[June 29, 2020] The United Thank Offering (UTO) Board is pleased to announce the availability of their 2021 United Thank Offering Annual Grants. These grants are awarded for projects in The Episcopal Church and throughout the Anglican Communion, each year with a different focus. For 2021, the focus is Recovering with Love and Gratitude: An Episcopal Response to the COVID-19 Pandemic in Local Contexts.
The United Thank Offering will accept applications in two categories, Sustaining Ministries and Innovative Ministries, at two different funding levels through two granting cycles. The criteria for each category are different. Applicants must demonstrate concisely how the project directly supports the recovery effort.
Sustaining Ministry Grants are applications for previous UTO grant sites that are addressing the increased needs in their communities caused by COVID-19. This category honors the tradition of UTO to fund grant sites for numerous years in order to maintain programs after the World Wars and the Spanish Flu Epidemic. Applicants in this category must demonstrate that the funds requested to sustain current ministries, which were started with UTO funds (e.g. elder care, post-prison reentry, preschools, food insecurity ministries, substance abuse) and will be used to directly offset the increased need caused by COVID-19 and the economic downturn.
Innovative Ministry Grants are applications that are for start-up costs for new ministries or new projects/programs within an existing ministry program beyond simply increasing the number of participants in the current program that address community needs in light of the COVID-19 pandemic and economic downturn.
Funding Levels and Grant Cycles:
Due to the extreme need in local communities, for this granting cycle, the UTO Board has established two levels of funding in order to help as many applicants as possible: Seed Funding ($0 to $10,000) and Impact Funding ($10,001 to $25,000). Additionally, the UTO Board recognizes that the needs of communities are dire now and will continue, therefore, there will be two grant cycles for 2021 within the focus area. The UTO Board will grant all Ingathering funds received by August 31, 2020 and awarded in October 2020, and the remaining Ingathering will be awarded in April 2021 through a second grant cycle.
The United Thank Offering was founded to support innovative mission and ministry in The Episcopal Church and to promote thankfulness and mission in the whole Church. 100% of thank offerings given to UTO are granted the following year. These awards have supported everything from staff positions, conferences, creation of educational resources, and building projects.
Application information and forms are available here.
- The deadline for submitting an application for the first round of grants is: August 14, 2020 at 5:00 pm Eastern / 4:00 pm Central / 3:00 pm Mountain / 2:00 pm Pacific / 1:00 pm Alaska / 12:00 pm Hawaii time.
- The deadline for submitting an application for the second round of grants is February 26, 2021 at 5:00 pm Eastern / 4:00 pm Central / 3:00 pm Mountain / 2:00 pm Pacific / 1:00 pm Alaska / 12:00 pm Hawaii time.
A United Thank Offering grant application must:
- spend grant money and return the final report of the funds within one year of receipt of the grant or apply for an extension of up to an additional year, three months prior to the deadline;
- show how computer equipment, if requested in the budget, will be protected, maintained and supported going forward (please note: UTO cannot fund service contracts for computers);
- spell out construction costs in detail (see the sample construction budget for help);
- show financial or in-kind support.
Additionally, the United Thank Offering:
- will accept two grant applications (one for seed-level funding of $0-$10,000 and one for impact level funding of $10,001-25,000 regardless of category) per diocese within The Episcopal Church as well as from provinces of the Anglican Communion (but each diocese within an Anglican Communion province can only apply once) per granting cycle;
- NOTE: Only Episcopal institutions (parishes, dioceses, provinces, schools, seminaries, monastic communities, Episcopal organizations and other Episcopal affiliated entities) are eligible to receive these funds. Partnerships with non-Episcopal entities are welcome and encouraged, but an Episcopal entity must serve as the recipient of the funds, project leader, active manager, owner of any materials/equipment/land purchased, supervisor of staff paid with UTO funds and reporting agent.
- will fund applications for seed money for start-up positions, either full- or part-time for a new ministry (for those applying in the sustaining grant category, UTO will also fund money for the continuation of vital employees);
- will only fund one-half of the amount of the cost of a vehicle and will only fund a vehicle for one year – there will be NO extensions allowed after the one year (both in the United States and in other countries;
- requires a proposed bill of sale, which must accompany all applications requesting a vehicle, land or building (both in the United States and in other countries) showing that the property, land, or vehicle remain the property of an Episcopal entity and not an individual;
- will only consider a grant if at least 51% of the line items requested of UTO in your narrative budget are eligible for funding. You may include in your budget items that UTO cannot fund if you indicate a different funding source (e.g. other grants, in-kind support, diocesan funding).
Learn more about project eligibility, as well as the types of projects which are not eligible here.
Potential applicants are invited to participate in an informational webinar, offered twice on the same day, on Tuesday, July 7 at 12:00 pm and 7:00 pm Eastern. UTO Coordinators and Diocesan Staff are invited to participate in an informational webinar, offered twice on the same day, on Tuesday, July 28 at 12:00 pm and 7:00 pm Eastern.
These one-hour webinars will cover important parts of the 2021 grant application, including those things most overlooked by applicants. The webinars will also explain all of the changes to the process for 2021 to ensure that the process is as straightforward and clear as possible. There will be time for specific question and answers about the process at the end and the webinar sessions will last until everyone’s questions are answered.
Advance registration is required. After registering, participants will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting.
July 7, 12:00pm Eastern – Register in advance for 2021 UTO Grant Process Overview and Q&A for Applicants:
July 7, 7:00pm Eastern – Register in advance for 2021 UTO Grant Process Overview and Q&A for Applicants:
July 28, 12:00pm Eastern – Register in advance for 2021 UTO Grant Process Overview and Q&A for UTO Coordinators/Diocesan Staff:
July 28, 7:00pm Eastern – Register in advance for 2021 UTO Grant Process Overview and Q&A for UTO Coordinators/Diocesan Staff:
UTO highly recommends submitting your application to your diocesan office at least two weeks prior to this date to allow time for your bishop to read your application, offer comments, and sign it. Early submission of applications via Formstack provides UTO Staff Officer, the Rev. Canon Heather Melton, an opportunity to scan it for missing documents or signatures in advance of the deadline.
Contact the Rev. Canon Heather Melton, staff officer for the United Thank Offering, firstname.lastname@example.org, with questions.
Please note: In accordance with Canon I.4.6 (f-g), full payment of the diocesan assessment shall be required of all Dioceses, to be eligible to receive grant or scholarship funds. As such, the United Thank Offering Board will not review any application from dioceses which have not paid their full assessment in the prior year or if they have not
received a waiver approved by Executive Council. UTO receives funding from the budget each year to support our staffing costs and gives thanks for all of the sacrifices you make to help support The Episcopal Church budget.