Seeds of Hope

Seeds of Hope

Seeds of Hope is now accepting applications

The spring 2021 Seeds of Hope granting cycle is now open! Completed applications must be received by 11:55pm Eastern on April 15th 2021 to be considered by the Joint Grants Committee. Please contact Erik Lo Forte at grants@united-church.ca for more information and sign up for our newsletter to stay up-to-date with the latestgranting and Foundation news. 

Plant a seed of hope that will grow into powerful ministry

The Seeds of Hope granting program supports innovative, unique, and much-needed projects which 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
  • Celebrate and encourage 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

Have questions?

We are here to help empower your ministry. 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 fill the form out below.

    “Seeing people become fully alive in God knows no bounds. My hope and joy is witnessing first-hand the ground that’s been broken around the vision of this program! As a long-time staff member of Silver Lake United Church Camp, I am very grateful to have been a direct beneficiary of the investment of many wonderful mentors and leaders.”

    Grant program guidelines

    All applications must be submitted by the deadline, on the correct form, and completed in full to be considered by the Joint Grants Committee. 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.

    How to apply

    The preferred method to apply for a Seeds of Hope grant is through our online application form. After creating an account, you may fill out the application. You may access your application and edit it as many times as you wish before submission. You will not be able to edit or access your application after submitting it, or after the application deadline has passed.

    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.

    congratulations!

    You’ve received a Seeds of Hope grant. Now what?

    As a recipient of a Seeds of Hope grant, we hope that you can help us spread the news of our granting programs and inspire even more ground-breaking initiatives of faith. Grant recipients are asked to submit a detailed report of their program.
     
    Click the button below to download our report guidelines, or download the entire grant recipient package which includes logos, photo release forms, and other helpful resources that will help you spread the good news.

    Seeds of Hope granting funds

    Innovative Programs for Seniors

    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.

    Children and Anti-Poverty Programs

    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.

    Housing Programs

    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.

    General Programs

    The Foundation’s Living Spirit Fund, The Davey Family Fund, the Kingscourt United Church Fund, & The C. Jean Moore Endowment Fund

    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 Environmental Endowment Fund

    The Environmental Endowment Fund was established in 2012 with an inaugural gift from the 40th Moderator of the United Church of Canada, Mardi Tindal.

    This fund will support initiatives of the United Church of Canada and enable it to live with respect in creation as a denomination and spirit filled people, and to actively work towards leaving our environment in a better state than we found it. This will be accomplished by providing grants in support of environmental justice initiatives

    Grants must enable and encourage the church to live with respect in creation. Priority will be given to projects that are working towards the current environmental priorities of the United Church of Canada.

    The fund can support but will not prioritize projects that are in support of environmental technologies or upgrades such as solar panel installation, retrofitting church buildings, LEED certification, or purchase of energy efficient appliances.

    The Gilmore Park United Church Fund

    In 1956 Gilmore Park United Church (Richmond, BC) began as a group of young families (9 adults and 15 children) who came together to worship and raise their children in the Christian faith. In 2019 Gilmore Park United Church established this fund in order to support Christian education for adults, or youth, or children who are members of a United Church community of faith or related organization.

    Grants from this fund are available to a United Church community of faith or related organization to assist with the costs of Christian education programming. Grants will be a maximum of $2,000 and must be used to defray the costs of the education and may not be used for capital expenditures.

    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.

    Lectureships and Events

    The Alfred J. Mitchell Trust

    The Alfred J. Mitchell Trust was established for the promotion of preaching of mission and ethics in the province of Ontario.

    Grants of up to $20,000 are available to a United Church–related, Ontario-based organization such as a congregation, learning centre, community ministry, theological school, etc. (as authorized by the terms of the trust).

    The successful applicant will provide a learning event focusing on one of the following topics:

    • the relationship of preaching and mission.
    • the changing nature of preaching (with an ethical focus).
    • the journey to becoming a missional church and the role of preaching and ethics in that journey.
    • preaching that connects with the ethical challenges within a post-Christian society.

    Should no applicants meet the above criteria, church events focused on mission, Christian education and development, or spiritual learning in a Christian context will be considered.

    Due to the pre-planning needed for a major event, applications may be made in the current year for an event to take place in the following year.

    The William Naylor Trust

    The William Naylor Trust was created by the members of the 1971 Keswick Conference Planning Committee to honour the memory of the late William Naylor who had been the Chair of that Committee.

    Criteria:

    • Grants from this trust will be award to event organizers with the goal of lowering the registration fees for event attendees or offering bursaries to participants.
    • Events must be related to The United Church of Canada.
    • Events must have a Christian underpinning.
    • Events must contribute significantly to furthering the work of the church.
    • Events must have a plan for evaluation and further dissemination of the information shared at the event.
    • Preference will be given to events that draw from a broad geographic area and focus on leadership development.
    • Events must occur within 18 months of the application.
    • If a grant will be used to lower registration fees, the organizers must indicate by how much and identify how that will impact attendance.
    • If a grant will be used to provide bursaries the organizers must indicate what criteria and decision-making process they will use to award those bursaries.
    The James Robertson Memorial Trust

    The James Robertson Memorial Trust is for the sponsorship of lectureships.

    Grants of up to $10,000 are available to an applicant that is a United Church–related congregation, learning centre, community ministry, theological school, etc. The grant will be awarded to a program outside of Ontario (as authorized by the terms of the trust).

    Successful applicants will provide a learning event focusing on one of the following topics:

    • The relationship of preaching and mission.
    • The changing nature of preaching (with an ethical focus).
    • The journey to becoming a missional church and the role of preaching and ethics in that journey.
    • Preaching that connects with the ethical challenges within a post-Christian society.

    Should no applicants meet the above criteria, church events focused on mission, Christian education and development, or spiritual learning in a Christian context will be considered.

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