- Review Criteria
- Take Eligibility Quiz
- Any questions, Contact Speer
Fill out an online application
- Describe project and contacts
- Presbyterian church support
- Upload financial information
- Upload proposal
Apply by Mail or in Person
- Applications will ONLY be accepted online
Speer Reviews Application
- Details may be requested
- May schedule project visit
Grant decisions are made
- Decision made in 3 months
- Funding in installments
- 6 & 12-month interim reports
2 Grant cycles a year
- April 1st at 2 P.M.
- October 15th at 2 P.M.
Criteria for Applying for Grant
Does the project or program seek to address the root causes of poverty by fostering the building of power and community
among those experiencing poverty?
Correct long-term correction of conditions that keep people bound by poverty and oppression and include initiatives to promote justice, build solidarity, advance human dignity, and advocate for economic equity.
The following are examples of projects that address root causes of poverty by building power and community among those experiencing poverty:
- Cooperative enterprises such as worker-owned businesses, land trusts and credit unions;
- Incentives to economic development, such as loan guarantee funds and small business incubators;
- Community organizing and leadership training;
- Affordable housing development, including home ownership counseling and lease/purchase programs;
- Incentives to achieving a higher level of education;
- Advocacy of laws and/or social policies that serve and enrich the common good;
- Voter registration and education;
- Self-help programs in which people develop and implement their own solutions to community problems;
- Cultural activities that facilitate leadership development
Does the organization or project hold as a primary goal to encourage persons and communities who are experiencing poverty to discover - in and among themselves - the capacity to gain responsibility and control over their own lives? Gaining control over one's own destiny, even in a portion of one's life, may bring about dignified economic, social and cultural strength. Thus, those who are poor should be in positions of leadership and decision making with regard to the project or program.
This means that those who plan and make policy (e.g. the board of directors) must consist of members of the community being served by the project. For projects which do not presently meet this criterion, applicants should document the following in the proposal:
- Why members of the poverty group do not have a significant role in planning and policy making at the time of application;
- How members of the poverty group were involved in determining their need for the project;
- What time schedule is planned for representatives of the poverty group to have a significant role in governing the project.
Priority will be given to projects that are articulate, owned, and controlled by the group of people experiencing economic poverty who will benefit directly from the project.
Does this project or program provide an opportunity for members of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) to be involved as partners in addressing root causes of poverty in such a way that the whole Christian Church might be transformed? The Speer Commission is interested not only in the transformation of society as root causes of poverty are addressed, but also in the transformation of the church. Thus, projects or programs that invite respectful and trusting partnership of the community, those experiencing poverty and the church will be given highest consideration for funding.
*The Commission requires a letter of support from the Presbyterian Church ( U.S.A. ) or Presbyterian members involved with your project.
Projects or programs should provide an opportunity for individual Presbyterians (clergy and/or lay leaders), to have face-to-face, hands-on involvement, where genuine relationships can be formed, through such means as:
- Direct personal participation in the activities of the program.
- Membership on the board or involvement as a partner in decision making.
- Public advocacy in solidarity with the community of need served by the project or program.
- Financial support by the congregation.
- Sharing of resources, such as the church building.
Of lesser significance would be:
Priority will be given to projects initiated by congregations who demonstrate a missional approach to community outreach through Session endorsement and measured and measured congregational participation.
Priority will further be given to those projects or programs which provide an opportunity for those Presbyterians involved to reflect upon the nature of the church and society, in such a way that genuine transformation may begin to occur within the life of the congregation in regard to its mission, identity, theology or priorities.
Projects which do not currently have Presbyterian involvement must demonstrate in their proposal in what way Presbyterian involvement will be invited in the future. Projects where, because of the structure of the program itself, there is no genuine opportunity for Presbyterian involvement, will not be considered for funding.
Proposal must include the following:
- Describe, in detail, its goal(s), its objectives the specific steps the group will take to accomplish the desire outcome(s), the way the direct beneficiaries will be involved in all stages of the project, and the methods to be used to achive the desired outcome(s).
- Describe fully the resources available for project support, including a description of a) resources within the community, b) those available to the community and c) matching and other financial resources obtained.
- Specify an evaluation plan that includes how progress has been made.
- Detailed description of how members of the sponsoring Presbyterian Church USA congregation participates in the project.