Everything You Need to Know About Grants in the Diocese

What grants are available?

The food bank at Christ Church, Millwood benefited from a diocesan Mustard Seed Grant.

The food bank at Christ Church, Millwood benefited from a diocesan Mustard Seed Grant.

  • Mustard Seed Grants
  • United Thank Offering (UTO) Grants
  • Fund for World Mission Grants
  • Youth Mission Vouchers

What are the sizes of each grant?

  • Mustard Seed Grants range from $500 to $5,000.
  • UTO Grant sizes depend on the amount of donations received for the UTO Fund.
  • Fund for World Mission Grants provide up to $250 for an individual and up to $500 for a group taking a mission trip.
  • Youth Mission Vouchers provide a $200 youth mission voucher to all youth (under 19 years old) following confirmation.

Where can I find the links for the applications?

  • Mustard Seed Grant Application: Click here
  • UTO Grant Application: Click here
  • Fund for World Mission Grants: Click here
  • Youth Mission Vouchers: Click here

What is the granting cycle for each program?

Mustard Seed Grants – A one page letter of inquiry is due to the Office of Mission and Outreach by February 15, 2013. If the grant idea fall generally within the grant’s program’s guidelines, then the Office of Mission and Outreach will inform you by phone or e-mail whether or not you should submit a full proposal. If advised, submit a full proposal no later than March 5, 2013 to the Office of Mission and Outreach. Grant applicants should receive their grant, if approved, in the beginning of May.

UTO Grants – The grant requests for the Diocese of Virginia must go through the bishop’s office and the diocesan UTO Committee. The grant request should be sent via e-mail to Mary Anne Bryant (mabryant@thediocese.net) by February 8, 2013. Only two grants from the Diocese, one domestic and one international, will be selected to be sent to UTO for the granting process. The UTO Committee will meet on February 12, 2013 to recommend which grants be sent to UTO. If agrant is selected, you will find out in June if the grant is accepted. Checks for grants are distributed between August and September.

Grants can be submitted at any point in the year for the Fund for World Mission Grants.

What kind of projects does the Mustard Seed Grant program fund?
The general purpose of Mustard Seed Grants is to strengthen the various ministries of the Diocese of Virginia and its churches. Mustard Seed Grant projects should advance the mission of a church, region or college chaplaincy by enabling growth through development of new programs, ministries and initiatives; expansion of existing programs, ministries or initiatives; or expansion or improvement of facilities in order to facilitate ministry growth.

There are four grant areas:

Youth and College Ministries:
In 2013, grants will be awarded to support the tools or supplies needed for special or “one-off” youth group or campus ministry projects.  This may include – but is not limited to – money toward the purchase of supplies to support youth or young adult mission trips, supplies to aid in creating youth/young adult space in an existing parish, or toward the start (or re-start) of a youth or young adult program.  Travel expenses, food, or salaries are NOT eligible expenses, and applicants must also demonstrate how this will directly feed the youth or college students in their program. Grant proposals are evaluated by the Christian Formation Commission.

Local Outreach:
Grant projects will be considered that are designated to help churches and regions develop their outreach programs. New outreach programs and expansion of existing programs are acceptable focuses for grant proposals. Involvement of the congregation in carrying out the project activities is highly encouraged. Churches and regions may co-sponsor applications. Grant proposals are evaluated by the Committee on Mission and Outreach.

World Mission:
Grants are made to support mission efforts that better lives by strengthening developmental infrastructures and institutions in foreign countries where church mission work is needed or being carried out. Applications should clearly explain how the proposed project will enhance the world mission ministries of the church, region, or college chaplaincy submitting the grant proposal. Note: Requests to fund parishioners’ mission trip expenses are NOT eligible. Such requests should be submitted to the Fund for World Mission.  Grant proposals are evaluated by the Committee on Mission and Outreach.

Strengthening Existing Churches:
Grants are considered in the following areas: programmatic expansion, leadership development, facilities expansion and improvement, and technology enhancement. Applications should clearly explain how the proposed project will strengthen the ministry of the submitting church, region or college chaplaincy. Grant proposals are evaluated by the Committee on Congregational Development.

What does the Mustard Seed Grant Program not fund?

  • Annual operating support
  • Support for mature programs
  • Financial support for specific individuals, rather than programs
  • Loans
  • Building repair and maintenance that would normally be considered “routine”
  • Multi-year requests
  • Travel expenses for individuals participating in mission trips
  • Requests from churches intending simply to redistribute grant money to other organizations or individuals (pass-through grants; re-granting)
  • Sponsorships of festivals or one-time events that are organized and offered by other organizations
  • Salaries

What type of projects does the United Thank Offering Grant Program fund?
The United Thank Offering supports projects that target two identified Marks of Mission: (1) To respond to human need by loving service and (2) To seek to transform unjust structures of society.

The United Thank Offering supports projects:

  • Alleviating poverty (domestic and international)
  • Making significant impact
  • Demonstrating new and innovative programs/projects/work
  • Transforming unjust structures of society

What type of projects does the United Thank Offering Grant Program not Fund?

  • Project site two consecutive years
  • Capital fund campaigns or debt reductions
  • Deferred maintenance
  • Operational budges (meaning the proposed budget and program is the same as the year before)
  • Debts obligated or incurred before the date of the grant award
  • Purchase of consumable items (e.g. food, medicine, paper goods, toiletries, fuel, etc.)
  • Scholarships, tuition, camp, fees, and attendance incentives
  • Emergency response
  • A vehicle with a 12 or 15 passenger chassis (due to stability and insurance matters)
  • Previously funded requests
  • Capital improvements that do not expand capacity to meet compelling human need or mission and ministry need in disadvantaged situations
  • Programs regarded to be diocesan operating budgets

Why should my church apply for a UTO Grant if only two per diocese are chosen?
Once a church has taken the time to write a grant application to one program it can be used to apply for other grants. If a grant is denied from UTO, it may be eligible to apply for a Mustard Seed Grant. Also, check the “Grants and Mission Funding” diocesan webpage in the future for other grant opportunities.

What does the Fund for World Mission Grants fund?
This fund is designed to provide grants to individuals and parishes who need support for short term mission trips. Under the Fund program, an individual may apply for a grant up to $250 and a parish may apply for a grant up to $500. Generally only one grant may be made, however, in connection with the same mission trip.

If you have any other questions regarding mission funding and granting please contact Buck Blanchard (bblanchard@thediocese.net), Mary Anne Bryant (mabryant@thediocese.net) or Ashley Cameron (acameron@thediocese.net).

References:

Posted by The Diocese

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