Direct Community Service

Direct Community Service Grants

Our Direct Community Service Grants support congregational ministries that provide vitally needed direct services in our communities.

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Prophetic Community Engagement

Prophetic Community Engagement Grants

Our Prophetic Community Engagement Grants support ministry programs that go beyond direct service and build social capital, form community partnerships, increase capacity, and bring about social change.

Examples of Direct Community Service

Direct service programs provide goods and services directly to persons, animals, or the environment in order to address immediate needs. Some examples include:

  • Most food pantries, soup kitchens, & thrift stores
  • Student back-to-school backpack programs
  • Neighborhood coat drives
  • Community park cleanups
  • Christmas gift programs for children in need
  • Making craft gifts for residents of senior living facilities

Examples of Prophetic Community Engagement

Prophetic Community Engagement goes beyond direct service by building community partnerships that work to bring social change. Some examples include:

  • Neighborhood revitalization projects that improve health equity by reducing lead exposure
  • Partnerships between multiple congregations to address housing insecurity
  • Community landscaping projects that build biodiversity and improve the ecosystem of your neighborhood
  • Anti-racism projects that build strategic partnerships to address police violence
  • Partnering with community organizations to host job-readiness programs
  • Increasing civic participation and advocacy to stop voter suppression

Trust-Based Reporting

Consistent With Our Purpose

The Living Water Association exists to support and resource congregations. To be consistent with our purpose, we use a reporting structure that is equitable and cedes power to our congregations rather than drawing power, energy, and resources from them. That is why our Faith in Action Grants Program uses a Trust-Based Reporting process.

Maximizing Our Support

We want to connect and support the on-the-ground work our congregations are already doing. Our reporting process allows us to maximize our support by providing the opportunity to develop closer relationships with the leadership of the ministries we fund.

Not Just Red Tape

Grant reporting is often seen as bureaucratic red tape. If done well, good reporting goes beyond accountability and provides much-needed insights that can benefit both the Living Water Association and the congregations that our funds support.

No Paperwork Involved

We want our congregational leadership and volunteers to make the most of the time they spend doing ministry within their community, not spending hours filling out report paperwork.

Addressing the Power Imbalance

Reporting processes generally emphasize accountability. This leans in the direction of assuming that organizations receiving grant funds are not running trustworthy operations. It is rooted in scarcity thinking rather than generosity and abundance.

The Trust-Based Model

Inspired by the Trust-Based Philanthropy Project, our approach is to build trusting relationships through reporting conversations. This works “to cede power and control toward a more equitable nonprofit-funder ecosystem.”

Trust Hands

The Trust-Based Reporting Process

Step 1:
Pre-Application Conversation

Every grant-seeking congregation is encouraged to contact the Minister of Faith in Action to explore if their ministry endeavor fits either of the two Faith in Action Grant Programs. These conversations are opportunities for building and strengthening covenant relationships and exploring other avenues of support. If a conversation with the grant-seeking ministry leaders has not occurred prior to filing an application, an application follow-up conversation will occur prior to each award decision.

Step 2:
Award Follow-up Conversation

Every award letter should be followed up by a brief conversation in-person meeting (preferred), zoom call, or phone conversation to congratulate the awardee and to set up a further conversation for learning, collaboration, and dedicated support when needed.

Step 3:
Dedicated Support

For each awardee, some form of dedicated support—beyond funding—will be offered, if needed. Because such support can be time- and resource-intensive, the support offered will be reevaluated after each grant cycle.

Step 4:
Milestone/Closeout Debriefs

For each grant awarded, major ministry milestones or project completions should be followed up by a conversation with one or more of the members of the Faith in Action Grant Team.

Step 5:
Publication and Documentation

Throughout the reporting process, information may be requested as needed, with brief written statements and photographs when available, for the purpose of advertising and raising awareness about the Faith in Action Grants Program.

Contact Us

For more information about our
Faith in Action Grants Program,

Rev. Michael Anthony Howard
Minister of Faith in Action
Living Water Association, ONE

p: 330.814.7663