Current Grant Opportunities

The Beckner Advancement has three primary funding mechanisms: External Grants, Internal Grants, and Shively Rapid Cycle Grants. Additional information on each grant is provided below. Application materials and detailed eligibility information can be found in the corresponding documents hyperlinked to the right of the page.

External Grants

Grants between $5,000 to $10,000 that are made annually to support Washington, DC based nonprofits and fiscally-sponsored organizations. The Beckner Advancement Fund prioritizes proposals from organizations that do one or more of the following.

  • Actively engage impacted communities including but not limited to: people of color; indigenous peoples; immigrants; low-income people; women; youth; queer, trans, and gender non-conforming people; and people with disabilities in their organizational leadership and decision-making.
  • Address the root causes of social service needs and propose systemic solutions that create equitable opportunities for marginalized communities to thrive.
  • Take risks and propose new and innovative initiatives and/or existing projects that employ fresh approaches to entrenched social problems.
  • Demonstrate a willingness to share lessons learned and collaborate with All Souls members in their work for social change.
  • Have existing relationships with All Souls Church and/or its members.
  • Serve communities in Ward 1 of Washington, D.C.

The Beckner Advancement Fund accepts proposals from 501 c 3 and fiscally sponsored organizations in Washington, D.C. of all budget sizes. We do take budget size into consideration when determining whether to award programmatic or general operating support grants. We encourage first time grantees and organizations with budgets over $1 million to apply for programmatic grants. The Fund will consider general operating support proposals from returning grantees that have received grant awards within the past three years and small organizations with budgets below $500,000 on a case-by-case basis.

The Beckner Advancement has a two-step external grants process whereby prospective grantees submit a pre-application form, created to be used in lieu of a traditional Letter of Inquiry. The Fund invites then invites select organizations to submit full proposals.

The next external grant round will be held in the fall of 2020.

External Grant Eligibility Requirements

All applicant organizations must:

  • Be a 501(c)(3) organization or fiscally sponsored organization.
  • Be located in and primarily serve Washington, DC residents.
  • Priority consideration will be given to organizations located in Ward 1 and/or organizations that demonstrate significant ties to Ward 1 neighborhoods and residents.

The Fund will not consider requests to fund:

  • For-profit organizations
  • Individuals
  • Capital campaigns
  • Endowments
  • Sectarian programs that promote religious doctrine.

Shively Rapid Cycle Grants

Shively Rapid Cycle grants are our most nimble way to fund initiatives and opportunities that might otherwise not have access to resources because they are too new, too small, or too urgent. Shively Rapid Cycle grants are small grants up to $1,000 to support emerging and/or unforeseen opportunities. This fund is intended for short-term community responses to unanticipated events and situations that require urgent or timely action. Funds are not intended for general operating support, budget shortfalls, planned or long-term programming.

Award decisions are made within two weeks of proposal submission and grant funds are mailed within two weeks of grant decision. Proposals will be accepted on a rolling basis until the annual allocation is expended.

Shively Grants are not considered in July and August; they will next be reviewed in September.

Shively Rapid Cycle Grant Eligibility Criteria

Application Requirements:

  • Applicants must be members of an All Souls Unitarian social justice ministry, a 501(c)(3) organization, or a fiscally sponsored organization.

Generally, the Beckner Advancement Fund does NOT fund the following:

  • For-profit organizations
  • Individuals
  • Capital campaigns
  • Endowments
  • Ongoing organizational expenses

Internal Grants

Grants between $500 to $5,000 that are awarded 1-2 times per year to All Souls Church internal social justice action groups. The purpose of internal grants are to create a more collaborative, attractive, and forward-looking community, foster human rights and dignity and enhance the influence of All Souls Church in the Washington metropolitan area.

The Fund typically makes internal one-year grants of $500-$5,000 to fund new initiatives, special events, or project components that build the capacity of existing programs. However, the Fund will consider smaller or larger amounts on a case-by-case basis. The Fund is not intended to support the regular activities of established programs.

The fall 2019 internal grant application will be open from September 16 through October 21, 2019.

Internal Grant Eligibility Criteria

All Souls social justice action groups requesting funds must demonstrate the necessary internal leadership to complete proposed projects, as evidenced, for example, by past successful initiatives. New activities or programs should provide a sound, achievable implementation plan. All applications must explicitly describe how the project addresses a particular social justice issue of importance to the congregation.

The Fund will not consider requests to fund:

  • General operating expenses of the Church
  • Recurring or multi-year requests for ongoing expenses for the same project
  • Reimbursement for expenditures already made before the grant was approved