1. Can the director of programs and grants (Mycal Brickhouse) provide feedback on our ideas?

Leadership Education is most interested in supporting leaders who are at a critical moment for stepping back and reflecting on what has been accomplished in their work, what is changing and what is stable. Excellent proposals will clearly articulate why this is the right time for the leader to invest their energy in broadening their perspectives and gaining clarity about what needs to happen next. We invite you to review the Reflective Leadership Grants page for additional guidance as you craft your proposal.

Due to the competitive nature of this grant program, Leadership Education is not able to offer guidance about the substance of your proposal. If you have questions about technical matters, please send those questions to leadership@div.duke.edu.


2. Can an institution with an existing grant from Lilly Endowment Inc. or any other granting organization apply for a Reflective Leadership Grant?

Yes, an institution with a current grant from another institution may apply. As part of the application, we invite you to let us know of any similar grants you have received in the past and how the work you wish to do with a Reflective Leadership Grant is different.


3. Does this grant program support research or travel for academic degrees?

Leadership Education does not intend for the Reflective Leadership Grant program to be a fellowship program for work toward an academic degree, including the doctor of ministry degree. It is acceptable for some part of the grant activities to involve travel and research pertaining to the applicant’s work and beneficial to determining next steps. However, if plans are strictly dedicated to work involved in the pursuit of a degree, Leadership Education advises applicants to find support elsewhere.

If you are currently enrolled in a degree program, you are welcome to apply for a Reflective Leadership Grant. However, funds from the grant cannot be used for the degree program’s research or travel.


4. Is this grant program available to religious leaders who are not Christian?

The Reflective Leadership Grant Program builds on and extends Leadership Education’s efforts to create lasting change by strengthening the ecology of Christian institutions that enable U.S. congregations and pastors to flourish. Therefore, we discourage the submission of a proposal focused on religious leaders from other faith traditions.


5. Will you accept an applicant’s proposal from an organization that provides services outside the United States?

Any faith-based charitable organizations in the United States are eligible to apply for a Reflective Leadership Grant on behalf of one of their employees. We encourage organizations to submit proposals in which the majority of the organization’s work occurs in the United States.


6. Will you accept a proposal from international leaders serving in countries other than the United States?

We encourage faith-based charitable organizations in the United States to submit proposals on behalf of applicants whose work primarily occurs in the United States. Therefore, we discourage the submission of a proposal focused on leaders not serving in the U.S.


7. Can a non-ordained leader apply for this grant?

This grant aims to support lay or clergy leaders whose work has made a demonstrable contribution to their organization’s mission. The intent of this grant program is to provide balcony time to any employee of a faith-based charitable organization whose work is at a pivotal point where time and space to reflect on next steps would be beneficial. Therefore, we encourage both lay and ordained Christian leaders to apply.


8. What is your definition of “leader”? I am a pastor/professor/program director/associate minister/denominational employee/associate director/campus minister/entrepreneur/academic dean/consultant/youth minister, etc. How do I know if I am eligible?

The Reflective Leadership Grant program is open to any employee of a faith-based charitable organization. We welcome applicants who serve in a range of leadership roles, from project director to senior administrator, and who are working in a variety of organizations, including denominations, seminaries, church-related colleges, consultancies, congregations, Christian nonprofits, Christian social enterprises and others. We are particularly interested in supporting leaders whose work contributes to healing and hope in their communities by strengthening congregations, social services, schools and other organizations.


9. When should I propose to start the grant?

Leadership Education anticipates notifying organizations of funding decisions by July 29, 2024. The Reflective Leadership Grant funds will be available to the selected organizations in September 2024, and the grant period is September 2024 - March 2026. Therefore, if awarded, you may begin your grant activities any time after September 1, 2024.


10. Can my organization submit multiple proposals for different leaders?

We encourage an organization to submit one proposal for balcony time for one leader per year. If, however, your organization consists of multiple entities, then you may submit one proposal for each entity, but each entity must have its own tax ID number.


11. Is there a page limit for proposals?

The application process for a proposal includes:

  • An online form with basic demographic and organizational information.
  • Narrative questions to be answered separately in Word or PDF documents and uploaded to the online form. Each response should follow the designated word count, and each document should be single-spaced with 12-point Times New Roman font.
  • Budget template.
  • Letter of institutional support.

Appendixes or additional documents will not be accepted.

You may view the application questions here.


12. Can you provide guidance on how to present our grant budget?

We ask that you please provide a line item budget in a table format following the template provided using the following categories:

a. Personnel (coverage of program team time for employees of the organization)
b. Contractors (meeting facilitator stipend; speakers; content expert; pulpit supply)
c. Tuition and/or registration costs (fees associated with attending events or conferences)
d. Travel, accommodations and meals (ground and air transportation expenses and meals)
e. Books and other materials (planning materials, etc.)
f. Equipment (may not exceed 10% of overall budget)
g. Other (childcare, etc.)

Your budget must total no more than $15,000.


13. Does Leadership Education anticipate offering this opportunity again next year?

Yes, Leadership Education plans to offer this opportunity in 2025. Applicants not selected in 2024 are encouraged to apply the next year.


14. Do I need to have been with my organization for a specific amount of time in order to be eligible for this grant?

While there is not a tenure requirement for this grant program, we are looking for leaders whose ministry has accomplished significant goals and who are thus ready to design the next chapter in their ministry. You may be at a point where you realize that your work needs to be framed or re-framed in a way that cultivates new supporters and allies. You might have developed colleagues as staff or volunteers to further the ministry in such a way that more can be accomplished, and you need time and perspective to chart out next steps for an enlarged vision. A critical element of the application is articulating why this is a pivotal moment for you and your ministry: what is the opportunity, and how might a season of structured reflection help gain perspective?


15. Why do I need a letter of institutional support from my organization? Can’t I apply for the grant on my own?

The funds for a Reflective Leadership Grant must go to a faith-based charitable organization, not an individual. Therefore, the senior officer of your organization makes the official request for the funding on behalf of the applicant.


16. If I am the CEO of my organization, does the institutional letter of support need to be signed by someone else?

If you are the CEO/senior officer of your organization, your signature on the letter of institutional support is sufficient.


17. If awarded the grant, do I have to attend the Reflective Leadership Grant convening?

Yes. Applicants are asked to commit to attend the convening from October 14 - 16, 2024, in Durham, NC. This convening will bring all recipients together for a collaborative learning experience as they begin their balcony time. All reasonable expenses for the retreat will be paid separately from the grant.


18. If a grant director changes position during the grant timeline, what will happen to the grant?

If the grant director remains within the organization from which they applied, they will be able to continue the grant proposal. If the grant director leaves the grantee organization/institution, the remaining grant funds will be returned to Leadership Education.


19. What are indirect and direct funds? How should they be covered in the grant budget?

Some organizations require payment on the receiving funds; this is known as "indirect funds." If your organization requires indirect funds, the applicant should specify this in the "Other" category of their budget. The final budget amount should not exceed $15,000. Indirect costs cannot exceed 10%.


20. Can the organization have a fiscal agent that holds the 501c(3) or must it be established as its own?

The grant application must be from an organization that has a 501c(3) tax status. The grant director should describe in the application how the director’s work is related to the organization receiving the funds. This can be found in question two of the narrative. The letter of institutional support should also indicate the relationship of the grant director to the organization.


21. If I am applying from a church, does the church require a separate 501c(3)?

The church is able to receive the grant as long as it has a tax ID number.