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The Elsie Skvir Ganister Foundation is now accepting applications for grants for organizations and parishes with innovative approaches to advancing the mission of Orthodox Christianity in the United States.

The deadline for submitting grant applications is June 30, 2018.  Recipients will be announced in the fall.

Founded in 2001, the Elsie Skvir Ganister Foundation is a component of the Williamsport, PA-based First Community Foundation of Pennsylvania.  The foundation takes its name from the village of Ganister in Central Pennsylvania, where immigrants drawn there by employment opportunities in the limestone quarry established Saint Mary’s Holy Assumption parish in 1916.

Favor will be given to proposals that address priority needs of the Orthodox Church in America, especially those that do so in catalytic ways.  The selection process also weighs leadership experience, clarity of goals, the presence of a stable funding base, and faithfulness to the teachings and ministry of the OCA.  Applicants must articulate how their undertaking will have a positive impact on a specific priority need, without duplicating other programs or projects already serving the Church.

Grants are modest in size, generally ranging from $250.00 to $2,500.00.  But, properly used, they have the potential to jump-start valuable initiatives that otherwise might not get off the ground.  Examples of grants given over the years include

  • funding a guest speaker program to help seminarians develop their pastoral skills.
  • providing tutoring materials and sports equipment for a church-run after-school program for inner-city Latino children.
  • translating invaluable music textbooks from Russian to English.
  • purchasing digital recorders to distribute Orthodox radio broadcasts world-wide.
  • developing a “mission starter” kit.
  • printing materials regarding human services for aging Orthodox Christians.
  • supporting continuing education opportunities for clergy.
  • underwriting the Profiles of Ministry program to assess and counsel seminarians on their strengths and weaknesses.

Applicants must be qualifying 501c(3) entities as described under IRS Section 509(a)(1).  Grants will not be considered for endowments, ongoing operational support, annual campaigns or event sponsorships, debt reduction, research grants, or support of individuals.

To receive an application, contact the First Community Foundation of Pennsylvania, 201 West Fourth Street, Williamsport, PA 17701, or visit the First Community website.  Applications will be reviewed and recommendations made by the Advisory Board of the Ganister Orthodox Foundation.

Additional information is available at the Gannister Foundation website.