The 237th annual Diocesan Convention approved a budget for calendar year 2023 that includes a $40,000 set-aside for initial funding for new Mission Initiatives.
Diocesan Council has tasked the Mission Initiatives Committee with facilitating the grant request process and making recommendations to Council regarding congregations, programs and chaplaincies that receive funding through the annual diocesan budget under the “Mission Initiatives” category. This entails developing and maintaining applications, establishing guidelines to promote alignment with diocesan mission strategy and recommending funding.
Additionally, the Mission Initiatives Committee receives reports, provides evaluations and makes recommendations to Diocesan Council. Please refer to the Mission Initiatives Committee Grant Guidance – Process and Reporting Overview (March 2023) for additional information on the role of the committee, funding philosophy and guidance on program entry and continuing participation.
The Mission Initiatives Committee looks forward to receiving and reviewing applications for initial funding and has prepared the following guidance and instructions for those inclined to apply. Please note that priority will be given to under-resourced congregations and eligible programs for funding during this budget year.
Parameters for prospective new grantees
- Cannot be a prior recipient of Mission Initiatives funding: Only congregations or programs that have not received Mission Initiatives funding through the annual diocesan budget in the past will be considered by the Mission Initiatives Committee in applications for the new initiative funds.
- 2023 funding: Funds have been allocated in the 2023 budget, and congregations or programs awarded a grant may also be considered for funding in subsequent years, subject to review and recommendation by the Mission Initiatives Committee.
- Pool of funding: The maximum funding in the 2023 budget for new initiatives is $40,000.
- Minimum request threshold: The minimum request to be entertained by the Mission Initiatives Committee for the 2023 cycle is $10,000. For smaller funding needs in 2023, please take note that Congregational Development Grants (up to $10,000), House of Mercy and Sending Serving grants (the latter two being approved by deanery assemblies) are alternative sources of seed money for new ideas and/or projects envisioned or planned at a smaller scale.
- Option year: The application for 2023 funding will also serve as an application for annual budget funding in 2024 (Option Year), if requested. The Option Year funding request can be less than $10,000.
- Reporting and Listening Session attendance: First-year recipients are not required to file a report documenting their 2023 activities and expenditures to receive funds in 2024. However, representatives of the first-year recipients will be required to attend the annual Listening Sessions (discussed below), which are both instructive and informative and will provide examples of the recipients’ future reporting responsibilities.
- Alignment with diocesan mission strategy: Any proposal/application for Mission Initiatives funding should be aligned with, and deemed capable of advancing, the shared goals of our diocesan mission strategy and ultimately should bring the Gospel to life in our time.
Applications should include:
- Name of congregation and/or program
- Contact person for the application (name, e-mail and phone number)
- Name of sponsoring clergy (if applicable)
- Initial grant amount requested for 2023
- Additional funding amount requested for 2024 (Option Year)
Application instructions and evaluation questions
Response limit: No single answer should be more than 500 words. Materials attached that were not sought by the application or the Mission Initiatives Committee will be discarded, and the application may be deemed "non-responsive" and not advanced to further review.
Alignment with diocesan mission strategy: How does this initiative or program facilitate one or more of the following? Focus on the two where your initiative or program is in greatest alignment.
- Inviting robust Christian formation at all points of life
- Nurturing healthy communities where we can care for ourselves and each other
- Sharing the Good News
- Seeking greater unity as members one of another
- Committing to our own growth as people who live in right relationship with one another
- Working together against the climate crisis
- Influencing public policy by advocating justice for all people and for the creation
- Communicating our collective progress toward true transformation of our ourselves and our world regularly and transparently
Needs basis and response: How did you identify the needs addressed through this initiative or program and how are you responding?
Enlivening the Gospel: How is the Gospel made alive in this initiative or project?
Administration: How is this initiative or program administered? Note that later in the application, the roster of your governing body will be sought.
Achievement of goals: How will Mission Initiatives funding help you accomplish your goals this year (and in the Option Year if sought)?
Funding: What are your other sources of funding? Note: Other/alternative sources of funding for initiatives aligned with diocesan mission strategy are encouraged, not discouraged.
Funding plan/sustainability: What is your plan for expanding your capacity to raise funds so that you can become less dependent on strategic ministry funding through the annual diocesan budget?
Longer-term goals: What are the goals of this initiative or program beyond the first year of Mission Initiatives support?
Applications and deadlines
The Mission Initiatives Committee has opened the process for reporting and re-application for existing Mission Initiatives grantees for the coming 2024 budget development cycle.
- Find the application form for new applicants here (due May 19)
- Find the application form for existing grantees here (due July 7)
- Find the reporting form for 2022 funding here (due July 7)
Questions may be e-mailed to MissionInitiatives@diomass.org.