Local Mission Grant Program

Local Mission Grant Process Postponed

The COVID-19 pandemic has created a great deal of uncertainty for all of us. We know each of you is having to reorganize your priorities, resources and procedures in order to provide essential services to your clients while keeping them, as well as your staff, safe. We recognize that each agency will feel the impact of this public health crisis in different ways.

We have decided to postpone our Local Mission Grant process for 2 months until May 31, 2020. Hopefully this will give us, as well as you, time to focus addressing the immediate needs of the most vulnerable individuals in our community. Hopefully we will then be able to re-evaluate our resources and priorities for the following months.

We know several organizations have already made an application for our Local Grant Program. We will simply hold those applications and give you all the opportunity to revise those documents to align with new criteria if you so choose. Thank you for your forbearance.

In the short term, our priority is to protect access to food, shelter, medical and mental health for our neighbors in need. We would like to hear about your immediate needs for support: financial, volunteer, and supplies. Many members of our congregation want to know how they can best help others during this time, and we will do our best to direct our resources toward your requests.

In this time, First Pres’ Local Community Mission Team has set aside a small fund to meet immediate emergent needs of our local partners and ministries for food, shelter, medical and mental health--- only the most critical human needs--- created by the Covid-19--Coronavirus. We will post some information about this program after April 1, 2020. For information, please email us together after April 1, 2020: Martha Kershaw mdkershaw@sbcglobal.net and Jay Sanderford jsanderford@firstpresbyterian.org

About the Grant Program

The First Pres Local Community Mission Grant Program is a process that awards grants to nonprofit organizations and ministries that care for and protect the vulnerable in Ann Arbor, Washtenaw County and Metro Detroit. We seek to provide pathways and opportunities for disadvantaged persons to become contributing members to society. We are particularly interested in partnering with organizations that meet basic human needs with effective programs and build communities. We value groups that tackle structural social inequities and are attentive to groups who engage in long-cycle solutions.

The 2020 Grant Application will continue the process we introduced in 2016 and reflects our intention to define the goals of our Local Mission efforts and to point our resources at vulnerable people and communities. We also strive to respect our community partners in how we ask them to use their limited time and resources while making this application.

Funding Guidelines for 2020 Local Community Impact Grants

Each year the Local Mission Team undergoes a process of discernment, paying attention to the needs we recognize in our community. We identify the areas which seem the most urgent and place a priority on addressing those. Programs must align with one or more of these priorities to be considered eligible for grant awards.

Local Mission Grant Awards

We invite applications for Local Community Mission Impact Grant Awards up to $10,000 in these priority focus areas:

  • Community Mental Health/ Substance Abuse Treatment
  • Shelter, Housing and Homelessness


for Local Community Mission Grant Awards of $1,000- $5,000 in any of these focus areas:

  • Community Mental Health and Substance Abuse Treatment (Improving access to services for low-income individuals)
  • Health and Dental Services (Improving access for low-income individuals)
  • Shelter, Housing and Homelessness (Improving access to secure housing)
  • Hunger, Food and Nutrition (Improving access to healthy food)
  • Emergency Assistance & Coordination of Care (Responding to and preventing crises that would lead to increased poverty, including services for immigrants)
  • Social Justice, Advocacy and Education (Addressing the roots of poverty)
  • Cradle to Career (Increasing safety and school readiness/success of low-income children)
  • Vulnerable Elderly (Increasing safety and independence of low income- elderly)

Project grants submitted should also meet the following criteria:

  • Be local in nature (Washtenaw County and Metro Detroit)
  • Be associated with an organization with 501 (c )3 status
  • Not duplicate services already provided in the same area
  • Have an active board of directors
  • Demonstrate potentially significant impact/outcomes
  • Have a system in place for defining and measuring program outcomes for participants
  • Have a distinct program budget, showing income and expenses that are specific to the program
  • Must affirm that the agency does not discriminate on the basis of age, sex, ethnicity, disability, race, color, ancestry, political affiliation, religion, sexual orientation, mental health disability or national origin
  • Must submit an End of the Year Report (by the end of the calendar year) on the use of the First Pres Local Community Grant Funds

The deadline for First Pres Local Community grant requests is Tuesday, March 31, 2020. Grant awards will be distributed during May and June 2020.

