The Kaleidoscope Fund, a granting program established by Lutheran Church Extension Fund (LCEF), has awarded a total of $832,135 to 26 Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod (LCMS) elementary schools throughout the United States. 

This year, LCEF narrowed the focus of impact for the grants to LCMS K-8 elementary schools. Eligible grant proposals included faculty enrichment, curriculum development, facility improvements and endowment creation. 

“Because the face of Christianity is changing,” said Rev. Bart Day, LCEF president and CEO, “our schools have become outposts for the proclamation of Christ. We rejoice in Lutheran educators who not only teach the core academic subjects but also the faith in our schools. We share a fervent passion to support and empower their work in any way we can—like the Kaleidoscope Fund.” 

Grants for faculty enrichment were intended to support activities and services that improve the wellbeing of faculty and improve their engagement with students. Two schools received grants for this purpose:   

  • St. Paul – Peachtree City, GA 
  • Risen Christ – Springfield, OH 

Grants intended for curriculum development to enhance academic offerings of schools through improvement to curriculum or development of new programs. Five curriculum development grants were given.   

  • Faith – Watertown, WI 
  • Our Savior – Centereach, NY  
  • Trinity – Racine, WI 
  • St. John – Seward, NE 
  • St. Paul Evangelical – Chicago, IL 

Facility improvement grants sought to improve or upgrade existing facilities or tools necessary to improve the learning environment. Nine schools received facility improvement grants.   

  • St. John’s – Denver, CO 
  • Mount Olive Day School – Milwaukee, WI 
  • Immanuel – Brookfield, WI 
  • St. Paul’s – Concordia, MO 
  • St. Paul’s – Des Peres, MO 
  • Suburban Bethlehem – Fort Wayne, IN 
  • Trinity – Fremont, NE
  • St. Paul – Luxemburg, WI 
  • St. Paul – Westlake, OH 

For facility improvement projects, the Kaleidoscope would fund up to a maximum of 50% of total improvement budget. The school would fund at least 50% of the budget. 


 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 would not be matched. Ten schools were selected for this:   

  • Trinity – Pueblo, CO 
  • Shepherd of the Coast – Fort Lauderdale, FL 
  • Emmanuel – Kahului, HI
  • Mount Olive – Des Moines, IA
  • Bethany – Naperville, IL
  • Bethlehem – Carson City, NV
  • Our Redeemer – Wauwatosa, WI 
  • Zion – Staunton, IL
  • St. John – Random Lake, WI 
  • St. John’s – Wykoff, MN 

Join us as we congratulate the 2019 Kaleidoscope Fund recipients and prayerfully support their endeavors to proclaim the Good News of salvation in Christ, our Lord.


  • 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.