Faith communities represent one of the largest, most motivated forces for driving social change in our country. At the heart of civil society, people of faith have a long history of solving our nation’s problems by serving their neighbors with love, dignity, and respect.
Within these institutions of faith are social entrepreneurs that are innovating every day to solve challenges within their local community, but financial constraints and limited resources may hinder the implementation or growth of their creative solutions.
To support these innovators, Stand Together Foundation has launched Faith Forward. Inspired by our donor community, this small grant initiative is designed to identify and enable faith-motivated leaders to execute their ideas to tackle tough issues that faith communities are uniquely positioned to address, like broken relationships or social isolation, that often lie at the root of many people’s struggles.
Stand Together Foundation will award Faith Forward grants to projects proposed by faith leaders and institutions that:
- Operate in communities within the United States;
- Are willing to participate in one- to two hour-long facilitated conversations and peer learning meetings with Stand Together Foundation and other grantees;
- Can provide a short report detailing the charitable impact of the grant and are willing to engage in further conversations about their learnings;
- Commit to not using grant funds for activities that are primarily focused on proselytization or supporting normal congregational operating functions.
Projects that meet these criteria and clearly showcase their ability to harness the power and passion of faith institutions to heal and transform their communities will be considered for Faith Forward grants from Stand Together Foundation ranging from $5K to $15K.
Preference will be given to applications submitted by leaders of a house of worship such as a church, synagogue, mosque and the like (i.e., pastors, priests, rabbis, imams, etc.). Secondary consideration will be given to applications submitted by leaders of organizations that, while not formal houses of worship, are faith-inspired and leverage faith community members that are working to love and empower their neighbors.
Stand Together Foundation will accept Faith Forward applications from February 7, 2022 until March 14, 2022. Awardees will be notified on a rolling basis during this timeframe.
Applicant Note: Please be aware that, due to software restrictions, you are unable to save your application once you begin. Please consider drafting your answers in a separate document then submitting when you are prepared to complete the entire questionnaire.
Application Evaluation Criteria
Applications and proposed programs will be evaluated according to the following criteria and guidelines
- Relationship over Program: Project focuses on building relationships and community in order to solve problems and help people overcome internal barriers that are keeping them from flourishing.
- Community Member Activation and Engagement: Project seeks to activate a number of faith and other community members to engage and serve their neighbors to solve community issues (i.e., homelessness).
- Transformational: Project prioritizes removing barriers that are keeping people from reaching their fullest potential and empowers them to tap into their gifts and talents, compared to projects that provide people with goods and resources.
- Innovative: Project removes barriers in a new or novel way and can shift paradigms about how the country sees and approaches a particular barrier or community issue.
- Empowerment: Project seeks to build upon the potential and abilities of people it hopes to serve and positions them as the active protagonists in their own journey of self-actualization.
Frequently Asked Questions
- What is Stand Together Foundation?
Stand Together Foundation is committed to breaking the cycle of poverty in America by driving change from within communities. We are building a community of social entrepreneurs who believe in people, work from the bottom up, and unite with anyone to do right. Since 2016, we have committed over $120 million and counting to fuel the innovation of nonprofits throughout the country to build stronger, safer communities where all people can learn, contribute, and realize their full potential. Our goal is to help nonprofit leaders maximize their impact to transform more lives out of poverty. Learn more at www.StandTogetherFoundation.org.
- When do applications need to be submitted by?
We will receive applications until 5pm EST March 14, 2022; however, we encourage you to submit your application as soon as possible as grants will be awarded on a rolling basis.
- When will I be notified if my organization will receive funding?
We will notify approved applications on a rolling basis throughout the grant period: February 7, 2022 to March 14, 2022. All applicants will be notified no later than March 18, 2022.
- How is faith leader and faith institution being defined?
Faith leaders are generally being defined as individuals that have a formal leadership (i.e., clergy or pastor, priest, rabbi, imam, etc.) role at what would generally be recognized as a house of worship (church, synagogue, mosque, temple, etc.). Faith institutions are generally being defined as houses of worship (see above) as well as organizations that are inspired by religious convictions and whose work focuses on serving people within their community overcome barriers and realize their full potential.
- How long is the duration of the grant?
The grant period will be from the date of the grant agreement to July 1, 2022.
- What kind of reporting will be required of grantees?
Those that receive a Faith Forward grant will be asked to submit a short report on the charitable use and impact of the grant funds and may be asked to engage in further conversations with Stand Together Foundation about what grantee learned through its activities.
- Can Faith Forward grants be awarded to individuals or businesses?
Applications submitted by individuals who possess a fiscal sponsor with a 501(c)(3) determination letter from the IRS will be considered for a grant. Individuals without a fiscal sponsor and for-profit businesses will not be considered.
- Do houses of worship that are applying need a 501(c)(3) determination letter from the IRS?
Applicants from houses of worship do not need to have a 501(c)(3) determination letter from the IRS. We recognize houses of worship are not required by law to have such a letter and therefore many do not possess one.
- What can funds be used for?
Funds can be used to create new projects or operate existing projects or activities aimed at removing barriers for people within the local community or meet community challenges in a transformational manner.
- What can funds not be used for?
Funds cannot be used for lobbying purposes, to engage in political activity, or for activities or projects whose primary purpose is proselytization or supporting normal congregational operating functions.
- Where do I send my questions should I have any?
If you have questions about the Faith Forward small grant program, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.