Preference will be given to projects where the First Pres contribution represents a response to a unique need (rather than providing ongoing core support to the organization). Members of the First Pres Local Mission Team will review eligible applications. Notification of funding recommendations will be made by mail to the address provided in the organization’s application.

How to Apply

  • Application deadline is March 31, 2020.
  • No hand-written proposals.
  • Submit one (1) copy of each listed document.
    • Brief cover letter
    • Completed application form
    • Narrative questions (3-4 pages)
    • Project budget
    • Organization’s budget for last year and this year, indicating percentage of income that is spent on programming, administration and fund-raising (annual report for 2018 and 2019 acceptable)
    • 501c(3) IRS designation letter or statement of a fiduciary relationship from your fiscal agent
    • Current not-for-profit or agency board roster
  • Submit the completed application by email to: LocalMission@Firstpresbyterian.org

We welcome feedback about our application process, please contact us with comments or questions. We look forward to hearing from you!

Martha Kershaw
Local Mission Chairperson

Rev. Jay Sanderford
Local Mission Staff Liason
(734) 662-4466

2019 Local Community Impact Grants Recipients

  • Ozone House - Mental Health for At Risk College Students
  • Habitat of Huron Valley - House of Faith
  • Fort Street Presbyterian – Community Garden and Nutrition Education
  • Cass Community SS - Lots for Tiny Homes
  • Hope Clinic - Mental Health for Uninsured
  • Community Action Network - Brick School Community Center
  • Community Action Network - Housing Support Program
  • (IHN) Alpha House – Family Shelter
  • Friends in Deed – Emergency Assistance
  • Peace Neighborhood - College Prep
  • Riverside Gathering - Weekly Dinner
  • Breakfast at St. Andrew's
  • ICPJ - Poverty Narratives

2018 Local Community Impact Grants Recipients

  • Breakfast at St. Andrew's
  • Food Gatherers
  • Fort Street
  • Hope Clinic
  • Riverside Gathering
  • Community Action Network
  • Corner Health Clinic
  • Cass Community Social Services
  • Habitat of Huron Valley
  • (IHN) Alpha House
  • Religious Action for Affordable Housing
  • Shelter Association
  • Peace Neighborhood
  • Interfaith Council for Peace & Justice/ICPJ
  • Interfaith Round Table
  • Friends in Deed

2017 Local Community Impact Grants Recipients

  • Habitat for Humanity of Huron Valley, House of Faith
  • Food Gatherers
  • Corner Health Center
  • Cass Community Social Services
  • Friends in Deed
  • Interfaith Council for Peace & Justice/ICPJ
  • Alpha House
  • Shelter Association
  • His Eye is on the Sparrow
  • Riverside Community Gathering
  • Hope Clinic Food Programs
  • Family Learning Institute
  • Washtenaw Housing Alliance
  • Breakfast at St Andrew's
  • Hope Clinic Mental Health
  • Dawn Farm
  • Meals on Wheels
  • Community Action Network
  • House By Side Road
  • Interfaith Round Table
  • Dispute Resolution Center
  • Safe House
  • Intentional Communities of Washtenaw

2016 Local Community Impact Grants Recipients

  • Interfaith Council for Peace & Justice/ICPJ
  • Interfaith Roundtable
  • Community Action Network; Project at Mitchell Elementary School
  • Peace Neighborhood Center
  • House by the Side of the Road
  • St. Andrew's Breakfast Program
  • Food Gatherers, Special Project
  • HOPE Clinic Food Pantry
  • Riverside Community Meal Program, Ypsilanti
  • Alpha House
  • Friends In Deed
  • Habitat for Humanity of Huron Valley, House of Faith
  • Religious Action for Affordable Housing
  • Shelter Association
  • Samaritan Counseling Center
  • Intentional Communities of Washtenaw
  • His Eye is on the Sparrow
  • Washtenaw Refugee Welcome