The Fall 2017 Seeds of Hope granting cycle is now closed. The Spring 2018 cycle will open January 15, 2018 and the deadline for applications is 8 p.m. Eastern on April 15, 2018 to be considered by the Joint Grants Committee. Please visit the How to Apply section for more information.  

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Seeds of Hope – Granting Funds

Seeds of Hope Granting

Below are some of the funds that provide grants that support innovative, unique projects that enable us to live out the New Creed’s call to “seek justice”, “live with respect in creation”, and “love and serve others”.

Watkins Fund & Ann Baker Estate Trust for Innovative Ministries with Senior Adults

The Watkins Fund for Senior Adults is a bequest to The United Church of Canada from Reginald W. Watkins for the purpose of work with senior adults. The Ann Baker Estate Trust is a bequest to the United Church of Canada from Ann Baker for the purpose of work with seniors and seniors’ homes.

Grants from the fund are available to United Church pastoral charges, United Church outreach ministries and United Church corporations to support innovative initiatives in seniors’ ministry in the following areas:

  • Grants for feasibility and planning studies that can assist United Church congregations and institutions in planning for capital projects directed towards increased accessibility, and/or the development of new facilities to enable new directions and programs for senior’s ministry. Grants in this area do not normally exceed $10,000. Funding for capital programs to create accessibility should come from other sources.
  • Seed money or start-up funds for new programs and new directions within existing programs. Grants normally do not exceed $20,000 for one year with the expectation that on-going support will come from other sources.
  • Grants for structural changes and upgrading of existing facilities to United Church institutions including congregations, outreach ministries and senior’s homes. Normally this is a onetime grant not exceeding $20,000. Applicants must demonstrate how the grant contributes to the fostering of senior’s ministry in the institution. Grants in this area will not normally be given for capital expenditures that are specifically related to accessibility to the building.

Applicants will be eligible for one grant from only one of the three categories above in any given year

In all three areas above, priority will be given to projects which:

  • Are first time applications;
  • Advance or enable innovative programs for seniors;
  • Involve senior adults in planning and carrying out the program or project;
  • Help senior adults as far as possible to be self-determining whatever their situation;
  • Provide opportunities for senior adults to use their knowledge and skills;
  • Help senior adults to grow in faith, insight, and self-esteem.

Watkins Fund/ Wesley C. Smith Fund for Innovative Programs and Projects in Addressing Poverty and Children at Risk

The Watkins Fund/Wesley C. Smith Fund is comprised of a bequest to a bequest to The United Church of Canada from the estate Reginald W. Watkins for the purpose of work with the economically disadvantaged populations and a bequest to The United Church of Canada from the estate of Wesley C. Smith for work with at-risk children.

Grants from the fund are available to United Church pastoral charges, United Church outreach ministries and United Church corporations to support innovative ministry with the poor or with children at risk in the following areas:

  • Grants for feasibility and planning studies that can assist United Church congregations or institutions in planning for initiatives related to innovative projects with the poor. Grants in this area do not normally exceed $5,000.
  • Grants for feasibility and planning studies that can assist United Church congregations or institutions in planning for initiatives related to innovative projects with at risk children. Grants in this area do not normally exceed $5,000.
  • Seed money or start-up funds for pilot projects that explore new directions in overcoming poverty Grants normally do not exceed $10,000 for one year with the expectation that on-going support will come from other sources.
  • Seed money or start-up funds for pilot projects dealing with at risk children. Grants normally do not exceed $10,000 for one year with the expectation that on-going support will come from other sources.

Applicants will be eligible for one grant from either category 1. or 3. and also one grant from either category 2. or 4. in any given year.

Priority will be given to projects which are first time applications, that:

  • Advance or enable innovative programs for the poor and/or at risk children;
  • Involve individuals who will benefit in planning and carrying out the program or project;
  • Provide opportunities for individuals to use their knowledge and skills;
  • Help people to grow in faith, insight, and self-esteem.

Camping Trust

The Camping Trust was created to assist United Church camping ministries.

Criteria:

  1. The applicant must be a United Church camping ministry as per Section II D of the Year Book.
  2. The fund will support renovations to building and facilities. Grants will be available for:
    • feasibility and planning studies that can assist United Church camping ministries in planning for capital projects directed towards increased accessibility, and/or the development of new facilities to enable new directions and programs for camping ministry;
    • structural changes and upgrading of existing facilities. Applicants must demonstrate how the grant will contribute to the camping ministry.

Ina Grafton Gage Trust

Early last century, Ina Grafton Gage had a vision of providing housing for those in need. Today her generosity continues to positively impact lives across the country through grants from her fund. Funds are available annually, and the Joint Grants Committee welcomes applications where:

  • the project is led by a United Church–related institution.
  • the project will provide low-income housing and/or housing for seniors.
  • a majority of the project funds have been secured through other avenues.
  • the project may be underway (i.e., construction may have started) and will be completed within the next three to five years.

Other considerations will include the degree of financial and other support provided to the project by the sponsoring congregation, members, and other courts of the church. Individual grants will not exceed $50,000.

The Foundation’s Living Spirit Fund & The Davey Family Fund & Kingscourt United Church Fund

The Living Spirit & Davey Family & Kingscourt United Church Endowment Funds are “Inspiration Funds” to respond to changing conditions and new ministry needs in any area. When the United Church was founded, television and the Internet, for example, did not exist. Now, electronic communication brings our own members together and proclaims faith and justice to the world around us. The Living Spirit Endowment Fund to give the Foundation a flexible, generous way to support new and emerging projects.

After growing up in the United Church and staying a faithful and committed member of the Church throughout her life, Shirley (Geiger) Davey believed deeply in the work of The United Church of Canada and wanted to see it continued in the 21st century and beyond. This led her to create the Davey Family Fund, leaving her gift to the wider church to ensure the work continues in whatever way is needed.

Upon closing in 2010, Kingscourt United Church (Kingston, ON) created the Kingscourt United Church Fund with the proceeds of sale of the church to ensure the spirit and good work of their congregation live on through grants given through the Seeds of Hope Program.

The Foundation’s Faith & Mission Fund

The Faith and Mission Fund will enable the strengthening of faith in United Church communities and help those communities meet the challenges of membership, mission and change.

The Foundation’s Peace and Justice Fund & The Brian & Belva Piercy Fund

The Peace and Justice Fund and the Brian & Belva Piercy Fund help people address peace, justice and environmental concerns.

After Brian Piercy’s death, Belva heard about the option of creating a Fund at the Foundation. Wanting to see the work of the church continue, Belva created the Brian & Belva Piercy Fund to ensure that they support Mission & Service and innovative new programs relating to peace and social justice work in their lifetime and beyond.

The Foundation’s Leadership Fund

The Leadership Fund will make grants to initiatives that support and sustain leaders of The United Church of Canada, lay and ordered, spiritual and temporal.