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

Deadline: November 1, 2016

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: Community Development grants that 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.

Positive consideration will be given to organizations that work with persons directly experiencing economic or social injustice, i.e. racial or ethnic discrimination, handicapping or disabling conditions, long-term joblessness, and policies which break up poor families and particularly hurt low-income children, economic dislocation and disinvestment that undermine the ability to meet basic needs for them and their families.

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) modification of existing laws and/or policies, or (2) 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. Organizations with a primary focus on direct service will not be funded (e.g. daycare centers, recreation programs, community centers, scholarships, subsidies, counseling programs, referral services, cultural enrichment programs, direct clinical services, emergency shelters and other services, refugee resettlement programs, etc.).

2. Economic Development Grant Program: CCHD 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. Priority will be given to eligible applicants that address one or more of the following five priorities:

  • Real estate initiatives that foster both ownership and leadership opportunities for low-income people
  • Business incubators and marketplaces that provide a facility and ongoing support for small-business development
  • Community development financial institutions that help low-income people, community-based organizations, and businesses by providing financing for community development
  • Social purpose and training businesses that combine on-the-job training with the operation of a for-profit enterprise that provides employees with good income and opportunities to develop assets
  • Worker-owned and community-owned businesses with ownership and organizational structures that create both income and assets for low-income people

Amount: Grants range from $25,000-$75,000.

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. At least 50 percent of those participating in and benefiting from the organization’s efforts must be people experiencing poverty.

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

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