Matching Gift To Support Golden Cross Foundation Grant Programs In The Tennessee Conference

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An individual donor has agreed to give the Golden Cross Foundation (GCF) $25,000 in 2021 to further the work supported by the foundation’s grants for older adult ministry. If matched, this gift will be the largest single gift from an individual donor that the foundation has received since its beginning in 2013.

“I am happy to announce that the Golden Cross Foundation has secured a donor gift of up to $25,000. Stipulating that his or her identity remains anonymous, the donor also specified that the gift amount is based on a dollar-for-dollar match ending on December 31, 2021,” GCF Executive Director Kent McNish told the foundation’s board of directors.

McNish said the donor is impressed with the work of both the GCF and ENCORE Ministry. However, the donor stated that the foundation must have some skin in the game.

“GCF must raise $25,000 by December 31, 2021, to receive the full gift of $25,000,” McNish said. “If fully matched, the gift would provide $50,000 for grant programs and ministries benefitting older adults. If a lesser amount is raised, the donor will match that amount.”

Because GCF receives no conference-apportioned funds, the board strongly encourages churches—particularly churches that have received foundation grants—to participate in the annual Golden Cross Sunday Special Offering in September. Proceeds from the special offering are a source of funding for GCF’s older adult initiatives and grants and will be used this year to match the donor’s generous gift.

“This gift offer creates an exciting opportunity for the GCF board to launch a new donation program for 2021,” McNish said. “In addition to the Golden Cross Sunday Special Offering, foundation members will reach out to individuals, churches, organizations, and corporations asking for their support.”

Coupled with this, foundation members are working on a new giving campaign, Step Up for Older Adults, and will release campaign details soon. Congregations and individuals wanting to support GCF’s mission now can visit For bulletin inserts promoting Golden Cross Sunday, click here.

About Golden Cross Foundation Grants

GCF awards grants to churches and connected organizations and institutions in the Tennessee Annual Conference of The United Methodist Church. Most grants require matching funds from the receiving church or organization. The major GCF grants categories are:

  • Fred and June Blankenship Grants for Individual Assistance
  • Church Retrofit Fund Grants
  • Older Adult Community Service Grants
  • Golden Cross Disaster Relief Grants
  • Strategic Initiatives Grants

Additionally, ENCORE Ministry offers grants to local churches that support:

  • New Older Adult Ministry Programs
  • Growing Older Adult Ministry Programs

For 2021, the GCF board budgeted $150,000 for grants with an additional $50,000 set aside for Strategic Initiatives grants. Since 2013, the board has granted more than $600,000 to Tennessee Conference churches and related organizations supporting programs by, with, and for older adults.

For more information about the grants programs as well as a grant application, visit If you, your family, or your organization is interested in discussing new opportunities to endow or support a grant category, contact GCF Executive Director Kent McNish at