Local Mission Grant Program

The Local Mission Team of First Pres is a group of committed disciples seeking to listen for God’s calling in this moment and in this community.

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 2018 Grant Application continues 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 2018 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:

  • Shelter, Housing and Homelessness
  • Community Mental Health
  • Hunger, Food and Nutrition


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

  • Shelter, Housing and Homelessness
  • Community Mental Health
  • Hunger, Food and Nutrition
  • Emergency Assistance & Coordination of Care
  • Social Justice, Advocacy and Education
  • Employment Assistance and Job Training
  • School-Age Youth

Project grants submitted should also meet the following criteria:

  • Be local in nature (Ann Arbor, 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 March 11, 2018. Grant awards will be distributed beginning May 1, 2018.

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 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 11, 2018.
  • 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 2016 and 2017 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 Local Mission Grant Application (fillable PDF) by email to: LocalMission@Firstpresbyterian.org

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

For more information please contact:

Martha Kershaw
Local Mission Chairperson

Rev. Jay Sanderford
Local Mission Staff Liason

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