For FY24 awards, all CommonSpirit communities are eligible to apply for United Against Violence (violence prevention) grants.
For FY25, the Community Health & Wellbeing grants will open to all CommonSpirit communities (for FY24 applicants, these grants are limited to CHI-affiliated organizations).
CommonSpirit or CHI affiliated organizations are eligible to apply:
- Federal Tax-Exempt Market-based Organization (MBO)
- Community Health Service Organization (CHSO)
- Joint Operating Agreement Organization (JOA)
- Joint Venture Organization
- National Office
Participating congregations may also submit applications for a sponsored ministry (Must be listed in the Official Catholic Directory). The MMF also accepts applications from Mercy Housing, a strategic partner.
Please refer to the timeline provided here. The application process begins with a Letter of Intent submitted in October of each year. Letters of Intent are reviewed by the MMF Advisory Committee and recommendations returned to applicants in early December for a full application due date in early February of the same fiscal year.
The purpose of the Mission and Ministry Fund (MMF) is to provide funding for innovative programs and initiatives that improve community health and wellbeing. All initiatives supported by the MMF must address an identified community need, invite collaboration with partners in the community, and be replicable in other communities.
Planning grants for Community Health & Wellbeing are generally one year awards to prepare the community for developing a full program application the following year. Historically, MMF has focused on the development of broad, cross-sector community coalitions and collaboratives. These initiatives employ comprehensive approaches to community engagement. For FY24, however, MMF will be accepting planning grant applications for the development of new collaboratives that focus on specific areas of need and/or specific populations experiencing health disparities. Also, for FY24, only CHI communities may apply.
Program grants for Community Health & Wellbeing cover a wide range of efforts and focus primarily on two CommonSpirit principles:
- We are committed to building healthy communities by advocating for those who are poor and vulnerable, and innovating how and where healing can happen.
- We are committed to health equity, and through community programs and innovative technologies, we are addressing the social issues and root causes that can lead to poor health.
Program grants generally support one to three years of activity and are intended to provide seed funds for innovation, with a focus on the development of strategies and leveraging of other resources for long term sustainability. For FY24, only CHI communities may apply.
Planning and Program grants for United Against Violence (UAV) is a priority area for MMF and applications for violence prevention programs are distinct from other program areas. Learn more about UAV programming and CommonSpirit’s Community-based Violence Prevention Resource Guide and Model.
Since its inception in 1997, 614 grants have been awarded, totaling more than $113 million, and the MMF now supports between $7M and $8M in grant funding for Community Health & Wellbeing and United Against Violence grantees each fiscal year.
Generally half of the funding distributed each fiscal year is for new awards ($3.5M-$4M), with the remainder consisting of continued support for multi-year programs funded in years prior. The average planning grant is between $50,000 and $100,000. The average program grant ranges from $100,000 to $300,000 per grant year proposed.
FY24 will be the first year that MMF grants are open to all CommonSpirit communities, thus these averages may change, and the competition for funds is expected to be stronger than recent years. The MMF Advisory Committee and CommonSpirit Grants Oversight Committee will have a difficult task in reviewing and allocating funds for the many valuable concepts that we expect to be presented by CommonSpirit communities.
Indirect costs for CommonSpirit facilities are not allowed. Indirect costs as part of contracts to other agencies are considered on a case by case basis.
Large equipment purchases are generally discouraged. Purchase of computers and other small equipment is allowed.
New staff roles are supported, however, supplanting current personnel costs is discouraged unless staff members roles and duties are changing substantially; this option is considered on a case by case basis.
Contracts are allowed for consultants and/or evaluation; as a general rule, these contract costs should not exceed 25% of the total request. Exceptions will be considered on a case by case basis, and applicants should make their case in the application narrative. This is common for planning grants, where external entities may provide objective facilitation for community engagement and development of community collaboratives.
Meeting expenses (food, supplies, and/or venues) are allowed, however, the Fund does not reimburse purchase of alcoholic beverages.
At present, purchase of grocery or gasoline gift cards for participants is allowed (e.g., for completing program elements or participating in evaluation activities) with a maximum of $25 per card and a maximum of $250 per participant per program year (e.g., 10 cards given at $25 per card); exceptions will be considered on a case by case basis.
Applicants should consider potential need for child care and include those costs/arrangements in their budgets where relevant to participation by members of the community served.
MMF requires a mid-year progress report and a year-end report. These reports include a narrative and a financial report. Timelines for reporting are located here.
The Mission and Ministry Fund is well aware of the many challenges and delays that communities may experience in implementation. In addition, opportunities come along that may improve and advance planned activities.
- To be flexible, the Fund only asks for a formal reallocation request if dollars in excess of $10,000 or 15% of the current year's budget (whichever is greater) are to be moved among spending categories.
- If a formal request is not required, the Fund asks that the budget figures be updated in any upcoming report, with a short explanation of the adjustments made.
- If you have any questions or need to talk through a budget reallocation, please contact MMFgrants@commonspirit.org to set up a time to chat.
To submit a formal budget reallocation, download and complete this form. Upon approval, there is no need to submit a new budget summary form until your next financial report is due (mid-year or year-end).
Underspending and carry forward:
- When underspending occurs, this is managed via the year-end report. Funded communities will submit an explanation with their year end report along with the required financial reporting forms AND a revised budget for the next fiscal year that details the distribution of carry-forward dollars in the new grant year. Instructions will be provided in the year-end report forms.
- Carry forward will be handled on a year-year basis and "no cost" extensions will not be granted to funded communities until the end of the original funded period for multi-year grants.
- For example, if significant underspending occurs in the first year of a three-year project, the Fund will not consider an extension of the project into a fourth year until the project is near completion of its third year. Unspent funds will thus be carried forward from year 1 to year 2 and then from year 2 to year 3, and approval of a fourth "no-cost" extension period will be determined based on performance through the first three years.
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