GRANTS

Our Mission is to proclaim Jesus Christ and promote communities of joy, hope, love, and peace.
We Offer…
–   A community of people where the gospel of Jesus Christ is the focus of worship, learning, caring, and mission.
–   An opportunity for genuine spiritual growth and relationship with the Holy Spirit.
–   Local congregations where deep friendships are established, individual ideas are valued, and where those special needs find security, care, and support.
–   A faith community that encourages the ministry of all people, including children and youth.
–   A global community with a worldwide mission that values all cultures and celebrates the rich diversity of human life.
–   Meaningful opportunities to serve Jesus Christ by helping others and promoting peace.  As Disciples of Christ we are called to be in the world serving the least among us.

The Sierra Pacific USA Mission Center (SPMC) provides financial resources to assist jurisdictions to develop ministerial programs that address the mission of the Community of Christ in their local communities, consistent with the mission statement elements cited above.  A grant process has been instituted by action of the SPMC conference, implemented by an elected Grants Committee that is responsible for establishing guidelines for proposal submission, evaluation of submitted proposals, and awarding of grants.

If you have any questions or would like more information please contact us at grants@cofchrist-spmc.org or call 866-607-7762

Schedule

September 1, 2017 – Proposals must be submitted to the Grants Committee. Preferred electronic file format is a PDF sent via e-mail to grants@cofchrist-spmc.org. Alternatively, one paper copy may be mailed to the SPMC Office address:
Sierra USA Pacific Mission Center
Attn: Grants Committee
500 E. Calaveras Blvd. Ste. 333
Milpitas, CA 95035

November 1, 2017. Selected Grants will be notified of award.

November, 8, 2017. Funds will be awarded by the Grants Committee Treasurer (typically as a check made out to the congregational Financial Officer)

November 1, 2018. Final Report is due.

Individuals or Congregations seeking funding for ministerial enterprise are encouraged to exercise discernment and seek spiritual guidance as they respond in ministry to a specific sense of calling.  Effective ministry requires a combination of mental and heartfelt impulse, and is built on a foundation of love for those to whom we would minister.  Applicants are encouraged to consider the following questions as stimuli for identifying a relevant ministerial theme:

  • What are the critical needs of our community? If Christ were in our community today, where would he spend his time? Who would he spend his time with?
  • What are the ministerial talents of our congregation? What are we passionate about? How do our individual callings complement and supplement one another?  Who are the visionaries?  Who are the workers?
  • How can grant funding empower the youth and young adults in our fellowship, who often have many good ideas and boundless energy, but limited resources?
  • What are the socio-economic and cultural dynamics of our community?  How does the Gospel of Jesus and particularly his call to join in community mesh with these dynamics?  What opportunities are there to fill critical gaps or to build critical bridges?

Partnerships with other Church and community organizations are highly encouraged.  We who are seeking to follow the Path of the Disciple – “must be found continuing in the forefront of those organizations and movements which are recognizing the worth of persons and are committed to bringing the ministry of my Son to bear on their lives.” (Doctrine & Covenants 151:9).  The “Path of Discipleship” metaphor for ministry in this age calls us to a ministry of presence and companionship, to build relationships in community.

Guidelines:

  1. Proposals may be submitted by any congregation within the SPMC. Review and approval by congregational leadership is mandatory.
  2. Proposed ministerial programs should be aligned with the mission of the church. The mission statement cited above provides good general direction, but may be modified to better reflect a specific sense of calling within the congregation.
  3. This program is intended to directly support ministries. Proposals that include capital investment in building, property, or physical assets are allowed, but should be clearly related to a program of ministry.  Programs that include direct involvement of congregation members and facilities in the ministry will be favored over those that donate to other organizations.
  4. Grants are for 1 year. Proposed ministerial programs should target 1-year duration, culminating in a clear goal.  Longer-term projects may request funding for follow-on years by re-application.
  5. The accomplishments of the ministerial program should be measurable. A final report on the accomplishments of the program will be submitted to the SPMC Grants committee.
  6. Proposals should describe how the benefits and accomplishments of the ministerial program will become a part of the sustained life of the congregation.
  7. The Grants Committee will award a total of $10,000 for all funded programs. Proposed programs should be scoped accordingly.

Proposal Format

Proposals should be no longer than 2000 words and should include the following sections:

  1. Cover page including title, primary point of contact, congregational leadership approval, and total budget request.
  2. Introduction, including background and major objectives
  3. Ministerial objectives in relation to congregational and SPMC mission
  4. Implementation plan, including major milestones, sequence of activities, metrics of success.
  5. Staffing Plan with key skill sets identified and matched to key team members.
  6. Budget.

Up to 3 additional pages of supporting appendices may be added (including, e.g. the qualifications of key staff, support for budget credibility, etc.)

