Deaf Ministry

Is the mission of Lutheran Friends of the Deaf, Inc. It all began in 1944, at the LCMS Saginaw Convention when a resolution commemorating the 50th anniversary of the Synod’s Ministry to the Deaf was passed to raise funds to establish an east coast school for deaf. Money was raised for the cause for four years, and a group of pastors and laymen from the New York area began to meet about setting up the school. In 1947, the group incorporated as the charitable, non-profit corporation, Lutheran Friends of the Deaf. In 1949, Lutheran Friends of the Deaf purchased the 86-acre “Sefton Manor.” In 1951, Mill Neck Manor Lutheran School opened to 19 deaf boys and girls. By 1956, Mill Neck Manor was fully accredited by New York State. Since its inception over 60 years ago, Lutheran Friends of the Deaf has grown into the Mill Neck Family of Organizations. Today, a Recognized Service Organization within the LCMS, Lutheran Friends of the Deaf develops and disseminates resources for deaf ministry, congregations and training for religious interpreters.

Mill Neck Foundation, Inc.

Mill Neck Foundation, Inc. raises money and grants funds to institutions, programs and projects with the goal of enhancing Christian ministry with the deaf. This includes support for a variety of deaf ministries throughout the United States and the world, including Mill Neck Manor School for the Deaf,  Mill Neck Services for Deaf Adults and Lutheran Friends of the Deaf. With international projects increasing in number and scope, Mill Neck Foundation, Inc.  is providing the support to provide vital technical assistance and program development around the globe. Currently, Mill Neck Foundation, Inc. supports existing and emerging projects in China, Vietnam, Jordan, Madagascar and Kenya.

Grant Guidelines

Grant applications are considered and evaluated based on the following guidelines:

  • The Sponsoring Organization must be a NOT-FOR-PROFIT Organization. Except in extraordinary circumstances, grants are limited to 501(c) 3 organizations. Grants to new organizations, which have not yet received not-for-profit status from the IRS, must be channeled through and sponsored by an existing 501(c) 3 organization.
  • The Sponsor must be a credible, trustworthy, accountable organization that uses qualified individuals to administer and implement the activities described in the application.
  • Grant projects must address deaf-related issues through Christian service. Projects must work to eliminate the circumstances that keep the deaf population from experiencing the fullness of life made possible through Jesus Christ.
  • The focus of the application should be on new initiatives, directions or methods. Grants are not provided to support the normal, ongoing operation expenses of an established project or ministry.
  • Grant applications must be received between January 1st and March 1st of the grant funding period.
  • The grant application must be submitted in the format provided by Lutheran Friends of the Deaf and must follow the steps in the application.
  • Grant funding is for one year, from July 1st through June 30th of the following year.
  • Grant applications for capital improvements or for ongoing support will not be considered.
  • Grant applications should reflect direct service to individuals who are deaf. Applications which are heavily weighted in the area of administration or overall management are unlikely to be approved.
  • Should products or materials be produced with the funds granted, Lutheran Friends of the Deaf is entitled to an agreed upon number or percentage of products/materials produced.
  • Projects should show evidence of having the capability of becoming self-supporting and/or coming to a natural conclusion based on a specific product or service.
  • Project activities/products should acknowledge/display “Lutheran Friends of the Deaf” as supporter.


Grant Application

Grant proposals must be submitted in the following format and sequence. Proposals should not exceed six pages (8.5″ x 11″ paper). Application – Must not exceed six copies. Two copies must be submitted. Cover page – Provide on the cover sheet the following information:

  • Name of project
  • Sponsoring organization/congregation
  • Address, phone/fax number of sponsoring organization/congregation
  • Project coordinator, if different from Executive Officer, and phone/fax number for that person
  • Date of application

Letter of authorization – This letter should be written on the sponsoring organization/congregation letterhead and must indicate awareness and support for the proposed project. This letter should be signed by the Executive Officer of the sponsoring organization.

Proposal statement – In a brief paragraph, give a description of the proposed project.

Amount of the grant request – Indicate the amount requested from Lutheran Friends of the Deaf to run the project, and the percentage of support for the project to be provided by Lutheran Friends of the Deaf.

Information about sponsoring organization/congregation – Provide a brief introduction, history, purpose, size and important facts about the sponsoring organization/congregation. Provide information on how the sponsoring organization/congregation will be supportive of the proposed project.

Needs this project is designed to meet – Describe what needs this proposed project will be designed to meet.

Project time period – The project will run shorter than the one year funding cycle (a one-time event, such as a conference or youth event); will run for the one year funding cycle; or will be an ongoing project.

Anticipated outcome goals or results of the project – List one or more specific outcomes that will be accomplished by the end of the grant period. Each goal should be specific, measurable and attainable. Following each outcome, describe how it will be measured.

Steps in the process – Time line and schedule of major steps in accomplishing the anticipated outcome goals.

Anticipated number of people served – Provide information regarding what people or groups will benefit from the project

Briefly explain how this proposed project does or does not meet each of the following criteria:

  • Is innovative
  • Demonstrates local ownership
  • Will gather its own ongoing support
  • Is timely or urgent
  • Involves and empowers persons who are deaf

List any other funding – List other sources/agencies through which you have requested financial assistance for this project and the results of your request(s).

Budget – On a separate paper at the end of the narrative:

  • Itemize the TOTAL budget needed for this project
  • Itemize amounts to be provided by other sources/agencies
  • Itemize amounts to be provided by sponsoring organization/congregation
  • Total available for the project
  • Amount requested from Lutheran Friends of the Deaf
  • The percentage of the Lutheran Friends of the Deaf support to the overall budget

For more information about grants, please email

Please return completed grant applications to: Dr. Mark R. Prowatzke, Executive Director Lutheran Friends of the Deaf 40 Frost Mill Road, Box 100 Mill Neck, New York 11765


Mill Neck Foundation, Inc. and Lutheran Friends of the Deaf have memberships and partnerships with other Lutheran organizations such as:

  • Lutheran Services of America
  • Lutheran Services New York Alliance
  • The Atlantic District
  • Wartburg
  • Bethesda
  • Wheat Ridge Ministries


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