Submit Your 2021 Applications Early!
By Joyce Landers, UTO Vice President
The 2021 UTO Annual Grant Application and supporting materials are available now at episcopalchurch.org/utogrants. The focus for this year’s grant applications is Recovering with Love and Gratitude: An Episcopal Response to the COVID-19 Pandemic in Local Contexts.
The United Thank Offering is accepting applications in two categories – sustaining ministries and innovative ministries – at two different funding levels: seed (up to $10,000) and impact (up to $25,000). Each diocese (or province of the Anglican Communion) may submit one seed grant and one impact grant. Please be advised that the need is especially great this year. UTO will grant the amount requested, so please only request what you need. If you can do your project for $500, please ask for that amount. Do not inflate your budget, as it will be granted in full. By requesting the minimum you need to complete your project, you help to ensure that as many grants as possible can be awarded.
The deadline for submitting the 2021 UTO Grant Application is approaching. All applications must be uploaded by Friday, February 26, at 5 p.m. EST. The UTO Board strongly encourages all grant applicants to submit their applications as early as possible. Our UTO Staff Officer, the Rev. Canon Heather Melton, is available to answer questions and provide editorial assistance. We encourage you to make use of her assistance so that your application can be as strong and as complete as possible. Applications that are received within 3-4 weeks prior to the deadline will be given a full review, and there will be the opportunity to fix any issues Heather finds, so make sure to include all components listed. The closer we get to the deadline, the less assistance you will receive. Any applications submitted on the last day will be processed as received.
The grant submission process is complicated because there are so many people involved in completing the application. Each time a person handles an application, another opportunity is created for a page to be deleted or a signature to be missed. The UTO Board highly recommends that grant writers request diocesan office staff to send them the completed application at the same time they upload the application to Formstack. This will provide applicants with the opportunity to identify any issues before the deadline.
It is often tempting to offer additional time to those who submit an incomplete application. We understand what these projects mean to the applicants and how hard they have worked to prepare their applications; however, we cannot extend the deadline. We are committed to treating all applicants equally, so we must adhere to our deadline. By submitting early, applicants ensure that their applications will be complete. The UTO Board thanks all for their submissions and wishes everyone well.
Please be advised of the following deadlines regarding help with the application, as outlined in the grant materials:
- Sunday, February 7 – deadline to submit drafts of applications for review by Heather
- Friday, February 12 – deadline to submit draft budgets for review
- Tuesday, February 23 – final day to submit via Formstack and receive information on what is missing in the application so it still can be added before the final deadline
If English is not the primary language in your diocese, Heather will review drafts of your application through Saturday, February 13, and then for completeness through Tuesday, February 23.
In January, we are offering webinars to support applicants and dioceses in applying for UTO Grants. You will need to register for any and all webinars that you plan to attend. Please note, we do not record these webinars, so if you cannot attend, the best way to access the information is by reviewing the Helpful Hints page.
January Grant Webinars for Applicants
These webinars are being held specifically to help diocesan UTO coordinators and staff with the submission process for UTO Grants. All are welcome to attend; however, the content will be directed toward the screening committee process, bishops’ forms, and final processing points. The webinar will last one hour, but staff will remain on Zoom until all questions are answered (from applicants, staff, or otherwise).
Tuesday, January 12, at noon Eastern Time
Tuesday, January 12, at 7 p.m. Eastern Time
Please be sure to follow UTO on social media. During the final months of the grant process, Heather will post reminders, helpful hints, and information about the process on Facebook. These posts are often in direct response to problems other applicants are experiencing as they complete their applications. She will also post about opportunities to meet on Zoom for open office sessions to work on applications. As always, we encourage you to submit your application early so that Heather has time to review it and offer feedback. Please try to submit your application no later than one week prior to the deadline so that she can check to ensure your application is complete.