Broad trusts and endowments that the Board or donors created provide annual grants through the Seeds of Hope granting program to support innovative, unique and much needed 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”.
The Joint Grants Committee welcomes applications to the Seeds of Hope granting program for new, unique projects that:
- Provide innovative seniors ministry
- Focus on children and youth
- Address environmental and social justice issues
- Look at new ways to provide ministry and support during transition periods
- Facilitate experiencing faith and spirituality
All applications must be submitted by the deadline, on the correct form, and completed in full to be considered by the Joint Grants Committee. The Committee will not consider requests from non-United Church organizations or requests for more than 50% of the project’s cost.
Priority will be given to applications that:
- benefit either The United Church of Canada as a whole or a broad constituency within The United Church of Canada (or a partner organization).
- are innovative and encourage new expressions of ministry.
- will continue to have an impact after the grant is expended.
- strengthen the capacity of organizations that further the work of The United Church of Canada.
Pilot or start-up projects should include provision for evaluation and a plan for financial viability beyond the pilot or start-up stage.
Matching grants may be made in appropriate circumstances to stimulate response from other sources.
Multi-year funding will be considered in appropriate circumstances, subject to regular progress reports and financial reports, but we do not normally fund regular core programs. Successful applicants will be notified at the time of initial funding if they are receiving multi-year funding.
Applicants who submit requests for funding for projects they previously received a grant for should be aware that they may not receive any funding in subsequent years or, if they do receive funding, that it will be at a reduced level.
The Joint Grants Committee will not consider applications that:
- are from or for the benefit of an individual (unless they are for bursaries or scholarships).
- are to reduce accumulated capital or operating deficits, or to retire debt.
- are for general operating costs not linked to a project that meets our granting criteria (as outlined in the list of priorities above).
- are from non-United Church organizations.
There are two granting cycles per year: one in the spring and one in the fall. We will accept applications from January 15 to April 15, and from July 15 to October 15 each year. Please make sure to visit the website each cycle and sign up to receive our newsletter for the list of funds providing grants each cycle.
How To Apply
Seeds of Hope applications are preferred to be completed using our online application form where the process is 100% paperless. You may access the application here. If you are a new applicant, you will need to create a user account before starting. Once you have created this account, you may access your application(s) and edit it as many times as you wish before submission. However, once you have submitted or the deadline has passed you will not be able to access the application.
Information collected in the application process will only be used for the purposes of reviewing grant applications, will only be accessible to the Foundation, and will be held in confidence.
If you have questions about the application process, or whether your project is eligible for funding, please contact Erik Lo Forte, Grants Officer at 1-866-340-8223 or by email
To assist interested organizations, the Foundation has created a webinar on grant writing that includes information on the various granting streams of the church and Foundation. You can access a recording of the one hour session if you would like to review the information presented.
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”.
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.
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.
The Camping Trust was created to assist United Church camping ministries.
- The applicant must be a United Church camping ministry as per Section II D of the Year Book.
- 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.
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 Living Spirit, Davey Family, Kingscourt United Church, and Jean C. Moore 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.
(Catherine) Jean Moore was a long-time member of Canadian Memorial United Church in Vancouver, BC, and a staunch supporter and advocate of the Mission & Service of the Church. Before she died in 2016 at the age of 100, Jean included in her will a very generous bequest to The United Church of Canada Foundation to ensure her contribution to the life and work of the Church continued far beyond her lifetime.
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.