Magazines 2024 May - Jun Helping Bradford neighbours with promise grants

Helping Bradford neighbours with promise grants

25 April 2024

Creative ways to love our neighbours



Promise Church, Bradford, Ont.


Building relationships and helping neighbours


Small financial grants given to church members to improve the Bradford area with acts of service


$500 to $1,000 depending on the idea behind the grant

One of the main pillars of our church, which was planted in 2018, was to do these things called Promise Grants. It was our pastor’s brainchild to not just plant a church, but to practically give back to the Bradford community. Since the beginning the church has committed to putting aside 10 per cent of our budget for promise grants. We were pleased to give away the full 10 per cent in 2023.

If someone in our church or community has an idea for a grant, they visit our website and fill out an application with basic information of what they want to do. Our criteria is that it has to do something to improve the greater Bradford area and we have to be “boots on the ground” to do it. It’s not just giving away money. We want our people to actually be involved in the activity.

For example, one of our Grade 4 children decided she wanted to have Bibles for her classmates. With the promise grant she received, she and four other friends purchased Bibles. They’re going to highlight favourite verses and give them to their friends. For another promise grant one of our members who plays on the local softball team had a tournament they couldn’t afford to pay for. We partnered with them to pay for their field time and put on a barbeque for the team during halftime.

We use Slack, an online site that helps groups work together, for our grants hub, and that’s where we announce each grant to our church members. We usually have three to seven people from our community volunteering on each one.

For a church thinking of doing something similar, I would start with town organizations and look for needs in your town. There’s no need to reinvent the wheel. It’s so much better to partner with those already good at what they’re doing. Also, ask what’s on the heart of your people. For us it’s a big integrity piece. During Covid the question was asked, “If your church closed down, would anyone outside your church notice?” For us that was a real examination of, “Do we really make a difference in the city of Bradford?” Being actively involved with the grants requires us to come out of our comfort zones.

image icon of a tv
Watch Church in Community on FaithToday.TV
Do you have a story to share about your church’s community outreach? Contact our editors at Read more stories at

Related Articles