Grant Guidelines and Information


The H.C. Gemmer Family Christian Foundation was created in 1956 by a gift of Hiram C. and Edith Gemmer, and was substantially grown in 1993 by a gift from the estate of H. Robert Gemmer. The primary charitable interests of the founders were causes promoting peace, justice, sobriety and racial harmony. The founders were also strong supporters of the ecumenical movement and the cooperative work of local, state, national and world councils of churches. The main emphases of the Foundation's grantmaking are in the following primary areas.


  • Promotion of alternatives to violence, militarism, and war

  • Promotion of programs fostering conflict resolution, conflict management, peace education, mediation, and reconciliation
  • Promotion of peace on the personal, community, national and international levels

  • Promotion of programs that reduce arms and violence, and foster exchange and understanding among nations and cultures

  • Promotion of programs addressing the prevention & treatment of domestic violence & cruelty.

Economic Justice and Human Rights

  • Promotion of programs that provide and protect the basic economic rights of food, clothing, shelter, medical care, education, and employment for all, especially for the poor

  • Promotion of programs seeking to enhance human dignity and protect human rights

  • Promotion of programs that work for racial justice, and in defense of civil rights, women’s rights, and lesbian/gay/bisexual/transgender rights

  • Promotion of programs that demonstrate the desire, practical means and intention to promote greater harmony and understanding among persons of different national origins, ethnic backgrounds, & races.

Ecumenical & Interfaith Cooperation

  • Promotion of programs and organizations that increase the understanding and cooperation of our brothers and sisters in different Christian traditions.

  • Promotion of programs and organizations that increase the understanding and cooperation of our brothers and sisters in different faith traditions.


  • Promotion of abstinence from consumption of alcohol or illegal drugs

  • Promotion of programs that treat drug & alcohol addiction and foster recovery.

Funding Priorities

  • Organizations that demonstrate a commitment to grassroots participation

  • Organizations or projects with a small enough budget that a grant in the range of $1,000 to $3,000 would make a significant impact

  • Organizations with financial stability, thoughtful strategy, sound operations, and dynamic leadership

  • Organizations that collaborate, share information and develop strategies to extend their impact and reach

  • Organizations that evaluate their practices, programs and grants to improve their effectiveness

  • Organizations that skillfully use communications to disseminate information to the greatest number of people

  • Projects or programs of a one-time nature

  • Seed money for the start-up of a new program

  • Organizations with relatively low administrative and fundraising costs

  • Organizations that demonstrate their commitment to diversity and equal opportunity with regard to race, gender, class, and culture in the composition of their board, staff, and program activities.

Funding Prohibitions

  • Grants to an individual for travel, study, or similar purpose, or to organizations sponsoring a request intended for the use by, or for the benefit of, a single individual

  • Grants for political purposes or lobbying activities, or otherwise attempting to influence legislation

  • Grants to organizations not organized and operated exclusively for purposes described in Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code

  • Grants for endowments, building funds, or other major capital expenditures

  • Grants for multiple years at once. (Applicants may apply again in subsequent years)

  • Grants for more than $3,000

  • Grants for operational deficits, financial emergencies, or debt retirement.