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The Genesis Fund: Grants for faith-based projects

February 14, 2013

The Make a Difference! Genesis Fund provides seed money for faith-based projects that are innovative or experimental, that represent a new initiative in Christian mission, or that may be deemed controversial.  Genesis Fund grants are made for domestic and international projects.  Grant proposals may be submitted by UCC local churches, associations, conferences, and national bodies; UCC-related institutions; and overseas/global partner churches. 

Next deadline: March 15, 2013.

Genesis Fund Basic Information
Genesis Fund Domestic Application Form
Genesis Fund International Application Form

Basic Information About the Genesis Fund

The Genesis Fund was created in 1996 by the United Church of Christ Executive Council with mission funds raised in the Make a Difference! Campaign among UCC members in the early 1990s.

The Genesis Fund is administered by Wider Church Ministries of the United Church of Christ. Disbursements of income from the Genesis Fund endowment are made by the Genesis Fund Committee which is comprised of seven persons who represent various settings of the UCC and who are appointed to six year terms by the UCC Executive Council.

As its name reflects, The Genesis Fund provides seed money for faith-based projects that are clearly innovative or experimental, that clearly represent a new initiative in Christian mission, or that may be deemed controversial. Genesis Fund grants are made for domestic and international projects.

The following entities are eligible to submit proposals:

  • United Church of Christ local churches, associations, conferences and national bodies;
  • UCC-related institutions* in service to the community;
  • Overseas/Global Partner Churches of the United Church of Christ.

* Full members of the UCC Council for Higher Education, the UCC Council for Theological Education, and the UCC Council for Health and Human Service Ministries as listed in the UCC Yearbook.

Please Note: The Genesis Fund Committee strictly adheres to these funding limitations when awarding grants.
Genesis Fund grant monies may be used for:

  • program expenses;
  • computer/technology equipment costs;
  • power point /video production expenses;
  • program-related office expenses (telephone, postage, etc);
  • publicity/promotional costs (publication and distribution).

Genesis Fund grant monies may not be used for:

  • staff or consultant salaries or benefits;
  • speaker honoraria or travel;
  • stipends or scholarships;
  • capital expenses (buildings, major repairs, furnishings)
  • administrative costs or fees.

Priority is given to funding new projects that expand direct service to meet human need or that enable effective public policy advocacy.

All proposals considered must be for projects clearly related to actions of the General Synod of the United Church of Christ within one of the following programmatic areas: environmental stewardship; the rights and freedoms of all persons; and the fair use of economic resources. Applicants are asked to identify the one category in which they wish their proposal to be considered. In considering grant proposals, the Committee takes into account the United Church of Christ's commitment to becoming a church that is multi-racial, multi-cultural, open and affirming, and accessible to all.

Grants from the Genesis Fund are made on a biennial basis. Grant applications are received only in odd numbered years. Funding decisions are be made in accordance with the following schedule:

  • March 15th Completed applications due in office by 5 p.m. (EST) (this is a firm deadline)
  • June-August Genesis Fund Committee Reading Period
  • September Genesis Fund Grant Making Meeting
  • October 1st Funding Decisions announced and funds released.

Grants are made in October of odd-numbered years. Year I of the funding cycle is from October 1 to September 30 (e.g., October 1, 2005 to September 30, 2006); Year II of the funding cycle is from October 1 to September 30 (e.g., October 1, 2006 to September 30, 2007). Every new funding cycle begins October 1st in odd-numbered years.

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