November 28, 2016
Fairly regularly, people ask me how they can become involved in the Faith & Action Project. It’s pretty gratifying that people all over the city want to get involved. However, my response is often not what they expect. You see, the Faith & Action Project is a convener and a catalyst. The Project’s role is to facilitate discussion that can inspire and empower faith communities and civic groups to implement effective solutions for people confronting poverty. Indianapolis is at the heart of this growing poverty crisis – and therefore is potentially at the heart of implementing solutions to effectively address it. We need your help. For that reason, I encourage you to look within the faith communities and civic groups where you are already involved and consider how those organizations can apply their energies, ideas and resources to this effort. Commit to having authentic conversations about how racial and class-related biases show up in your neighborhoods and distort our community life. If organizations throughout the area accept this challenge and participate in the vision created by the Faith & Action Project, together we will reach the Project’s goal of igniting a solution-oriented social movement within our existing community of doers.
Thank you for joining this effort.
Lindsey Nell Rabinowitch
Project Director, Faith & Action Project
Grant program overview
Not only is the Faith & Action Project about connecting and inspiring communities for collaboration and big thinking, it’s also about awarding funds to the most promising, innovative programs that, with additional resources, can be replicated or otherwise accelerated. Starting in 2017, the project will award three grants annually—of $50,000, $20,000 and $10,000—to organizations that offer ideas with the potential to make a meaningful difference in defeating poverty and increasing opportunity.
Applications will be available in early February 2017 and due in July. However, groups should not wait until then to begin the process. Start now to create plans and cast ambitious visions. And mark your calendar so you can attend the March 14 Spring Conference, designed to bring together nonprofit, government agencies and faith communities to learn about best practices and strategies to mobilize communities for social justice in Greater Indianapolis and beyond.
Consider these questions when developing your proposal:
- Can your program be replicated or increased in scale?
- Is your program metric-driven?
- Can you prove your program’s efficiency and sustainability?
- Does your program leverage the community’s assets and strengths?
- Is the program treating the root cause or the symptoms of the problem?
- With what organizations or individuals would you collaborate on your program?
- Who is your target audience?
- Does your program inspire and/or include members and organizations in faith communities?
- Are there ways for members and organizations in faith communities to plug into your program?
Don’t wait until 2017 to begin this process. Share your ideas and these questions with your team now so you will have plenty of time to prepare a compelling, exciting proposal for attacking poverty in Central Indiana.
Mike Smith authored a column for the Indianapolis Business Journal, offering perspective on what it will take to reduce the poverty trend in Indianapolis. Read it here.
Video highlights of September 29 kick off event:
There is still the opportunity to revisit the highlights from New York Times op-ed columnist and author David Brooks and NPR host Tavis Smiley’s discussion on “Poverty, equality and opportunity: What’s a community to do?” Check out this video of the evening’s highlights our partners at WFYI created. Watch it here.
Unacceptable Fact of the Month
In terms of comprehensive child well-being (using data related to health, education, economics and family and community), the 2015 KIDS COUNT study ranked Indiana 32 among the 50 states. A key factor: The statistics show that nearly 475,000 Indiana children (about 30 percent) live in households where parents lack secure employment, up from 28 percent in 2008.
|Upcoming||Mark your calendar for these important dates.|
|February 9||Award application available online|
|March 14||All-day Faith & Action Spring Conference at Christian Theological Seminary
(required for grant applicants)
|March 16||Faith & Action Award application info session 5:00 – 7:00 p.m. (optional)|
|May 1||Project profiles due for grants|
|July1||Grant applications due|
|September||Three grant recipients announced|