The UUCF Endowment Fund, made up of monies primarily collected from the wills and trusts of departed congregants, friends and supporters, annually disburses a portion of its proceeds to seed focused campaigns for systematic change or capital improvement projects that represent the Seven Principles of Unitarian Universalism, with an emphasis on those efforts that will lead to long-term positive influence in the community.


The Endowment Fund Committee annually processes requests for grants and provides a list of recommended grants to the UUCF Board of Directors for final approval. The committee’s aim is to support the social justice aspirations and capital improvement needs of the congregation. The committee ensures that all grants given are announced to the congregation and that the process is done with the utmost transparency.

Priority is to be given to the requests that most reflect the UU Seven Principles and values. While repeat requests are not discouraged, priority will be given to new requests.

Total funding determination

The committee will annually complete a calculation to determine the total amount of funds that may be disbursed from the UUCF Endowment Fund during the operating year. The formula used will preserve the principal that has been donated to the Endowment Fund, it will adjust for inflation and it will average out the donations so that there are no spikes nor dips in the amount of funds available for grants. Administrative funds, including support for recognition of donations to the UUCF Endowment Fund, will be part of this total disbursement.

Calendar of actions

The grant request process takes place each September and most of October. To ensure that successful grant applicants can properly use the monies during the following calendar year, the Endowment Committee intends to collect grant requests, recommend the grant award and announce selection results in November of each year.

Jul. 1Start of UUCF financial year
Sep. 1Start of Endowment grant request process.
Last Tuesday in OctoberEnd of Endowment Grant Request Process. All completed grant requests due to Endowment Committee.
First UUCF board meeting in NovemberEndowment Committee presents recommendations to UUCF board.
Sunday before ThanksgivingEndowment Committee announces selection of grant recipient to congregation.
Immediately after announcementGrants monies given to selected projects.
Apr. 30 of the following yearGrant recipients provide summary report to Endowment Committee.

The Endowment Fund Committee will announce the start of the Endowment Fund Grant Request Process in September. All grant requests must be received by the UUCF office or a member of the committee by the third week of October on the third Thursday. The Committee will not consider grant requests received after the due date. The committee will review all grant requests using its best judgment and following the guidance provided in this process document, and select those grant requests for approval by the UUCF Board. The Chair of the Committee will transmit the recommendation list to the Board, via the Treasurer, and will attend the Board meeting to provide information on why the Committee made the recommendations. After the Board acts on the list, the Endowment Fund Committee will notify all grant requesters on whether they will receive a grant or not. The selection results will be announced to the Congregation before Thanksgiving. Funds will be given to recipients shortly thereafter.

Eligible applicants

Only UUCF committees, members, staff and friends, as defined by the UUCF Bylaws, are eligible to submit grant requests. Youth applicants must apply through the director of religious exploration.

Ineligible activities

To ensure Endowment Committee grants focus on the ‘planting of seeds’ for areas outside of operational expenses and capital improvement projects, and to focus on those grants that support the community as a whole, the following requests will not be considered:

  • Financial support for individual needs such as tuition, food or medical care
  • Government institutions
  • Organizations outside of the Washington, DC, metro area
  • UUCF Annual Operating Fund (except as an interest paying loan)
  • Organizations that wish to re-grant the funds
  • Medical or scientific research
  • Funding for films or publications are only allowed if they are an integral part of a collective action for social change.

Those committees, activities or individuals who have received previous grants for similar needs for their programs/capital improvements within the last 5 years will be of the lowest priority when making the final decision on grants. The Endowment Fund does not serve as a sustaining funder.

Grant size and type of funding

The maximum grant is determined by the amount of funds available for use and the number of grant requests, but will typically not exceed $10,000. However, most grants will be between $4,000 and $7,000. This will allow UUCF to have the widest impact on the largest number of requesters. Grant money will be disbursed to the maximum amount possible, as we do not want available funds to carry into the next year.

If an agency/individual seeking funds wishes to support a challenge grant, the agency/individual must notify the Endowment Fund Committee by July of the granting year of their intent. Grants are given for one year.

How to apply

To submit a proposal, please complete this form.

Follow up to receiving a grant

Grant recipients are required to provide a short report to the Endowment Committee in April detailing the success of the grant and  the expenditure of funds. This allows the committee to report to the congregation on the impact of the endowment funds. The report may show that the use of the grant is still a work in progress. Additionally, the committee may request that the point of contact for the grant request speak at its annual recognition event to encourage further participation in the UUCF Endowment Fund.