The National Fund for Sacred Places Launches New Website & Application Cycle

January 18, 2022 by Emily Kahn

A plaza at San Xavier del Bac.

photo by: Mark Lipczynski

Plaza at San Xavier del Bac Mission in Arizona.

The National Fund for Sacred Places, a program funded by the Lilly Endowment and managed by the National Trust’s Preservation Services & Outreach Department in collaboration with Partners for Sacred Places, is kicking off 2022 with a new and improved website showcasing the impact of the program and providing guidance and resources to potential applicants.

As participants in the National Fund program continue to complete major capital projects with support from grant funds, the new website will feature their success stories and educate other congregations about best practices in preserving historic sacred places.

Potential applicants can now access a step-by-step guide to the application process and program, take a quiz to determine their eligibility, read about the types of projects and historic sacred spaces that have been supported by grant funding, and find links to additional helpful resources. A GIS map shows the geographic breadth of the program and links to profiles and photos of each of the 82 grantees so far.

With the launch of the new website, the National Fund team is also kicking off the National Fund’s 2022 application cycle. The program will be accepting Letters of Intent from January 18 to March 7. Congregations meeting the eligibility criteria can apply for grants ranging from $50,000 to $250,000 to support significant capital projects at historic houses of worship.

National Fund-supported projects, which often include structural repairs, ADA upgrades, or facade restoration, are intended to not only preserve historic sacred places but also to enhance their usage as community assets. After National Fund staff review the LOIs, a select number of congregations will be invited to submit a full application. Congregations accepted into the National Fund program will be announced in October 2022.

Combined, the new website and National Fund application process aim to advance the goals of the National Impact Agenda, especially An Engaged Public and Equitable Communities. The website will cultivate an engaged public by spreading awareness about the program through accessible communication and storytelling to a broader audience than the National Fund has previously reached. National Fund staff will review letters of intent and full applications with a heightened attention to congregations and projects that intentionally harness the power of preservation to respond to historic and current inequities and meet present-day needs of the community.

Please check out the National Fund for Sacred Places’ new website and share it widely with others who may be interested in applying, want to know more, or are passionate about saving historic sacred places for present-day communities.

Contact Emily Kahn, Program Coordinator, National Fund for Sacred Places, at ekahn@savingplaces.org for additional information.

Each year, America’s 11 Most Endangered Historic Places sheds light on important examples of our nation’s heritage that are at risk of destruction or irreparable damage.

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