For 2019 grants, eligibility is limited to LCMS K-8 elementary schools. Schools that are RSOs are not eligible.*

The 2019 Kaleidoscope Fund grant cycle opened April 1. The proposal submission deadline was May 31.

The committee will select ministries from these proposals to apply for a grant. Funds will be granted in amounts between $15,000 and $75,000.

This year, LCEF is narrowing the focus of impact for the grants to Lutheran elementary education. Lutheran schools play a critical role in impacting the community through Christian education. Kaleidoscope grants for 2019 are open to Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod (LCMS) K-8 elementary schools.

*Note: LCEF Articles of Incorporation and Synod Bylaws prohibit LCEF from distributing net operating results to Auxiliaries, RSOs, seminaries, colleges, or universities of the Synod.


  • How and why is LCEF offering grants?

    Lutheran Church Extension Fund (LCEF) serves the members, congregations, schools, and rostered church workers of The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod (LCMS) church body. When LCEF is blessed with good financial performance, a small portion of its funds may be used for a variety of ministry purposes…such as grants. These grants were launched in 2016 as the Kaleidoscope Fund, which emphasizes a variety of entities and ministry purposes.

  • Who are eligible grant recipients?

    For 2019 grants, eligibility is limited to LCMS K-8 elementary schools. Schools that are RSOs are not eligible.*

    *Note: LCEF Articles of Incorporation and Synod Bylaws prohibit LCEF from distributing net operating results to Auxiliaries, RSOs, seminaries, colleges, or universities of the Synod.

  • What are eligible grant purposes?

    LCEF invites schools to dream about programs and projects that improve and expand the reach and impact of their school. We are focusing on four categories: faculty enrichment, curriculum development, facility improvements and endowment creation.

    Applicants should choose only one of the following areas for grant focus:

      1. Faculty Enrichment: Grants in this category should encourage faculty growth both personally and professionally. Grants should support activities and services that improve the wellbeing of faculty and/or improve their engagement with students. Examples might include continuing education, professional development, wholistic care for workers that improve their wellness, sabbaticals, etc.
      2. Curriculum Development: Grants in this category should enhance academic offerings of schools through improvement to curriculum or development of new programs. Examples might include STEM, ESL, literacy, foreign language, gifted and talented, counseling, improved student climate, and/or the engagement of specialists or working with other schools to develop such programs.
      3. Facility Improvement: Grants in this category should improve or upgrade existing facilities or tools necessary to improve the learning environment (these would not be curriculum or faculty). Examples might include integrated technologies, STEMM/STEAM Labs, sensory upgrades, creative learning environments, playgrounds, etc.
        For facility improvement projects, Kaleidoscope will fund up to a maximum of 50% of total improvement budget; the school must fund at least 50%.
      4. Endowment Creation: The endowment creation aspect of the 2019 Kaleidoscope Fund is in partnership with the LCMS Foundation. This is a matching program of $25,000. Schools selected must raise $25,000 within 18 months of acceptance. Any amounts less than $25,000 will not be matched. This is only for the creation of a new endowment, not for schools with an existing endowment.

    For grant focus items 1-3: What is not eligible: Ongoing operating costs (including salaries), operating deficits, debt payments and/or tuition assistance/reimbursement.

  • What will be the Kaleidoscope Fund grant amounts?

    For 2019, funds will be granted in amounts between $15,000 and $75,000.

  • How will the granting process take place?

    Once all grant proposal summaries are received by May 31, 2019, the Kaleidoscope Fund committee will review them and select ministries to apply for grants. Invited schools will then submit a detailed application by a set deadline. Once grant recipients have been determined, announcement of the grants will be made in November 2019.

  • How will grant funds be distributed?

    Grant awards will be paid in one lump sum directly to the grant recipient based on the budget timeframe provided in the application.

  • Will there be follow-up communication with grant recipients?

    Each recipient of the Kaleidoscope Fund grant will provide a written summary and photos of the grant outcome(s) in a designated and agreed upon timeframe with LCEF. These summaries and photos may be used in LCEF social media and for other promotional purposes. Additional promotional stories may be sought by the LCEF Marketing Department.