on as gifts your community possesses?
  • How does your community bring glory to God?
  • What does your community do to affirm the gifts of God’s people?
  • Does your community have unique resources that others might not have?


  • In which areas of ministry does your organization most often falter?
  • Which activities do you find hard to sustain?
  • In what areas of ministry do you feel you lack the appropriate gifts or resources?
  • Which potential directions have the highest likelihood of resistance, in both your community and your leadership?
  • How do your members deal with change?


  • What opportunities for ministry exist that you haven’t pursued yet?
  • Are there possible matches you can see between the gifts God has given you and the needs in your community?
  • Which populations might you address more in your community?
  • What resources and connections do you have that you could tap into?
  • Where do you see potential energy for new ideas and activities?


  • What challenges and obstacles might you face during this project?
  • Which attitudes or trends might endanger new ideas and initiatives in your community?
  • Are there any economic or demographic trends that might affect you negatively now, or in the future?
  • Where might there be resistance to new initiatives?

5. Refine Your Ideas

The following resources will help you develop your grant proposal. Search our database of past grants and sample proposals to get started:

If after reading these materials you are uncertain whether your project idea fits, you may request a consultation with the CICW grants team. To schedule a consultation, email

6. Apply for a Grant

Create an account in our Grant Management System. To complete your profile, you will need your organization’s tax ID number.

Enter your answers to the application questions. Note that the system allows you to:

  • Save your work and return to it later
  • Preview the full application before submitting it
  • Create a PDF of the proposal form to share with others