Evaluation Criteria

The SPMC Grants Committee will manage a review process that draws as extensively as possible on the expertise within the mission center to select the most promising and inspired ministerial programs.  Reviewers will evaluate proposals against the following three criteria:

  1. Alignment with ministerial goals (30%)
  2. Potential for measurable ministerial impact (40%)
  3. Budget sufficiency and realism (30%)

The Grants Committee will convene at the end of the review process to make final selections.  The Mission Center President or his designee will act as the selecting official and will weigh review assessments as well as the broader needs of the Mission Center in the selection process.

Proposals not selected for funding will be returned to the originators along with reviewer comments and suggestions regarding how they may be strengthened.  This process will be implemented under the guiding principle that all are called, and that it is a key function of the Church to provide a setting in which disciples can hear, understand, and respond in ministry to their sense of calling.

Final Report

The report should be no longer than 5 pages and should include:

  1. Summary of project, including accomplishments and challenges.
  2. Table of proposed accomplishments and success metrics, tabulated against the actual accomplishments of the program.
  3. Table of budgetary expenditures and correlation to accomplishments.
  4. Discussion of lessons learned.
  5. Discussion of plan for transitioning benefits and accomplishments of ministerial program to sustained congregational life.

Programmatic Considerations

Risk Management
Insurance

When a program is part of the jurisdictional ministry, the activities are covered under the liability insurance of the World Church.  A program is typically considered part of the jurisdictional ministry when:

  • it is supported by the pastorate and members;
  • it is promote within the jurisdiction;
  • the jurisdiction controls the ministry—leadership, scope, and direction; and
  • the jurisdictional leadership assigns resources that support the ministry.

To remain under the World Church’s insurance program, a group must have their board of directors elected at a mission center conference.  This requirement carries with it the assumption that the mission center officers have decision-making responsibility regarding the nominating process.  This allows groups to have Directors Errors & Omissions (E&O) coverage and to avoid the need for additional insurance.

Groups that desire to originate new programs in collaboration with the community an /or have grown to a point where they may be ready to evolve beyond jurisdictional control must give thought to their insurance needs

Registered Youth Workers

Jurisdictional groups operating programs oriented towards children or programs oriented to adults where childcare is provided must comply with the Registered Youth Worker program to avoid having to purchase outside insurance.  Independent groups that rent (or use) Community of Christ facilities must provide adequate insurance coverage including sexual abuse coverage in cases where children are involved.

Counselors

If counselors are being used for programs or educational classes, they must be licensed and carry their own insurance in the event of malpractice.

Agency Contact

If interaction with government or community agencies is central to the success of the program, they should be contacted about involvement prior to grant submission.

Financial accountability

The application should identify what entity is accountable for handling the grant funds.

  • Any program undertaken must not be defamatory, violate, or infringe upon privacy rights, copyrights, or other proprietary rights of any third party.
  • Adequate financial support to complete the program or project for which funds are to be granted must be demonstrated and reports filed in a timely manner.
  • Maintenance of all financial records related to the grant is required for three years following completion of the program or project inclusive of records from any sub-contractor or consultant involved.
  • Applicants who plan to engage sub-contractors are expected to obtain competitive bids and provide assurances that the prices are fair and reasonable.
  • Compliance with equal employment opportunity and non-discrimination laws and policies is required.

For questions about these items please contact Risk Management: Phone 1-800-825-2806, ext  3057 (USA or Canada) 00+1-816-833-1000, ext  3057 (International) or e-mail riskmanagement@CofChrist.org

Legal Services

When the jurisdiction is engaged in community service as an outreach of the church, it is appropriate to use the church’s nonprofit designation.  In a collaborative program, the jurisdiction may use its nonprofit status if serving as the “lead agency” and holding control of the funds as designated fiscal agent.  Jurisdictions should not allow outside or non-related community or faith groups to operate as a separate entity using the church’s nonprofit designation.

Participation in services or activities that could be characterized as political activity, including lobbying, is generally not acceptable and might jeopardize the church’s nonprofit designation.

It should also be noted that entities engaging in activities, which deliberately earn program income similar to for-profit organizations, might jeopardize nonprofit status.  This does not include fun raising events where the intent is to increase support for ongoing program needs.

Generally, nonprofit organizations should not derive more than half of their revenue from unrelated business activities.  Key factors to consider include:

(i) the purpose of the activity,

(ii) the magnitude of the activity in relation to tax exempt activities of the organization, and

(iii) the nature of the activity, e g , whether it involves actively conducting a commercial business enterprise involving the production of goods or performance of services or merely a passive investment or rental activity.

For questions about these items please contact Legal Services: Phone 1-800-825-2806, ext  2220 (USA or Canada) or 00+1-816-833-1000, ext  2220 (International) or e-mail legalservices@cofchrist.org