The Episcopal Health Foundation partners with the congregations of the Episcopal Diocese of Texas to develop and implement sustainable, community-engaged, missional work to improve community health. Collaboration between the Foundation and congregations will help catalyze the EHF's efforts for widespread transformational change by bringing more resources to the problem-solving table and strengthening the voice for health in our communities.
We offer support to congregations through two mechanisms:
- EHF provides informational resources.
Our staff serve as consultants to congregations that are interested in doing community-engaged work, providing guidance and technical assistance to congregations as they develop their work. EHF provides online resource materials including research, data, and mapping tools. EHF also offers learning opportunities through workshops and other programs delivered by EHF staff and partners under contract with EHF.
- EHF provides limited direct financial assistance to support congregations in the learning process.
EHF underwrites the costs of external learning opportunities that prepare congregations for undertaking sustainable, community-engaged, missional work. EHF also makes funds available directly to congregations for learning and development of this work.
Guidance for EHF Financial Assistance:
Basic Eligibility Criteria
The Episcopal Health Foundation provides support to congregations who are part of the Episcopal Diocese of Texas and whose work relates directly to the Foundation’s vision, goals, and strategies. The head of congregation must indicate they are supportive of the proposal via written acknowledgement of the proposal (this can be via email).
Foundation Service Area
EHF provides support within the 57-county service area of the Episcopal Diocese of Texas.
EHF is committed to achieving transformative change by supporting broader and more effective engagement by Diocesan congregations in their communities. Our goals are generally to help congregations develop a deeper understanding of community needs, involve more parishioners in the community, transition outreach ministries from a charity to transformation orientation, and increase the number of congregations who are deeply connected to communities.
Examples of Support
- Financial assistance for a group from a congregation to attend a training (or to host a training at the congregation) to equip members to participate in a new program or ministry, to improve a ministry already underway, or gain broader skills. This could include learning specific skills in a topic area like mental health or education through a partner organization or more general leadership skills such as cross-cultural communication or asset-based community development.
- Support for a consultant to work with a congregation to develop a strategic plan for community development.
- Assistance toward startup costs to launch a new program, such as purchasing curriculum or materials.
- Visiting another congregation or organization to learn about a model program you would like to bring back to your community.
- Costs associated with conducting a community needs assessment.
The purpose of EHF’s Congregational Engagement Financial Support is to enhance congregational learning. It is not to underwrite the costs of operating a program. EHF will not provide financial support for on-going expenses for congregation ministries or programs, or for individual requests for healthcare costs or education expenses. EHF does not fund worship-related materials or activities.
We encourage you to speak with an EHF Congregational Engagement Officer before submitting a request.
We anticipate that most financial assistance awards will range from $3,000-$5,000, though some may be higher, depending on the scale of the initiative. Awards are not likely to exceed $10,000 per congregation.
Application Deadlines and Review Process
There are no application deadlines, and applicants may submit their request anytime. Each application is reviewed and analyzed by an EHF Congregation Engagement Officer, and recommendation decisions are made by Foundation leadership.
Timing a Request
We estimate a three to six-week period to receive, review, and make a decision regarding an application. However, this period may vary, and further conversations for clarification may be needed for a final decision. Conversations between applicants and EHF Congregation Engagement Officers prior to submission of an application are encouraged, to insure stronger applications and strategic alignment.
Notification of Award
All applicants will be notified via email about decisions.
How to Submit an Application
EHF only accepts applications electronically by sending an email with the request for support, including the information outlined below in the components of the application to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Components of the Application
- Congregation or institution contact information, including the primary contact for the organization and the contact for this request for support. If the person submitting the request is not the head of congregation, please copy them on the request and include an indication that they are supportive of the application. Please indicate how the check should be made out and the mailing address for sending funds if awarded.
- Description of the general initiative for which financial support is requested. Address how it will help enhance your congregation’s ability to better address community needs. Also include past and current partners and their role in the initiative. List key individuals who will be responsible for carrying out the initiative, and their anticipated time on the initiative for which support is requested (if applicable).
- Whether technical support from EHF has been or will be sought as well. If so, please describe what that request involves.
- If this is a new initiative, address why the topic is a focus of interest, and how it was developed.
- Explain how this initiative is connected to EHF’s vision for transforming community health (Read more in our Strategic Plan).
- Provide the total cost of the initiative, along with a basic budget for the funds you are requesting from EHF. Indicate any funding that the congregation has committed (past or present).
- Indicate willingness to provide information for reporting (including reporting on how funds were spent), results and learning from the experience, and other communication requests from EHF. We plan to share lessons learned about what worked and about individual projects so that other congregations may benefit from the initiatives supported through this effort. We would also like to share appropriate photos or written materials developed as a result of the EHF support. Specific reporting deadlines and requirements will be negotiated on a project-by-project basis.
Applicants can find additional information on EHF’s Congregational Engagement work, and read the Foundation strategic plan, FAQs and glossary of terms on our website in the Congregational Engagement section.
Once a decision has been made, recipients must indicate approval of agreement terms within ten business days of receiving email notification of award.
Evaluation and Learning
EHF values learning and evaluation for all stakeholders on the pathway to community health transformation. We look forward to ongoing engagement with congregations on this topic in order to fully realize the potential of the work they are doing.