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Methodist Grants Christmas Update 2017

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Methodist Grants Christmas Update 2017

*A letter sent to all District Chairs*


The CGC has just concluded its autumn round of grant meetings and I wanted to keep you up to date with its work.


So far, in this Connexional year, we have awarded £2.2 million to British projects, out of a budget of £5.4 million. The remainder of the budget is for our March grants round, but we could potentially also receive resubmitted applications, from those who were unsuccessful in the latest round, of over £2 million. The total value of the 72 applications that we received (a record number) was £6.8 million. The increased number of applications reflects the efforts of the Grants Team to raise the profile of Connexional grants and to encourage people to apply. During the last twelve months grants workshops have been delivered at a regional Reimagine event, two Superintendents conferences, the Resourcing Mission Forum, culminating with two very popular recent workshops in Manchester and Liverpool (in partnership with the Fundraising and Media Teams). The Grants Team are able to offer workshops in your Districts (or Regions) if there is sufficient demand. Do consider the possibility of a workshop where you are, as it is a useful preparatory for those who have project ideas for which they may be seeking grant funding.


Each time the CGC meets it considers its own processes and issues arising from grant applications. One of the issues that has faced us over the last few months is the increasing number of grant applications, which is easily illustrated – last Connexional year we had 117 applications, but in the last six months we have received 102. In order to manage the workload on the Grants Team and the CGC from now on we will only have two grants rounds each year. Grant applications of all sizes can be submitted at any time but will only be passed on to the CGC, if eligible and complete, after the March and October deadlines. There will not be a separate process for lower value applications. 


We offer the following observations regarding recent grant applications:


  • When submitting an application there is no guarantee that a grant will be awarded, or that any grant will be for the full amount requested. Each application is considered on its merits, this determines whether or to what extent it is funded. Although there is a very high success rate, compared to other funders, it is not possible to fund every project, as the demand for grants is much higher than the grants budget.
  • Projects should not go out to tender before a Connexional property grant has been awarded as they may find themselves committed or be working to unrealistic deadlines without having the necessary funding in place.
  • The Grants Team are striving to improve the quality, and completeness, of applications. So therefore while we are not planning to have a formal pre-application process yet we would encourage projects to submit applications, or drafts, earlier rather than later. Late applications (just before or on the day of the grants deadline) may be disadvantaged if they have not received an eligibility or completeness check ahead of the deadline.
  • This focus on quality also applies to feedback given to applicants when requesting further information or resubmission of an application. The Grants Team will be working to ensure that the feedback given is clear and informative so that applicants know what action they need to take.
  • The CGC, especially now we have a grants policy in place, is seeking to be more strategic in the awarding of funds and is looking for more input from Districts on the relative priority and impact of projects. When District Grants Officers are signing off on grant applications it would be extremely helpful to have a statement indicating why a project is, or is not, being funded by a DAF grant together with its strategic priority in terms of circuit or district Mission Development Plans.


The CGC is planning a recruitment day on 12 February 2018 as we replace those who are leaving us this year and begin expanding the CGC to include a MELD Team for World Church grants. The advert will be published soon with a closing date of late January/early February. Do encourage anyone who you think may be suitable to apply, or contact the Grants Team for more information.


Finally, I commend the Resourcing Mission Forum (8 – 10 May 2018) to you and ask you to encourage your District Grants Officer to attend if they do not already..


Many thanks for all that you do to enable the grants process to support the work of the people called Methodist.


Please share this information with your circuits and churches and encourage them in developing innovative Ministry and Mission projects.


With every good wish,


Helen Woodall

Chair, Connexional Grants Committee

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