Catholic Leadership Circle Grants

As the Catholic Community Foundation serves to build resources for the Diocese of Phoenix, its ministries and apostolates, we are pleased to provide you with the following updates on our primary grants program - Catholic Leadership Circle.

The Catholic Leadership Circle is an innovative program inspired by a new generation of philanthropists.  The program is unique as each member is an active participant in the community grant-making process by voting in the grant awarding and directly connecting with grant recipients.  Each member of the Circle invests their own philanthropic dollars into the program to collectively magnify the impact of their giving in our communities!!

Grants Process

Applications for a Catholic Leadership Circle grant require a 2-phase process.

Phase 1 is the Letter of Inquiry (LOI) phase, where organizations may submit a 500-word proposal to the Foundation summarizing their program, including a statement of need, methodology, other funding sources, and impact.  Only those organizations which submit LOI's that most closely align with Catholic Leadership Circle funding priorities will be invited to complete a full grant application, Phase 2.

The Catholic Leadership Circle will offer awards in these 5 program areas:

1. Teacher's Choice & Youth Programs
Supports Catholic Education by awarding classroom and school projects as proposed by Catholic high school and elementary school teachers.  Funding is also available to projects aimed at youth in the areas of creating enriched educational opportunities, leadership, promotion of Christian virtue and academic enhancement.

2. Evangelization & Sanctity of Life
Supports the work of evangelization in organizations and ministries whose primary purpose is to spread the Gospel of Jesus Christ to the world. This includes media, outreach efforts and seminarian and religious life vocations. Funding opportunities are available for ministries dedicated to the protection of human life - from conception to natural death.

3. Work Among the Poor
Enables support for the advancement of various solutions to the issues of poverty, such as homelessness, hunger and lack of basic medical care, and provides for outreach and direct care for the poor.

4. Health & Wellness
Funding will be awarded to programs serving vulnerable populations and addressing any of the following needs: food insecurity and/or access to healthy foods, preventative health and wellness, health education, access to health resources, and recreation and physical activity.

5. Arts & Culture
Funding will be awarded to programs that serve Catholic populations and/or celebrate Catholic spirituality through art in the following areas: arts in the schools, classical music instruments, performing arts experiences for youth and the elderly, access to arts education, church art and musical instrument needs, public art with a Catholic/spiritual theme, and cultural enrichment experiences.

Funding Priorities

The Catholic Leadership Circle seeks to fund proposals that:

  • The project is a well-planned approach to addressing a clearly identified need with clearly stated goals, objectives, and means of measuring outcomes.
  • The project helps fulfill the primary mission of the applicant organization.
  • The proposed project is likely to continue and expand after the grant period, becoming self-sustaining.
  • The proposal provides innovative and creative solutions and demonstrates efficiency in its use of funds.
  • The project supports the mission of the Church and its ministries


  • Applicant must be a 501(c)(3) organization registered in Arizona
  • Values must be aligned with the teachings of the Catholic Church
  • Program or organization must primarily serve a population within the Diocese of Phoenix
  • Must follow best practices for nonprofits