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MAF Grants for Congregational Growth

The Ministry Allocation Fund (MAF) was created under the Capital Redeployment Policy of the Diocese, which sets up how this fund is managed and administered. It provides grants or loans in three broad categories: real estate purposes; congregational growth and ministry resources; and creating new forms of ministry.

The process for application for MAF grants follows a different approval path depending on the category. This is the approval path for MAF: Congregational Growth.

Guidelines

MAFs for Congregational Growth and Ministry Resources initially fall under the jurisdiction of the Congregational Development department, but are ultimately reviewed by the Project Enabling and Monitoring Group (PEMG), which makes recommendations for approval to the Executive Board.

The Executive Board will consider the needs of the Diocese and recommend to Diocesan Council how to redeploy proceeds and any income earned for congregational growth and ministry resources. These recommendations can include:

  • making loans or grants to congregations
  • creating program materials
  • initiating leadership or people development strategies
  • creating an endowment fund whose income is for congregational growth and ministry resources needs

You’ll need to discuss all congregational development projects with your area bishop in the preliminary stage of development.

Application form/checklist

Preliminary

  1. Have a preliminary conversation with your area bishop. If the project meets with their approval, Congregational Development will be advised of this provisional support.
  2. Contact Congregational Development staff to confirm that your project meets MAF criteria.
  3. For your own information, review the MAF: Congregational Growth Task Check List.

Stage 1

  1. Download the Project Feasibility Report.
  2. Send your completed report to Janet Marshall, Director of Congregational Development, who will initiate a risk assessment of the project.
  3. If your project is deemed feasible, the Director of Congregational Development will forward the feasibility report to your area bishop and request a letter of support. This support will be conditional upon PEMG endorsing the final, detailed grant proposal.

Stage 2

If your idea falls within the scope of MAF: Congregational Growth, you’ll be assigned a coach from the Project Enabling and Monitoring Group (PEMG). You’ll collaborate with your coach to expand your initial feasibility report into a detailed grant proposal.

Your coach will advise you on the necessary content and inclusions per the Check List and Process Overview flowchart. (Your coach will not write the proposal for you but will certainly provide advice and support.)

Stage 3

With the recommendation of your PEMG coach and your area bishop’s support letter, your project will be presented to Executive Board and Diocesan Council for consideration and approval. (In some circumstances, your project team and/or your area bishop will make an oral report on the project to Diocesan Council.)

If Diocesan Council approves funding for your project, you and your coach will continue to work together to implement your project, make requisite progress reports and adjust the scheduled flow of funds, if necessary.

Timelines

Complete application packages (final proposal and bishop’s letter of support) must be received at least two weeks before the Executive Board meeting date (this year’s schedule is available on the Executive Board page). PEMG will advise the parish in writing of the grant proposal’s final approval. You will be put in touch with the Finance department to arrange for release of funds.

FAQs

What is the typical range of the MAF Congregational Growth grant?

It depends on the nature of the request. All reasonable applications will be considered.

Do we really need a letter of support from a bishop? And how do we get one?

Yes – we can’t consider your application until it has been supported by your area bishop. Contact your area bishop’s office to request a letter of support. The bishop will need to see your application documents. Getting a support letter does take time, so don’t leave this until the last minute. Ideally, your bishop should be apprised of your plans from the earliest stages.

Do we need to submit a feedback report?

Yes. You will be asked to report to your PEMG coach quarterly on your progress, modifying your benchmarks if a course correction is needed. You will also be asked to write a “lessons learned” report at the end of the grant period.

For more information, contact Janet Marshall, Director of Congregational Development, by email or by phone at 416-363-6021 (1-800-668-8932) ext. 274.