How to Seek Small Grant to Use
Introduction: Many dioceses and parishes, as well as other local institutions, have a fund that offers small grants to support a variety of ministries, whether the project is local, national, or international. Since the children’s book series The Seed of God/La Semilla de Dios was published, I have been actively and successfully seeking funding to offer the books to children and communities that might not otherwise have resources to purchase them. Written in both English and Spanish for children ages 3-7, these books are a valuable aid in preparing for or nurturing children’s Baptismal lives. Thus far, these efforts have provided books to orphanages and communities in the United States, the Dominican Republic, Honduras, India, and Puerto Rico. Using The Seed of God/La Semilla de Dios as an example, this guide lists some steps you might take to locate and apply for such grants. These tips can easily be applied to other grant projects as well.
Funds that offer grants usually make gifts directly to tax exempt not-for-profit organizations, not to private individuals or groups. If your group does not have this exemption then you need to find a not-for-profit to work with. You could partner with the group you wish to solicit gifts for (for example, an orphanage), the parish you are associated with, or through the Center for Children and Theology which publishes The Seed of God/La Semilla de Dios.
The Center is willing to receive grants to distribute gifts of The Seed of God/La Semilla de Dios to particular places or children with no administrative charge. If you would like to work with the Center to apply for a grant to give copies of The Seed of God/La Semilla de Dios to children in need please contact Catherine Maresca, 3109 24th St. NE, Washington DC 20018.
Places to look for small grants include national church funds, diocesan funds or endowments for specific purposes, parish endowments for charitable gifts, and community funds, if your gift will be local. Local families or businesses may also have established charitable trusts whose mission matches your vision.
Every fund has some important information for you.
This will be guided by the form or questions provided by the grantor. If you are working with a publisher or other provider of the resources you want to donate, contact them for prices, discounts on quantity orders, and shipping costs. If you are asking an organization to receive the funds (such as the Center for Children and Theology or your parish) find out if any percentage of the grant will be needed to cover their administrative costs and services.
Make sure your application is complete and submitted by the deadline given, including any supporting documents they require. Respond quickly to any requests for further information. Very specific plans and numbers are helpful: for example, if you want to send The Seed of God/La Semilla de Dios to an overseas mission with a group already going from your parish, provide those dates, the number of copies needed, how they will be transported and delivered, and why this gift is actually desired and usable.
Some Ideas for The Seed of God/La Semilla de Dios:
The Seed of God/La Semilla de Dios is a set of five books, some of which may be more appropriate than others for the children you wish to serve. The set can be read as a single narrative, or separated into individual books. The whole set may be a good resource for a school or parish library or classroom, or any parish staff working on Baptismal preparation. The whole set may also be given to each child or family being served.
The individual books may also be given to each child on the following occasions:
The Seed/La Semilla – focuses on the parable of the mustard seed, and the life of God in every seed as well as every person, including the child. It is a timely gift for birthdays, birth of a sibling, or to nurture wonder in a child.
The Good Shepherd/El Buen Pastor – focuses on the parable of the Good Shepherd, including the parable of the found sheep. It is a wonderful gift for children of any age to nurture their relationship with Jesus the Good Shepherd, and particularly appropriate at the time of their introduction to Eucharist and Reconciliation.
Jesus is Risen!/Jesus Ha Resucitado!– a timely gift for the seasons of Lent and Easter, announcing the death and resurrection of Jesus and his ongoing presence with us.
Your Baptism/Tu Bautismo – a lovely gift for children at the time of their baptism, or the baptism of a sibling or friend. Introduces the signs of Baptism and their meaning, including the water, the light, the Bible and the white garment.
Living in the Light/Viviendo en la Luz – for the slightly older child, now aware of how the gifts of baptism can be nurtured by the sacraments, the Bible, and following the Good Shepherd.
Prices for The Seed of God/La Semilla de Dios: