Grants for Building Digital Community

Building Faith Community using Digital Tools

Since the onset of the pandemic in 2020, our faith communities across the dioceses have rapidly grown their capacities and skills for invitation and community through digital tools. We know that this development and investment is not a COVID-era phenomenon: to remain relevant and accessible for generations to come, our congregations and organizations must intentionally engage online platforms for their ministries of invitation, gathering, and worship.

Thanks to congregational development funding from the Episcopal Dioceses of Eastern and Western Michigan and a generous gift from the Bishop Whittemore Foundation, we invite communities across the dioceses to apply for a Digital Community Grant, a one-time grant of up to $1,000, intended to make your online presence and offerings more engaging, more accessible, more sustainable, and, ultimately, a tool for community growth, digital or otherwise.

This initiative is a partnership between the Offices of Evangelism and Digital Communities, working alongside a task group to review applications and make funding recommendations to the Diocesan Councils. The deadline to apply is July 22nd and grant decisions are expected to be communicated in late August. Please read below for more details, including guidelines and application instructions.

We can’t wait to see your ideas and plans for creative, innovative, and invitational digital ministry! Please reach out to us with any questions or to be in conversation as you write your application.

Yours in Christ,

The Rev. Canon Sunil Chandy
Canon for the Central Collaborative and Digital Communities
schandy@eastmich.org or schandy@edwm.org

Katie Forsyth
Canon for Evangelism and Networking
kforsyth@eastmich.org or kforsyth@edwm.org


GUIDELINES

Digital Ministry Grants are one-time grants with a maximum award of $1,000 per faith community. Communities that received Digital Ministry Grants in 2020 or 2021 are eligible to apply for new projects.

Grants may fund the following areas:

  • Hardware investment (cameras, audio system upgrades, computers, satellite or wired internet, etc.)
  • Software investment (programs, applications, website development, etc.)
  • Professional development (training, professional networks, etc.)
  • Temporary contract support

Grants may NOT fund:

  • Gifts to individuals or families.
  • General office equipment without a clear community objective.
  • Reimbursement for purchases already made.

Successful applications will:

  • Show a clear strategy for how the investment will enable better engagement of digital community for worship, fellowship, formation, or other ministry area.
  • Demonstrate buy-in through appropriate investment (financial, time, other) from the applying faith community.
  • Articulate how the project will continue or progress after diocesan grant funds have been exhausted.
  • Provide accurate, researched estimates of expenses and income (diocesan grant, any investment from faith community).
  • Demonstrate they have developed appropriate metrics by which the project will be evaluated.

APPLICATION INSTRUCTIONS & TIMELINE

  • July 22, 2024 – Deadline to apply for a Digital Community Grant.
  • Late August 2024 – Grant decisions are expected to be communicated to all applicants, pending approval by the Diocesan Councils.
  • September-January – Projects are implemented, identified metrics are tracked for at least a three-month window.
  • January 31, 2025 – Grant Reports due from all recipients, reporting back on the project’s implementation, impact, and metrics.

Please click the button below to access our online grant application form. Please be prepared with thorough responses to the questions and a thought-out program budget.


Additionally, all communicators (clergy and lay, paid and volunteer) are invited to connect with others throughout our two dioceses in our resource group – the Episcopal Communicators Network of Eastern & Western Michigan.