LCEF Kaleidoscope Grants Open April 1

The Lutheran Church Extension Fund (LCEF) will soon be accepting applications for Kaleidoscope Grants for the third consecutive year. With funds between the amounts of $15,000 and $75,000, these grants are available to Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod (LCMS) K-8 elementary schools. LCEF Articles of Incorporation and Synod Bylaws prohibit LCEF from distributing net operating results to Auxiliaries, RSOs, seminaries, colleges, or universities of the Synod. The 2019 Kaleidoscope grants will focus on four areas of Lutheran elementary education: faculty enrichment, curriculum development, facility improvements and endowment creation.

Here’s what you need to know about the four areas:

  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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%.

  • 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.

The Process

  1. Eligible organizations submit proposals by the deadline of May 31, 2019. Visit for details.
  2. The Kaleidoscope Fund committee will review and select ministries to submit a full application.
  3. Selections will be made and ministries notified in October 2019 and announced in November 2019.
  4. Grant awards will be paid in one lump sum directly to the grant recipient based on the
    budget timeframe provided in the application.
  5. 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.

A Missouri Congregation Received a Kaleidoscope Grant for their New Community Center

Back in 2016, Messiah Lutheran Church in St. Louis received a Kaleidoscope grant for its community center, which the church was starting to plan. At that time, church members were in the community letting everyone know about their plans, which included art classes for area children. As community members volunteered to help, that started a relationship with the church.

The community center now hosts regular senior citizen fitness classes, martial arts and art programming for children, dance classes, neighborhood board meetings, a Pokemon club, a partnership that gives local residents access to a social worker, and much more.

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