Grant applications are reviewed once a year. Grant applications are updated annually and made available on this site. Applications are due by April 1st. Once they are initially reviewed, the deadline for providing clarification regarding any questions we may have is April 30th. Determinations are made by June of each year. If you wish to submit an application, please see below for more information on the kinds of grants we offer. At the beginning of each year, we post the current year application and guidelines, which can be accessed by going to the "Applications" menu at the top of this page. (We have provided a fillable pdf application as well as an editable Word version if you have difficulty saving to the fillable application.)
We have recently implemented a new policy regarding when matching funds need to be raised. It is now permissible to raise matching funds for projects prior to submitting your grant application. However, it is NOT permissible to count general fund pledges or general donations to the congregation as matching funds for projects submitted on your application.
Key to the purpose of Spirit Level is that our grants are a spur to generosity. In order to raise funds prior to grant approval, you may let your congregation know you will be applying for a grant from Spirit Level for a specific project and collect cash donations as well as pledges from those who are willing to commit funds if you receive a grant from us.
The Special 2020 UU the Vote Grant Guidelines can be accessed under the "more..." tab!
By way of background, initially, Spirit Level primarily made grants for improvements to physical facilities or for purchase of such facilities. (Incidentally, “Spirit Level” refers to a builder’s level, as shown in our logo.)
However, in recent years, we have encouraged congregations to also consider applying for grants to fund congregational programs, including those of a creative or innovative nature. For instance, we have welcomed proposals intended to make worship more appealing, including proposals for different kinds of music and others involving audio-visual technology. One congregation hired an expert in contemporary worship. If your congregation is interested in a grant, we encourage your members to think about ways the congregation can best engage the diversity of your members and potential members.
As in prior years, the maximum grant, whether for facilities or non-facilities, is $50,000. Each grant requires matching funds from the congregation in an amount equal to the grant. (Because many improvements to facilities cost far more than $100,000 a facilities grant can be for a portion of a larger project.)