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 $10,000 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 Colleen Heemeyer prior to submission. Her email address is linked on the left hand side of this page, or you may contact her by phone at 212-995-5260, x. 305 (dial the extension as soon as you hear the main message.)
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 15th 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 include planning-cost grants. For more information, please contact us.
In the last three years, NYLC Sacred Sites grants have ranged in size from $1,000 to $50,000. 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.