Sacred Sites Fund Grant Eligibility Requirements
The NYLC Sacred Sites Fund provides all congregations with matching grants for planning and implementing exterior restoration projects. Priority will be given to essential repairs to the primary worship building. Highest consideration is given to projects such as roofing and drainage system repairs; masonry repointing and restoration; structural repairs; and exterior carpentry, window repair and restoration, including stained glass restoration. Grant applications are reviewed by a Conservancy board committee and are evaluated on a rubric encompassing architectural and cultural significance, community outreach, project urgency, preservation quality, and administrative, financial, and fundraising capacity.
Professional services* eligible for funding include conditions surveys; plans and specifications; project management; engineering assessments; stained glass surveys; and laboratory testing of materials and finishes.
NYLC Sacred Sites grants may be considered for barrier-free access design or construction, if performed in conjunction with a larger preservation project, such as restoring a historic entry while extending it to grade. Grants are not available for pipe organ restoration, interior renovation, mechanical upgrades, or routine maintenance, including exterior repainting.
*Matching grants of up to $15,000 are available for professional services. Within New York City only, applications for consulting services are reviewed on a rolling basis, throughout the year. For sites located outside the five boroughs, applications for consulting services are reviewed within the two annual grant rounds.
All applicants are advised to discuss their projects with program staff prior to submission. Email addresses are linked on the left hand side of this page, or you may contact us by phone at 212-995-5260.
Eligible properties include, but are not limited to, churches, synagogues, meetinghouses, mosques, and temples. To be eligible for a grant, the property must be:
• Located in New York State.
• Owned by a religious institution and actively used for worship.
• Listed on the State or National Register of Historic Places or designated pursuant to a local landmarks ordinance certified by New York State, either individually, or as a contributing component of a historic district.
*Grants will NOT be considered for work that has been contracted, initiated, or completed by the time of application. *
There are two grant rounds per year, with submission deadlines of January (please see note below for January 2023 information) and June 1st. Grant review generally includes a site visit and discussion with lay leaders and staff representing the religious institution. Grants are pledged within four to five months of submission. If pledged a grant, congregations have one year to match the grant award and sign a contract for the project. Grant checks are not issued until projects are initiated. Final projects must be consistent with the scope and budget provided in the original application. If an institution receives a grant pledge for construction costs, there is a three-year moratorium on new construction-cost applications by this institution. This moratorium does not apply to planning-cost grants. For more information, please contact us.
INFORMATION FOR 2023 ONLY: We are moving the January 2023 deadline to December 15, 2022. Applications submitted by that date will be considered for funding in the January grant round. If you have any questions about this one-time change, please contact us. The June 1, 2023 deadline remains unchanged.
NYLC Sacred Sites range in size from $1,000 to $50,000, with our average pledge for construction-cost grants about $16,000 over the past three years. While Sacred Sites grants can fund up to half the project cost, up to the maximum pledge amount of $70,000, our grants over the past three years have typically funded about 20 percent of a project’s cost (regardless of its size.) Our average grant pledge for consulting costs is about $8,400.