Grants for Ministries with Young People
Grants for Ministries with Young People (GMYP) fund creative, innovative approaches to ministries for, with, and by young people. This includes age ranges traditionally labeled as youth and young adults. This grant values both outreach and community impact with young people, whether they are already connected to a faith community or not.
Expressions of ministry with young people are as diverse as the global youth and young adults who connect with their community, their church, and God through their involvement in those ministries. Ministries by, with, and for young people thrive when partners at every level of the church’s connectional network support creative expressions to connect and support young people in discipleship. If the Church, on all fronts, unites behind the mission of sharing the Good News of God’s unconditional love in Christ with young people, then young people themselves will rise and become the world-transforming disciples that the UMC works so hard to help create and form.
Projects and programs that receive funds from Grants for Ministries with Young People should enable creative, life-transforming ministries with young people to take hold and begin to spread the fire and passion for this ministry throughout the denomination. Funded projects will address the causes of critical issues related to young people in their local context, with an eye toward how their work can have a positive impact on the priorities of The United Methodist Church in a broader context. We expect transformation of individuals and communities because of these funds and will celebrate with you when we learn about the stories of impact made through your efforts.
- Local United Methodist churches in the United States and Central Conferences, including cooperative parishes and ecumenical shared ministries.
- Annual Conferences and Districts in the United States and Central Conferences.
- Other United Methodist entities, such as campus ministries, youth serving agencies, and so forth.
Eligible applicants will also meet the following criteria:
- The project or program must be driven in design and implemented by young people (ages 12-30 in U.S. or ages 12-35 in Central Conferences) within and outside the church. Applicants outside of this age range may support those young people in design and implementation, but primary leadership of the project or program should be done by young people.
- The project or program must demonstrate a strong biblical/theological foundation.
- The project or program must reflect a diversity of racial, gender, or economic (class) differences both in its leadership or in its desired impact for the Church, community, and wider context.
DOLLAR RANGE OF GRANTS AND FUND ALLOCATION
- The maximum award available is up to $15,000 USD. That said, projects and programs should submit realistic budgets and not simply ask for the maximum award if it cannot be justified.
- Funds may be used for, but are not limited to, program expenses, capital expenditures, and so forth. The full application asks for a detailed budget demonstrating how any awarded funds will be allocated.
- No more than 25 percent of the total grant amount shall be allocated for administrative expenses, including salaries, ensuring at least 75 percent for project or program expenses.
- Projects funded may reapply for continued funding the following year, following the same guidelines as a new applicant would. There is no guarantee of approval for repeat or multi-year applications. A project or program may be funded up to five consecutive years at decreasing amounts each year.
APPLICATION & SELECTION PROCESS
The basic application and selection process for GMYP follows:
- Stage 1 Application (Basic, Short Form including the “who, what, when, where, why, and how” of the project and an estimated budget). Applications must be submitted in English. Opens January, Closes April 15.
- Young People’s Ministries Staff review Stage 1 applications. Then we invite applicants who match grant criteria to submit a full application in Stage 2. (April & May)
- Stage 2 Application (Full application, Long Form including full description, detailed budget, recommendation letters, and list of prayer partner stakeholders). Opens May 15, Closes June 15.
- Stage 2 applications are organized and reviewed by members of the Division on Ministries with Young People. They recommend the projects and funding amount to the Board of Directors of Discipleship Ministries for final approval.
- Good Faith Agreements are sent out from Discipleship Ministries detailing funding amounts, reporting deadlines, etc. to approved grant recipients. (November & December) Applicants participate in an online logic model training, provided by Discipleship Ministries.
- First payments (half of total award) are sent in January of the year following the application. Second payments are sent after mid-year reports on the progress of the project. The payment dates can be altered if the project shows a distinct need.
- Failure to comply with the requirements will lead to termination of funding or prevent receiving funds in the future.
- Complete all forms.
- Provide all documents requested by established deadlines.
- Applications must be submitted in English. A local volunteer translator is recommended, but apps like Google Translate are also acceptable.
- The application process takes place in two stages.
- The Stage 1 application is a basic, short form that should take less than 30 minutes to complete. It includes short answers about the “who, what, when, where, why, and how” of the project and an estimated budget. Stage 1 opens in January and closes April 15.
- The Stage 2 application is by invitation only, to applications that:
- fit the grant descriptions,
- meet a ministry need that is aligned with the Division on Ministries with Young People’s vision or values,
- have reasonable estimated budgets,
- have clear goals and understandings of how those goals will be achieved and measured.
- Invitations to Stage 2 will be communicated to the applicant no later than May 14 in the year of application. Stage 2 includes a detailed application that includes a full description, detailed budget, recommendation letter, and list of prayer partner stakeholders. Opens May 15 and closes June 15 in the year of the application.
DETAILED GMYP SELECTION CRITERIA & POLICIES
- Priority will be given to those projects that demonstrate innovative and creative ways to engage young people. That engagement should create positive relationships with faith communities, address critical issues facing young people in their local context, or demonstrate the possibility of transformation through acts of personal or social holiness.
