Having received the Gift of Grace, our Mission is to respond by enhancing and supporting charitable endeavors that serve people in need in Middle Tennessee.

The Kharis Foundation awards grants to churches and to nonprofit organizations that provide services to the underprivileged and vulnerable populations.

The Foundation supports church and pastoral care through grants for:

  • Churches actively participating in local mission (matching grants)
  • Churches facing damage because of natural disasters
  • Local missions associated with the denomination
  • Small/Rural churches needing pastors
  • Small/Rural churches with building needs
  • Pastors needing counseling/sabbaticals

In addition, the Foundation places emphasis on assisting organization that focus on:

  • Affordable Housing
  • Children and Youth
  • Health Care for Uninsured
  • Homeless/Food Banks
  • Learning Disabilities
  • Local Natural Disasters
  • Prison Ministries
  • Refugees
  • Seniors
  • Veterans

The Kharis Foundation will typically NOT award grants for:

  • Accumulative debts or capital campaigns
  • Animal Causes
  • Arts/Culture
  • Conservation
  • Endowments
  • Environmental Projects
  • Multi-year grants for operating funds
  • Private, public, or charter schools, colleges, or universities
  • Research
  • Social Clubs
  • Sports/Recreation/Leisure
  • Tickets or Sponsorships to Charity Events
  • Health Care

Grant applications for the current calendar year will be accepted only from January 15th until the last business day of September at 3:00 p.m. Any grants received after the September deadline will be considered after January 1st of the next year.

An applicant organization must be exempt from federal taxation under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code and not be a private foundation as described in Section 509a(a) in order to be eligible. The Foundation will not make grants directly to individuals.

The Foundation prioritizes grants that will have a significant and lasting impact on a group as well as the community. When grant applications are reviewed, the financial resources of the individuals served are considered. The Kharis Foundation is committed to serving the underprivileged and vulnerable within our communities.

Requests for capital projects, IT, staff development, and general operating support are eligible for consideration. An organization should be able to demonstrate a broad base of financial support from its own community and constituency. Requests for start-up projects may be considered for new initiatives that address important, unmet community needs and demonstrate a potential for ongoing operational support from other sources. The Foundation primarily makes one-year grants, but it will consider multi-year grants on a case-by-case basis.


Middle Tennessee

The counties highlighted below comprise our service area.
Click any of these counties to view a listing of active PCUSA churches within the county.

An organization’s main office does not need to be in Middle Tennessee for the organization to be eligible to apply. However, the Foundation will only support projects operating within and for the benefit of the counties that are served in Middle Tennessee:

  • Bedford
  • Bledsoe
  • Cannon
  • Cheatham
  • Clay
  • Coffee
  • Cumberland
  • Davidson
  • DeKalb
  • Dickson
  • Fentress
  • Franklin
  • Giles
  • Grundy
  • Hardin
  • Hickman
  • Houston
  • Humphreys
  • Jackson
  • Lawrence
  • Lewis
  • Lincoln
  • Macon
  • Marion
  • Marshall
  • Maury
  • Montgomery
  • Moore
  • Overton
  • Perry
  • Pickett
  • Putnam
  • Robertson
  • Rutherford
  • Sequatchie
  • Smith
  • Stewart
  • Sumner
  • Trousdale
  • Van Buren
  • Wayne
  • Warren
  • White
  • Williamson
  • Wilson

The Foundation only accepts applications for the current calendar year from January 15th until the last business day of September at 3:00 p.m. Any grants received after the September deadline will be considered after January 1st of the next year. The Foundation utilizes a narrative format as a Grant Application with an attached Grant Application Summary. The requirements for the narrative format and the Grant Application Summary are attached. If a church desires to apply for a grant, they should first contact the President of the Foundation for guidance in meeting the requirements of the Foundation. If an organization other than a church applies for a grant, the Foundation requires the following documents:


  • IRS Tax-Exemption Letter
  • Current Tennessee State Charitable Solicitations Permit Letter
  • Current financials (complete audits including the SAS 117 letter are preferred)
  • Most recent IRS Form 990 Tax Return
  • Organizational Chart
  • List of current Board of Directors with contact information

If these documents are on, a separate copy is not required with the grant application. If the request is for a particular project, itemized budgets may be requested. The Foundation is looking for financial information that assures us that the organization has the infrastructure and internal controls needed to manage the grant. Meetings and site visits may be scheduled with applicants by the Foundation. If necessary, the Foundation may award grants without application when it is appropriate. Ordinarily, application for a grant may be made only once in a twelve month period.

The Foundation receives numerous applications. Because of limited funds, many requests will not be funded. The evaluation criteria include the following components:


  • Consistency with the Foundation’s Mission Statement, priorities, and geographic boundaries
  • Evidence the grant request responds to a valid need
  • Evidence that the program will be successful in addressing the stated need
  • Capacity of the church or nonprofit organization seeking the grant to fulfill the programmatic goals stated in the application
  • Capacity of the church or nonprofit organization to manage its funds and assets

Please note: Should a board member or a staff person of a not for profit applying for a grant attempt to influence a board member of the Kharis Foundation about a specific grant, the board member of the Foundation will then be ineligible to vote on the grant. The same would be true for a staff member or a member of a congregation that is applying for a grant. The Foundation shall conduct a review of the progress and outcomes of the grants made. It is important to remember that Foundation funds must be expended for the purpose for which they were granted. Funds not used for that approved purpose must be returned to the Foundation unless the Foundation has approved the modified use of the funds. If a grant award is authorized, the grantee may be asked to sign a Grant Agreement (Contract) that describes the purpose and conditions of the grant. Publicity or news releases concerning specific grants shall be discussed with the staff of the Foundation prior to release. The inclusion of the Kharis Foundation’s name in a listing of supporters is appreciated but must have prior approval by the Foundation.