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TSP / PTCC Grant Process Overview

Background

PTCC was established in 2010 to hold and invest funds to support the work of its presbyteries through grant application programs. Its partners (Living Waters Presbytery, Northern Waters Presbytery, South West Presbytery, and Toronto Southeast Presbytery) have entered an operating agreement which sets out four types of grants available to support initiatives. 

Faith communities acting independently, or as communities acting together (congregations, outreach ministries, missions, camps) work through their respective Presbyteries to seek support through:

  • Annual Net Income Grants – up to the amount of the expected net annual income on the Presbytery’s allocated fund (these are dealt with by the Mission & Outreach Committee).
  • Annual Capital Grants – up to 5% of its total capital at the beginning of the year.
  • Church Development/Redevelopment Project Grants – up to 10% of the current value of assets in the fund.
  • Major Church Development/Redevelopment Project Grants – more than 10% but not more than 20% of capital in the fund.

PTCC is managed by eight Directors who are nominated by the Presbyteries, two from each Presbytery. Each Presbytery also nominates three Members to serve the Corporation. Including the Directors there are twenty Members serving the Corporation.

Each Presbytery is allocated its share of the net income of the fund annually. This is advised in September by the PTCC Treasurer. The Toronto Southeast Presbytery Fund as of January, 2017 is approximately $3 million (M).

Since inception over $7M has been granted to fund initiatives across the 4 presbyteries. TSP has been granted $1.4M since inception.

Application / Approval Process

While bound by the operating agreement established by the PTCC founding presbyteries, the individual presbyteries manage independently. Today TSP follows 6 steps in its application/approval process:

  1. An application is submitted by a community of faith or combined communities of faith. PTCC has a suggested template for use by these communities.
  2. The Conference Minister for Healthy Communities of Faith vets the application for overall eligibility and either returns it to the applicant or forwards it for review to the PTCC Grant Review Team.
  3. The Grant Review Team reviews the application and assesses it in terms of “fit” within the TSP Mission Strategy Framework and forwards it with recommendations to the TSP Executive.
  4. The TSP Executive reviews the application and Grant Review Team’s recommendations.
  5. The TSP Executive then puts forward the application for approval by the Plenary.
  6. Members of the PTCC Board provide final approval of the application (or send it back for further clarification).

Accountabilities

The Finance and Property Team obtains information from PTCC and makes recommendations regarding budget allocations. PTCC is expected to report its financial results quarterly and its investment portfolio annually to the Treasurer and Finance and Property Team.

The Grant Review Team:

  • includes membership from the Congregational Health Team, the Mission Strategy Team and the Finance and Property Team. Each member serves for 2 years. This term can be renewed once to ensure continuity,
  • determines the schedule for Grant applications annually to coincide with presentation to the plenary meetings in January, March, June and November,
  • evaluates each application according to principles set out in the 2014 Mission Strategy priorities, makes recommendations supported by reasons, and comments on the Project’s accountability, reporting schedule and elements for evaluation and follow up, and
  • consults with the Finance and Property Team and others as necessary.

Evaluation Criteria

The PTCC Church Development /Redevelopment applications stipulate that funds will be granted in accordance with the following guiding principles:

  • The work of any congregation/congregations working together to re-develop property or programs to meet the needs of the communities they serve.
  • Including but not limited to amalgamation, specialized ministries such as youth, seniors and community ministries; may or may not involve property.
  • For Major Church Development / Redevelopment applications:
    • New church construction of a stand-alone structure
    • Church incorporated in a new mixed use building
    • Redevelopment of an existing church structure or renovation of an existing building to convert it for church use
    • Major new initiatives in Ministry not associated with improvements to or building a church or other buildings

Five priorities, identified in the TSP Mission Strategy Framework (2014), are used in assessing applications:

  1. Equip new forms of leadership – Develop transformational leadership capacity in creative, innovative, collaborative ways that enhance our ability to invest in new experiments in missional faith community.
  2. Assist congregations and communities of faith to identify stepping stones towards transforming mission and ministry – Help congregations overcome obstacles that distract their ability to identify first steps and then enable congregations and ministries to create plans and identify resources that will enable progress.
  3. Foster collaboration between congregations/mission units, their surrounding neighbourhoods and other communities of faith to develop new community partnerships. Address learning and practice that will encourage effective, collaborative relationships, form clusters and connections of shared purpose, instill courage in the process of developing new models of partnership with local community groups.
  4. Create new forms of urban ministry – Explore and develop key competencies and confidence to connect with changed and changing neighborhoods where God’s mission is already present.
  5. Provide support for collaborative work between/among congregations for shared ministry – Support initiatives relevant to different clusters, along with reflection on what is being learned in the process and, through the learning circles model, foster development of best practices.

The Applicant’s Role

The applicant’s role is simple – fill out our new Capital Grant Application and pass it on to our Presbytery which will have oversight of the project. The Grant Review team stresses the need to ensure that all requested information is provided.

The Role of Presbytery

The Presbytery reviews application, then forwards approved projects to the Grant Review Team. The Presbytery will act as a key partner throughout the process. In the event that additional information is needed, the Presbytery may invite applicants to meet to provide additional information / clarification and/or provide introductions to designated ‘mentors’ to help guide the process.

The Role of the Grant Review team and PTCC

The Grant Review Team determines if an application meets the criteria for current funding and any subsequent funding for the project. Deadlines are set for applications to be received by the team (date and date and date and date). These dates are set to ensure the Grant Review Team has enough time to review the application and forward it to the PTCC prior to their meeting date.

Select grant applicants, based on the scope and complexity of the proposed initiatives may be invited by the Grant Review Team to make presentations to supplement applications received.

The Grant Review team will work with applicants to establish and agree upon reporting requirements for each grant submitted (what is going to be measured, by whom and when). These will be tailored to the unique circumstances of each initiative. Grant approval will be conditional upon this.

Once PTCC completes their process, a member of PTCC will contact the Grant Review team and the applicant to determine the scheduling for release of the funds.

Where to Send Applications

Applications should be sent to Anne Shirley Sutherland, The Conference Minister for Healthy Communities of Faith, 963 Pharmacy Avenue, Scarborough, ON M1R 2G5;

asutherland@united-church.ca.

Review, Review, Review

We encourage applicants to review application more than once to ensure that all the information is provided. Paying attention to detail will ensure your application is processed expediently.

Closing Remarks

We look forward to reviewing your applications, following your progress and sharing future learning as you engage in initiatives to minister in new ways in partnership with new people, innovate and build relationships aligned to our Mission Strategy Framework priorities.