The Eloise McKnight Trust

The Eloise McKnight Trust provides grants for mission, ministry, service and outreach. To apply for a grant from the McKnight Trust, read the full details below and click here to fill out this application and email it to or print and mail it to: NPUMC, 1 Grove Street, New Paltz, NY 12561.

Update from the McKnight Trust Committee

Jane Ruback, January 2021

Eloise’s interest in developing this fund was to encourage the church’s mission and ministry, helping to grow faith, service and outreach in Christ’s name.  She envisioned the fund as a resource that would promote growth and personal discipleship and which would draw members of the congregation into participating and witnessing Christ’s work on earth.

Eloise’s ideas about service and mission are aligned with the Vision Statement of the United Methodist Church and connected to the Church’s Mission Statement published in the United Methodist Discipline.  That statement begins, “Mission is witness to the God of Grace” and is connected to five essential dimensions-Proclamation, Evangelism, Incorporation, Nurture and Servanthood.  Important among these elements is the value of congregational participation in spreading God’s word, witnessing its impact on others and practicing the discipline of faith. 

The McKnight fund asks applicants to describe how their proposal fulfills the purposes Eloise expected the fund to support.  Additionally, applications are reviewed by members of the congregation through the McKnight Fund Committee and Administrative Board as extensions of the greater church body.  In this way we all have a part in supporting the activities these projects bring to the communities that need them.

In the past year, 2021, the McKnight Trust provided support to for these projects:

3/21 The McKnight Committee received a request for $500 from Sharon Roth on behalf of the St. Lazarus School in Dano, Burkina Faso, in order to pay salaries to the school’s teaching staff.   The application noted that the school served roughly 67% Christian and 33% Muslim students and that it offered them education which prevented them from being relegated to lives of slavery and bondage.

3/21 The McKnight Committee received a request for $540 from Pearl Lee in order for Playschool to purchase bicycles from Community Playthings in Rifton, NY.  The funds helped to replace bicycles which were no longer usable. The funds enabled the school to purchase 2 bicycles at $270 each.

9/21 The McKnight Trust Committee received a request for $3000 by the New Paltz UMC Supplemental Food Program, coordinated by Kathy Weiss and Nani Bautochka.  The request supported plans to provide 20 bags of supplemental food each month for farmworker families and 10 bags of supplemental food each month for senior citizens in need in 2022. 

11/21 McKnight Trust Committee received a request for $2010 from Mary Rappleyea and Felicia Rangel-Samponaro from the Sidewalk School. The school provides educational services and various supports to asylum seekers in towns located near the border of Mexico and the United States. The application outlined needs for specific help with sanitation, hygiene and washing stations. These funds were earmarked to pay for 3 portapotties and which were to be employed immediately. The Sidewalk School expected to be able to continue to operate the shelter for at least a year.

Eloise would undoubtedly be pleased by the ways in which her gift has kept on giving throughout the years. Her wishes to ensure that our church carries on the work that Christ calls on us to do are surely fulfilled each year as her fund grows in value and in turn becomes available to support important work in God’s world.  We are blessed to have had Eloise in our Church family and to be able to honor her compassion and foresight in naming the New Paltz Church as a steward of her finest wishes.

To apply for a grant from the McKnight Trust, fill out click here to fill out this application and email it to or print and mail it to: NPUMC, 1 Grove Street, New Paltz, NY 12561.

Principles and Guidelines for Applications for Trust Fund Grants
Accepted by the Administrative Board on 3/13/07


Eloise McKnight’s primary aim in creating this trust was to “encourage our mission and ministry at the growing edge of faith, service and outreach in Christ’s name.” She “affirmed the unique mix of spiritually biblical foundation, sense of mission and social outreach that has characterized the New Paltz United Methodist Church for many years.” Eloise was specifically interested in supporting programs that “promote growth in personal discipleship and in congregational participation and witness; [and] in programs which would deepen and expand our involvement in mission and special benevolences.”

In order to make these criteria for grants and grant applications clear we offer the following principles based on Eloise’s concerns and the mission statement of United Methodist Church (this material is generated from the United Methodist Discipline and numerous other materials describing the United Methodist Vision).

Eloise McKnight’s Vision

As elaborated by the United Methodist Church Vision Statement and as will be applied to the Fund, Eloise McKnight’s interests and concerns are effectively elaborated and expanded on in the Vision Statement of the United Methodist Church. Therefore the focus of this fund and its offers of support will fall into five areas. Here we rely heavily on the above mentioned Mission Statement published in the United Methodist Discipline which begins “mission is witness to the God of grace and witness has certain essential dimensions”.

  1. Proclamation: The church proclaims the Gospel, we tell the Good News.
  2. Evangelism: To proclaim the Gospel is fundamental. TO invite persons to personal decision and commitment to Jesus Christ is equally fundamental so we reach out into the community and receive people who hear the Good News as we seek to make it known. We in turn receive these people into the life of the church
  3. Incorporation: We encourage persons to be a part of the body of Christ and to participate in the life of his body, the church. All who are “in Christ” share in the mission of Christ.
  4. Nurture: We provide opportunities for people to be nurtured and to practice the disciplines of faith.
  5. Servanthood: We support and send people back into the world to live and act as faithful disciples and to practice the faith in word and action wherever they may encounter God’s creation and God’s people in our community and in the whole world.

The above 5 principles are to be seen either in part or as a whole as the determining criteria by which a grant is considered by the McKnight Fund Committee and the Administrative Council of the New Paltz United Methodist Church.

Application Criteria Applied

1. It is the responsibility of the applicant to clearly and objectively show how their application for funding meets one or more of the above described areas of Christian witness. The committee does not demand that all areas be addressed, but there must be a clear demonstration that at least one of these areas is included as the central objective of the application.

2. Any request put before the committee could be legitimately be addresses to concerns of the local church, the community (town, state, church conference, etc) or world. Thus a request would be appropriate which seeks to offer support or assistance to any one or combination of these areas of endeavor (However see note at end)

3. The Grant applications needs, therefore, to show a clear plan for some expression of one or more of the 5 principles of witness: proclamation, evangelism, incorporation, nurture or servanthood. This includes objectives and goals that are described clearly. Further, these objectives need to be in some sense measurable in some reportable way. Reports of the work will be called for by the Administrative Council and Committee.

4. It will be the task of the applicant to identify and define which of the 5 witness areas he/she/they are seeking to address in their project or program. The committee will read and hear presentations that will contribute clarity to these intentions.

5. All grants which are awarded shall be time specific (generally not more that one year in length, subject to renewal if further funding is requested). This means that applications should express the length of time for which the is requested as well as the total amount of support requested for that time period. In all cases grants shall be reviewed annually from the time of their initial acceptance. Grants which do exceed one year and which anticipate additional funding shall receive continuance only after a review process by the Committee and the Administrative Council. Note: any grant to the New Paltz United Methodist Church or its programs which ordinarily would be considered part of the current expense budget would need to be carefully examined before funding by the McKnight Fund Committee. Ordinarily proceeds of the Trust should not be employed regularly to fund our basic operations (cost of ordinary building care, basic expense of staff, office or Sunday School are generally to be excluded except in emergencies or cases of dire need.

Eloise McKnight Grant Application in PDF

Eloise McKnight Grant Application in MS Word