- The program or project must involve youth (12-18 years of age in the U.S., or up to age 24 for internationally) or young adults (18-30 years of age, or up to age 35 internationally) in leadership, organization, or audience.
- Preference will be given to projects and programs that demonstrate a strong theological foundation to help communities address critical issues facing young people in their context.
- GMYP funds are designed to support innovative and creative expressions of ministry with young people. Priority is given to those who showcase values of diversity in leadership or community impact.
- There is no guarantee of funding after one year and no project will be funded more than five consecutive years. Funding for consecutive years will decrease from that of the previous year. If an application is submitted as a multi-year plan, that application should note adaptations that could be made if only partial funding is made available.
- GMYP funds will not be used to fund a deficit.
- Projects should demonstrate racial, ethnic, gender, class economic, etc. inclusivity whenever possible.
- Applications must be submitted in the English language. Applicants are welcome to use translation applications like Google Translate or Babelfish. Applicants are encouraged to review any translation done by software for accuracy. If there are language or technology barriers that prevent an application from being submitted, please contact our grant administrators to discuss alternatives.
- The goals of the project should be stated clearly and briefly in Stage 1. The project review committee needs to be able to visualize both the context and the program/project. Help us briefly and powerfully understand why the project is important, who it will positively impact, and how that impact will happen.
- Submitting a specific budget is essential in Stage 2. Where does all income come from? What expenses do your project have? No more than 25 percent of GMYP funds granted may be used for administration or salary. A minimum of 75 percent of awarded GMYP funds must be used for program or project development.
- Illustrate church and community support, financial and otherwise, especially in Stage 2. Letters of recommendation and support are encouraged from church and community leaders. Also, be sure to identify at least five stakeholders/prayer partners that will support your project locally with prayers, presence, gifts, service, and witness.
- Specify one primary project category to describe your project. These are provided as options within the application itself and reflect the vision and values of the Division on Ministries with Young People and Discipleship Ministries.
- We recommend that applications demonstrate support and awareness from United Methodist churches and United Methodist connections, including the Episcopal office serving the community and region of the application. Support from Ecumenical partner churches is also encouraged.
- Grant applications that are recommended for funding will be notified in November or December of their award status. Discipleship Ministries will issue a “Good Faith Agreement” that outlines the relationship expectations for the grant recipient and Discipleship Ministries. This Good Faith Agreement must be returned in a timely fashion to receive funding.
- Approved grant recipients will receive two automated reminders about deadlines for mid-year and final reports. These will be sent out through the grant administration platform one month prior to the deadline and one week before the deadline. Missing the mid-year reporting deadline will result in the cancellation of the second half of funding. Missing the final reporting deadline will result in disqualification for any future awards for the applicant and their organization.
- We recognize that extenuating circumstances do happen, so there can be some flexibility with both funding and reporting timeframes, if there is advance communication that results in a clear understanding between the grant recipient and the Discipleship Ministries staff administrating grants.
- A maximum possible amount to receive from GMYP is $15,000 USD. That does not mean you automatically need to apply for $15,000 of funding, instead apply for the amount that your project realistically needs to succeed.
APPLYING FOR GRANTS:
Each grant has a two-stage application process. All applications that are approved through both stages will receive funding in the year following the application. (For example, apply in 2035, get money in 2036.)
Stage 1: Initial Project Application. This short-form application provides basic information about the project; the “who, what, when, where, why, and how” of the project plus an estimated total budget. Stage 1 applications open in January and close on April 15. After April 15, a team of Discipleship Ministries Staff will review Stage 1 Applications. The review committee will evaluate Stage 1 applications on the following criteria:
- How well does the project fit the description of the grant’s selection criteria?
- Does the project have a real chance of successful implementation and impact?
- Does the applicant seem to be aware of their own measures of success and impact and how to self-evaluate effectiveness of their project?
The review committee will send invitations to some applicants to complete a Stage 2, full application by May 15. The Stage 2 application is due by June 15.
Stage 2: Full Project Application. Only for projects invited to continue into Stage 2, this application is a more complete and robust picture of how the grant money will be used and the impact it will create through your project. This stage must be completed to be considered for funding. The full project application includes:
- A full, written project description.
- A detailed budget including all expected sources of income and plan for expenses for the duration of the project.
- One (1) letter of recommendation, preferably from a ministry leader in your context.
- A list of five (5) prayer partners/stakeholders/project supporters, who will support you and your project with some of their own prayers, presence, gifts, service, and witness, along with their email addresses.
It is also recommended that applications demonstrate a link and support from United Methodist organizations and connections in the regions of their project. Stage 2 Applications are due in the application platform by June 30. Failure to deliver all documents by the due date will disqualify the project. Completed Stage 2 Applications will be organized for review by a team of youth, young adults, and Young People’s Ministries staff in July. Projects approved for funding will receive notification and a Good Faith Agreement to complete and return before the end of the calendar year in which the application was submitted.
For questions regarding grant policies or procedures, not found in the FAQ, please contact Young People’s Ministries staff.
For technical questions regarding the application platform or application status, please contact our Grants Administrator.