Call Us: 313-304-0055

Senior Ministry Enhancement Grant


The purpose of the Senior Ministry Enhancement (SME) Grant is to enhance the spiritual enrichment of seniors at churches in affiliation with the Wisconsin Evangelical Synod (WELS) by expanding its grant making and use of resources into several other initiatives listed below.  Currently, the SME Grant is available to only to MLMH Association Congregations.


The Martin Luther Memorial Home Foundation makes grants with its funds according to the following priorities:

  • Help develop and provide support for the spiritual care of the aging community in conformity to the tenets, faith, rules and regulations of the WELS.
  • Initiate, develop, and support programs that will provide for the spiritual care of the aging community providing for the training of individuals to develop and implement such programs.
  • Encourage and initiate “best practices” programs which are collaborative, comprehensive and have the potential to be ongoing.
  • Support “seed” money opportunities for innovative projects.

Areas of Interest…

The following describe the specific program areas of interest for the grant making priorities the Foundation seeks to fund:

  • Enrichment and Support through Church Spiritual Senior Care Teams

The Foundation seeks to fund spiritual enrichment programs for those at churches in affiliation with the WELS, supporting such initiatives as “spiritual care teams for seniors” who reach out to the seniors in the congregation making sure they have the spiritual care and support needed through their lifetimes.

Examples of the types of programs senior care teams may conduct vary according to the needs of the seniors in the congregation. Programs might include assisting seniors with transportation to church and other spiritual meetings, ministering to “shut-ins”, large print Bibles and other spiritual literature and resources, wheel chairs for use at church, handicap accessibility and other facility needs at the church, spiritual outreach activities at senior communities as well as using technology innovation to better assist seniors in their spiritual journey.

These senior care team programs enable the Foundation to continue its mission to offer spiritual care to those who may be in seemingly hopeless situations.

  • Spiritual Senior Innovation and Development

The Foundation seeks to fund and help develop innovative programs at churches in affiliation with the WELS that further enable the church to better minister to the spiritual needs of its seniors.  The Foundation seeks to support new ideas the Church desires to develop and expand its support for seniors.  These creative, innovative ideas are intended to move the Church to the next level in its commitment of ministering to and supporting the spiritual needs of the aging community.  Examples of new ideas might include a day care for seniors operated by the Church or new and innovative uses of technology in helping the senior community on its spiritual journey to name a few.

  • What the Foundation generally will not fund

While the Foundation remains flexible in trying to meet senior community spiritual needs, the following areas will generally not be considered for funding at this time:

  • Routine operating expenses
  • Multi-year continuous grants
  • Travel, tours or trips
  • Conference speakers (unless part of a senior educational program the Foundation is funding)
  • Lobbying activities
  • Endowment campaigns
  • Capital campaigns (unless for a specific capital expense enhancing senior spiritual care at a church campus)
  • Special fundraising events and sponsorships
  • Existing obligations or debts/liabilities
  • Political organizations
  • Individuals

Grant Criteria…

The following criteria generally covers most anticipated topics for starting/reviewing any grant submitted. We reserve the right to revise and/or add to this based on various factors in the future.

  • All grant applicants must be a church in good standing in affiliation with the WELS.
  • All grant applicants must be a current member of the Martin Luther Memorial Home Inc. Association.
  • All grants range from $500 up to $25,000 depending on the project and need.
  • A maximum of one grant may be made to a qualified church during a 12-month period.
  • All proposals must be signed by the pastor and an authorized officer of the applicant church.
  • A church may not apply for a grant prior to its submission of a report on its activities and use of funds in previous grants made by the Foundation to that specific church.
  • Grant applications will be received throughout the year with a target date for initial review by the Foundation within 30-60 days.