2023 ECM Applications now available: Due December 15 and June 15

2023 ECM Applications now available: Due December 15 and June 15 560 420 Episcopalians in Connection

The 2023 Episcopal Community Ministries (ECM) grant application is now available online. ECM enthusiastically welcomes applications from congregations that need help funding existing outreach ministries or are seeking seed money to launch new service initiatives.

ECM provides grants for congregational outreach ministries to local communities supporting neighbors helping neighbors. Ministries eligible for ECM grants address food and food security, education and life skills, emergency assistance, youth at risk, and social justice. It is ECM’s mission to “inspire and support each other in the living out of our Baptismal Covenant through active, generous, and committed congregations and their outward-looking ministries.” Grants are awarded to parish/mission-based ministries that engage their neighbors impacted by poverty, social injustice, educational inequalities, and systemic racism.

To qualify for an ECM grant, ministries must have the active participation of church members and be supported by congregational resources. ECM encourages community service ministries operating in collaboration with other churches (such as a community food pantry), community groups, or non-profit 501(c)3 organizations. The application must demonstrate active engagement by members of the applying Episcopal Church that goes well beyond an endorsement of the partner organization.

This year, there are some changes to the application process:

  • Grants will now be awarded twice annually – in February and July. Application deadlines are 12/15/22 and 6/15/23. We are aware that the economy continues to shift, and local community needs often change significantly during the year. ECM hopes to step up to help our ministries help their neighbors when needed.
  • A vestry or mission council resolution approving the ECM grant application is now required, just as it is with every other diocesan grant application.
  • There is a section of the application titled Volunteer Support. ECM asks for the number of parishioners from the congregation that are directly and actively involved in the ministry, and for a description of how they serve. This crucial section will determine ECM support.
  • The narrative questions are straightforward. ECM wants to know the ministry’s objectives and how they will be met. Responses are limited to 200 words per question.
  • Many churches support their outreach ministries well beyond a line item in their annual budget. Use the budget sheet to detail gifts-in-kind, special offerings, fund raisers and other sources of income. Exact numbers are not required; ECM trusts congregations to approximate these donations.

Please read the detailed instructions before proceeding to the online form. ECM recommends that applicants prepare their responses to the narrative questions in a word processing program and cut and paste them into the online form. A print version of the application is also posted on the website. Questions and issues with the online form can be directed to Andrea Owens (aowens@diosohio.org / 513 614-7866).

ECM replaced the Episcopal Community Services Foundation (ECSF) in 2020 when the foundation closed to reduce overhead expenses. Since then, every dollar given to ECM has supported outreach ministries. ECM applications are processed by Andrea Owens, an administrative assistant on the bishop’s staff. The Rev. Canon David Getreu, Canon for Budget and Finance, is the new staff liaison to ECM. Grant decisions are made by ECM Committee members who are appointed annually by the bishop. In the future, the intention is to increase ECM committee membership from six to nine so members can take a more active role in the oversight of ministries that receive support.

Learn more about ECM here. To support ECM’s mission, donate here.