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U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops: Community Development and Economic Development Grants

Deadline: November 1, 2017

The Catholic Campaign for Human Development (CCHD) is committed to supporting organizations led by low-income individuals as they work to break the cycle of poverty and improve their communities. CCHD has two grant programs that are currently accepting applications:

1. Community Development Grant Program: This program support efforts that demonstrate a commitment to the dignity of the human person. CCHD-funded groups are led by people living in poverty and work to address the root causes of poverty by nurturing solidarity between the poor and non-poor and facilitating the participation of people living in poverty in decisions that perpetuate poverty in their lives. As part of such efforts, low-income people gain the ability to identify barriers, brainstorm solutions, and take action to change problematic structures and systems in their communities.

The applicant organization must demonstrate both the intention and the capacity to effectively work toward the elimination of the root causes of poverty and to enact institutional change. The organization’s efforts should directly benefit a relatively large number of people, rather than a few individuals. CCHD defines institutional change as: 1) the modification of existing laws and/or policies; and 2) the establishment of participatory and just social structures and/or redistribution of decision-making powers so that people living in poverty are involved in policy-making that affects their lives.

2. Economic Development Grant Program: This program supports economic development initiatives that significantly include the voice of the poor and marginalized in developing new businesses that offer good jobs and/or develop assets that will be owned and enjoyed by local communities. The program has two main goals:

  • Support low-income people as they empower themselves through the creation and operation of economic development institutions
  • Develop alternative economic structures that effect equitable access to income and a just balance of individual- and community-held assets

Applicants must demonstrate that they are committed to both of the above goals. Priority will be given to applicants that address one or more of the following four priorities:

  • Advance economic development models that enhance the scale of impact through replication or the transformation of an established model
  • Encourage collaboration that generates cooperation and solidarity among diverse groups in the interest of a more integrated and mutually understanding society
  • Link economic development with community organizing so that beneficiaries work together and with others on additional efforts to effect institutional change
  • Facilitate the development of information systems in organizations that enhance planning, accountability and mutual learning by organizations and by CCHD

Amount: Grants range from $25,000-$75,000. Economic Development grants require a 1:1 match in funds (in addition to any in-kind contributions).

Eligibility: Nonprofit organizations with 501(c)(3) status. Note that applicant organizations must not participate in or promote activities that contradict the moral and social teachings of the Catholic Church. Additional eligibility requirements are specific to the program, as follows:

1. Community Development Grant Program:

  • At least 50 percent of those participating in and benefiting from the applicant organization’s efforts must be people experiencing poverty
  • People living in poverty must have the dominant voice in the applicant organization

2. Economic Development Grant Program:

  • Applicants must focus on creating or expanding a stand-alone Economic Development Institution that will create income and/or assets for low-income people and communities
  • Members of the poverty group must have a strong voice in the leadership of the applicant organization
  • At least one-third of those who plan, implement, and make policy for the applicant organization (usually the board of directors) are low-income
  • At least one-half of the intended beneficiaries must be low-income

Link: http://www.usccb.org/about/catholic-campaign-for-human-development/grants/index.cfm

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