The H. C. Gemmer Family Christian Foundation was created in 1956 by the philanthropy and vision of Hiram C. and Edith Gemmer, and their son, H. Robert Gemmer.  The founders’ convictions and charitable interests focuses on peace, justice, sobriety, and racial harmony.  They were also strong supporters of ecumenical and inter-faith organizations. By the generosity and estate planning of H. Robert Gemmer, the value of the Foundation’s assets grew fourfold following his death in 1992.  The Foundation board meets semi-annually, normally the weekend after Memorial Day and the weekend before Thanksgiving. Deadlines for grant requests are May 1st and October 1st.  The Foundation makes approximately 20 grants per year, with an average amount of approximately $2,000.00.  Our normal maximum grant is $3,000. For more information, contact Elden Hartman, Executive Vice President, at (317) 473-9314 or

Primary Areas of Funding


·        Alternative to Violence, militarism and War

·        Conflict Resolution

·        Reconciliation and Healing

·        Peace Education

·        Criminal Justice


·        Anti-Discrimination and Protection

·        Immigrants’ rights

·        Diversity and Intergroup Relations

·        Social Justice

·        Economic Justice


Prohibited Funding

·        Grants to an Individual, or to an Organization for the Benefit of an Individual

·        Grants for Scholarships or Tuition Assistance for Undergraduate, Graduate, or Postgraduate Studies

·        Grants for Political Purposes or for Lobbying Activities

·        Grants for Organizations Without a Determination Letter from the IRS, Stating they are Exempt from Federal Income Tax Under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code

·        Grants to Private Foundations, Service Clubs, or Fraternal/Social/Civic Organizations

·        Grants for Endowments, Building Funds, Annual Fund Drives, or Capital Campaigns

·        Grants to Cover Operating Deficits, or for Financial Emergencies, or Debt Retirement

·        Grants for Sponsorships Including Auctions, Dinners, Tickets, Advertising, or Fundraising Events

·        Grants for More than One Year or More than Once in any Twelve-Month Period

·        Grants to Organizations that Discriminate on Basis of Religion, Gender, Race, Ethnicity, Political Beliefs, Disabilities, or Sexual Orientation

·        Grants to Sectarian or Religious Organizations for Religious Purposes where the Principle Activity is for the Benefit of their own Members or Adherents.



·        Grants for Projects or Programs of a One-Time Nature

·        Grants to Provide Seed Money for Start-Up of a New Program

·        Grants to Organizations with Financial Stability, Thoughtful Strategy, Sound Operations, and Diversity Among Board Members, Staff and Leadership

·        Grants to Organizations with Relatively Low Administrative and Fundraising Costs

·        Grants to Organization with Broad-based Financial Support and Grassroots Participation

·        Grants to Organizations that Evaluate their Practices, Programs and Grants to Prove and Improve their Effectiveness

·        Grants that Have a High Degree of Potential Benefit to the Community

·        Grants to Organizations with the Capability and Personnel to Achieve Expected Results

·        Grants to Organizations that Skillfully Use Communications and Media to Widely Disseminate Information about the Organizations

·        Grants to Organizations that Collaborate, Share Information, and Develop Strategies to Extend their Impact and Reach

·        Grants to Organizations Promoting Ecumenical or Interfaith Cooperation

·        Grants that Expand the Organization’s Mission or Constituency Served

·        Grants to Organizations that Address Root Causes of the Problems they are Working to Resolve, and that Emphasize Systemic Change

·        Grants to Organizations with a Focus on Advocacy, Community Organizing, Activism, and Training for Change

·        Grants that Match more Than One of our Primary Areas of Funding

·        Grants to Organizations for Programs that Serve Vulnerable Populations

·        Grants to Organizations for which a $3,000 Maximum Grant Would Make a Significant Impact or Difference


Grant Application Process

Grant applications should be made online through the link at  The specific requirements of the applications are listed on the website and in the application. The requirements include:

·        A brief narrative describing the applicant organization, and the project for which funds are being sought

·        An explanation as to how the proposal fits into the primary funding areas of the Foundation

·        Information as to the individuals to be served or benefitted by the grant, and the number of persons affected

·        A description of the expected impact and effect of the grant on the individuals and organization

·        A description of plans to sustain the program/project after the grant

·        A detailed budget for the program/project, the amount sought from the Foundation, and other funding sources

·        The names, occupations and affiliations of the organization’s current board of directors or trustees

·        Evidence of diversity and inclusiveness among the organization’s staff and board

·        Copy of IRS 501 (c)(3) tax exempt determination letter

·        Documents such as budgets, board lists, cover letter, etc, may be attached to the online application

·        Follow-up reports of grants made, and results achieved, are expected

·        Grant applicants will be informed of the decision made at the Foundation’s board meeting, and grant checks will be sent normally within one week after the board meetings



Revised June 2018