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Faith Capacity Building Grant

Faith institutions in the Southern U.S. have long been a cornerstone in African American communities in the Southern United States not only for spiritual and religious guidance, but social change and movements to address racial equity, economic disparities, voting rights, and housing conditions. More recently, faith institutions have begun to address health promotion and disease prevention including HIV/AIDS. The purpose of this funding opportunity is to advance the ability for a diverse array of congregations, including Christian churches, synagogues, mosques, and temples, and faith-based organizations to develop programs and initiatives or conduct research in their local religious communities that promote positive faith and health outcomes, specifically in the area of HIV.  

Wake Forest University School of Divinity is seeking to fund capacity building activities that focus on infrastructure development and coalition and network building between faith communities and non-traditional partners. Especially during the time of COVID-19, we understand the particular challenges that faith communities have faced with engaging with members at physical distance and online. Capacity building grants will support the establishment of infrastructures to enhance communications, trauma informed care, health ministries, and other programs to respond to the HIV crisis in the South and promote healing and life-enhancing possibilities for those impacted by HIV/AIDS. Our aim is to collaborate with Christian and interfaith partners; create inclusive faith spaces (virtual and/or in-person) for LGBTQ persons and people living with HIV; create opportunities for physical, emotional, and financial wellness; and educate emerging faith leaders and faith communities who will impact how communities respond to HIV/AIDS in the future. 

  • Faith Capacity Building Grants will provide funding of up to $250,000 to provide resources for faith-based organizations and/or nonprofit organizations to develop and scale programs and initiatives or conduct research to enhance communications, trauma informed care, health ministries, and other programs that promote positive and transformative faith and health outcomes throughout the Southern region of the United States, specifically in the area of HIV.

Currently, 501(c)(3) organizations (or organizations with a fiscal sponsor) operating in any of the following 12 Southern states (AL, AR, FL, GA, KY, LA, MS, NC, OK, SC, TN, TX) are eligible to apply for support of programs focused on participants in said states. Individuals are not eligible for grant awards. Applications are accepted by invitation only. Applicants must submit a Letter of Intent to be eligible for invitation to apply. 

Award Amount
Awards up to $250,000. The amount of your request should reflect the scope of your project and related expenses.

Award Dates: Deadline for Letter of Intent to apply for Faith Community Capacity Building is March 31. Organizations MUST submit a Letter of Intent in order to be considered for invitation to apply for the Faith Capacity Grant.

Deadline for full application to the Faith Community Capacity Building Grant (by invitation only) is May 1. Award notifications will be announced by June 1, 2021 for programmatic work to begin July 1. 

Funding Parameters for Awards 

●    Grant cycle will be from July 1, 2021 – June 30, 2022
●    Funds must be expended by June 30, 2022. 
●    Quarterly reports, a mid-year report (Due January 10, 2022), and a final report (Due July 15, 2022) will be required of grantees.
●    Current grantees receiving grant funding from other COMPASS Initiative Cooridnating Centers are not eligible for funding 
●    This grant will not fund individuals, general operations, endowments, or fundraising events.
●    Grant recipients will be required to provide a narrative report and a budget report at the end of the grant cycle. 


Allowable Expenses 
Awards can be used to pay for program-related costs, including appropriate staff costs, supplies, technology, incentives, and membership fees for required platforms. However, there are prohibited expenses. You cannot use funds to pay for or offset the cost of any of the following:

  • Medications or purchasing of medications
  • Direct medical expenses, including lab expenses
  • Existing deficits of organization
  • Biomedical research or clinical trials
  • Projects that directly influence or advance Gilead’s business, including purchase, utilization, prescribing, formulary position, pricing, reimbursement, referral, recommendation or payment for products
  • Individuals, individual health care providers, or physical group practices
  • Events or programs that have already occurred
  • Government lobbying activities


Tips for a Successful Grant Application

  • Clearly articulate how your project will address persons living with and/or impacted by HIV.
  • Clearly articulate how you will deliver your program, including the planned platform that will be used for communication. 
  • Don’t worry about your project being “too small”. We want to support grassroots efforts that can reach deep into the heart of community need.
  • Think focused rather than big, broad programs or initiatives. We want to support grassroots campaigns that can reach deep into a community rather than campaigns that try to reach everyone across the spectrum. 


Additional Attachments Necessary
In order to have a complete submission and be considered for a grant, you are required to upload the following documents:
1.    Your organization’s 501(c)(3) verification OR 501(c)(3) letter of a fiscal sponsor
2.     Letter of Support from fiscal sponsor (if applicable). This letter should demonstrate fiscal sponsor’s commitment to providing the applicant with financial management of grants funds and administrative support as needed.  
3.    Organizational Operating Budget. The applicant’s 2021 operational budget (not to be substituted by fiscal sponsor’s operational budget).
4.    Grant Budget and Budget Narrative Attachment. A thoughtfully prepared budget demonstrates that you have considered all the costs associated with your request, as well as the resources needed to ensure the project’s success. 
5.    Form W-9 . A signed and dated copy of the most recent Form W-9 indicating the taxpayer identification number.

Evaluation Requirement
Grantees will be provided with web-based evaluation tools to streamline data collection processes.  Evaluation support will be provided to grantees.

Note: After submission, you will receive confirmation of your application’s submission and will hear from the Gilead COMPASS Initiative® Faith Coordinating Center at Wake Forest University School of Divinity via email by April 7, 2021.


For more information on opportunities from Wake Forest University School of Divinity Coordinating Center, click HERE.

Please return to the Home page to apply for this funding opportunity.