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 70 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.
Download a Lutheran Friends of the Deaf PDF information sheet.
For current news and updates from the Lutheran Friends of the Deaf team, visit/subscribe to the LFD Deaf Ministry Blog:
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 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. A copy of your IRS 501(c)3 approved letter is required.
- The Sponsor must be a credible, trustworthy, accountable organization that uses qualified individuals to administer and implement the activities described in the application. A letter of support is required. See “Grant Application” section for details.
- 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. Grants are funded annually, commencing on July 1st.
- The grant application must be submitted in the format provided by Lutheran Friends of the Deaf and must follow the steps in the application.
- Grants are normally for one year. Exceptions may be made with demonstrated need.
- 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 prominently display “Lutheran Friends of the Deaf” as supporter.
- Only one grant may be requested per year.
- Progress payments may be made.
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
- Mission of your organization must be clearly stated
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.
Letter of Support – A letter of support for your grant is required. Letter can be from your pastor, district president, president of your sponsoring organization or senior executive overseeing the project.
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.
Outcome Measurements – 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).
Branding – Describe how Lutheran Friends of the Deaf will be branded.
Financial Statements – Copy of your current audited financial statement must be submitted.
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 fill out our online Contact Us form or call 516-922-4100.
Please return completed grant applications to:
Attn: Barbara Lewis
Lutheran Friends of the Deaf
40 Frost Mill Road, P.O. 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
- Thrivent Financial for Lutherans
- The Atlantic District
- Lutheran Church – Missouri Synod (LCMS)
- Wheat Ridge Ministries
- Life in Christ Lutheran Church (Peoria, AZ)