Grant Proposal Guidelines

The Archdiocesan Educational Fund encourages proposals for programmatic initiatives that spur fresh thinking and new action in Catholic education and ministry.

Grants are awarded on a one-time basis and generally for a one-year period.

The Archdiocesan Educational Fund will also approach appropriate organizations with funding to explore solutions to various issues affecting Catholic education or youth, or to carry out the overall mission of the Fund to improve and raise the knowledge of our Catholic faith and make it a more meaningful part of our lives.

The Archdiocesan Educational Fund does not fund:

  • Individuals, scholarships, other student financial aid programs
  • Non-program-related capital projects, improvements, or renovations
  • Capital campaigns
  • General and annual operating fund campaigns or fundraising appeals for other forms of annual budget relief
  • Special fundraising events benefitting individual schools or organizations
  • Endowment funds
  • Debt reduction
  • Political organizations, parties, or causes
  • Foundations
  • Stand-alone conferences  (proposed by an applying school or organization)
  • Technology acquisition, replacement, or upgrades (with very limited exceptions)
  • Non-program-related staff positions

All proposals are to be submitted through the online application portal. No mailed copies will be evaluated.

A complete proposal application for funding in the 2020-21 fiscal / academic year consists of:

  • Narrative Proposal
  • Proposal/Program Budget

Optional: maximum of two one-page documents. Additional documents will not be reviewed.

Organizations are welcome to submit more then one proposal per cycle.


The Archdiocesan Educational Fund welcomes proposals from qualified applicants through the following process:

LOI (Letter of Inquiry/Letter of Interest)

Organizations interested in applying for a grant are encouraged to complete an LOI form to determine eligibility and to describe the project or program that will be expanded further if invited to submit a full proposal. This is an optional step.

The intent of the LOI is to assist both the grant applicant and the Grant Review Committee in determining grant suitability and eligibility before a full proposal is prepared. Precise presentation of the project’s broad goal(s) is essential and should not be confused with the methods to carry out the proposed program or project. The LOI responses would be expanded if the applicant is invited to follow up with a proposal. Invitation to proceed to the proposal stage does not imply or guarantee that a grant award will be forthcoming.

The LOI may be submitted at any time throughout the year. This is a rolling process. Organizations are urged to plan a suitable amount of time to prepare a full proposal if invited to do so after receiving feedback on the LOI.

This preliminary step should be helpful to project directors and proposal writers in thinking through the particulars of a proposed program or project before moving directly to proposal. Any applicant is free to submit a proposal without completing the LOI step, but it should be especially helpful to those new to the Archdiocesan Educational Fund, to those who are uncertain about a match between the scope of a project and Fund interests, and to those who have not been successful in prior years.

Unlike the proposal application submitted through the online portal, the LOI is submitted by completing the form accessible either here or below on this page. The LOI is submitted to the Director of Grants Management. Click here for the LOI form.

Applicants may bypass the optional LOI stage and proceed directly to proposal submission.


The Archdiocesan Educational Fund will accept proposals on two deadlines for funding of grants payable in 2020-21:

Proposal Deadline
November 1, 2019
May 1, 2020

Award Letter
March-April 2020
June-July 2020

Funds Available
July 1, 2020
August 15, 2020

All grant spending must be completed and invoices submitted by May 31 for reimbursement by June 30, 2020.

  • Please note the change in deadline, beginning with the fall 2019 cycle. The proposal portal will close at 11:59 p.m. on November 1 (no longer November 15).  The portal will re-open in April for the May 1, 11:59 p.m. deadline. No extensions will be granted on either dates. No mailed proposals will be reviewed.
  • If necessary, the Director of Grants Management will follow up with grant applicants on any additional information or clarification needed to provide an accurate profile for Grant Review Committee consideration.
  • Grant award and grant decline-to-fund letters are sent during March-April and June-July for each decision sequence.
  • Grantees are asked to countersign and return the grant award letter, agreeing to the terms of the grant. Letters generally are asked to be returned four weeks following the date of the award letter.
  • Grant awards for the 2020-21 funding cycle are payable beginning July 1 and August 15, 2020, based on the November or May deadline driving the application.
  • Grantees are required to submit two reports: an interim report on or before January 15 of the funded year, and a final report at the conclusion of the grant period, generally in June-July.
  • Grantees are required to submit grant-related invoices to the Archdiocesan Educational Fund for their respective grant payments.

Funding Process, Application Guidelines, and Frequently Asked Questions

5o years of success


Frequently Asked Questions

Grants are awarded on a one-time, one-year basis. On occasion, a two-year grant will be considered and awarded, but the grantee must reapply for the second year of funding through the standard proposal application process.

Catholic colleges: Yes, for initiatives that strengthen student understanding and practice of our Catholic faith, for example, through a series of Scripture studies, compelling theme-based retreats, days of reflection, examination of Catholic intellectual history, other programs that increase appreciation of Church teaching and of its thinkers, authors, and rich insights.

Secular institutions: Yes, support is restricted to Newman Club programming at the Philadelphia-area public and private non-Catholic institutions and is generally overseen by the Archdiocese of Philadelphia Office for Catechetical Formation.

As part of the proposal process, grant applicants might be invited to meet in the Arch-Ed Fund office with the Grant Review Committee to discuss the elements of their grant proposal. This is an opportunity to respond to specific questions and to elaborate on project/program details.

With some exceptions, site visits generally occur during the course of the funded program rather than as a component of the proposal application process.

Yes, in two words, impact and sustainability.

The Grant Review Committee will be looking for the expected program results as measured against the proposal objectives.

The committee will also look for indications of funding that will be required after the grant period ends, an associated funding strategy, and sources of anticipated follow-on funding.

The Grant Review Committee will look for the connection between the proposed program/project and the budget structured to carry it out. The program drives the budget. Applicants should not determine a desired grant award, e.g., $50,000, and create a program that backs into that amount.

Each grantee will be required to submit an interim report by January 15 of the funded year and a final report in June-July. Reporting guidelines are included with the grant award letter. Reports will be submitted through the online portal.

The board meets annually in February to determine awards requested in the November 1 sequence.  The board evaluates grant requests from the May 1 sequence  in June.

Grant funds are payable on projects/programs carried out during the July 1-June 30 academic/fiscal  year. Grantees are advised they must submit an invoice for their grant award, along with any project-associated invoices, to the Director of Grants Management when funds are needed.

Please contact Patricia Canning, Director of Grants Management, at with questions on any aspect of Archdiocesan Educational Fund programs and guidelines.