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Quaker Peace & Social Witness (QPSW) award grants to innovative Quaker or Quaker-supported projects focused on sustainability and the new economy.

We hope to enable projects that help to build low-carbon, sustainable communities and a different type of economic system – ‘an economic system in which Quaker testimony can flourish’[1].

We do not have a blueprint for the new economy or know exactly what a low-carbon, sustainable community would be like. However, we believe that it will happen, in part, because individuals and communities challenge the current mainstream, by doing different things. This may be building new, value-based economic structures; running initiatives that show how we can live lower carbon lives; or working on projects like local currencies or energy co-operatives that demonstrate that an alternative is possible.

We would like to receive applications for your projects, small or large. A project may be something as small as a one off event, or as large as a community-wide engagement initiative. Think creatively – a large project can be broken down into many smaller ones. When planning your application it may help to think about some of the following:

  • Is its primary purpose to connect people to the Earth, cut carbon or increase sustainability, engage in politics, speak out, challenge unsustainable and unjust economics or build alternative models? Or more than one of these things?
  • Does it enable people to take action or behave differently in the future?
  • Is it practical? Educational? Does it excite people? Does is get people thinking more deeply? Which one – or more – of these are you focusing on?
  • How are Friends and your local meeting involved?
  • How could you extend its reach? Could it include people beyond the meeting? How could the impact be deepened?
  • Grants are intended to help facilitate new, or support existing, initiatives. Particular attention will be given to those projects that may not otherwise happen.

Eligibility

  • The project must be initiated or supported by a local or area meeting. The project need not be Quaker-led (and collaborative projects are encouraged) but there should be significant Quaker involvement.
  • Applications should be accompanied by a minute of support from the local or area meeting.
  • The project should be intended to build low-carbon sustainable communities or the new economy.
  • We are no longer accepting applications for projects to do work to the fabric of a building or for the installation of solar panels. If you are interested in making your building more efficient please apply to the Meeting Houses Fund (www.quaker.org.uk/property-matters).

Applications

  • Application forms are available from www.quaker.org.uk/sustainability-grants and from Maya Williams (see below).
  • All applications must be made on a fully completed application form, though further supporting material can be appended. All will need to be accompanied by a minute of support from the appropriate local or area meeting.
  • All applications need a main applicant and a supporting applicant who are both members or attenders of the same local or area meeting.
  • Applications also need to be signed by the appropriate local or area meeting clerk. Please see the ‘notes for clerks’ section in these guidance notes for more detail on this.
  • Applications are generally considered once a year only.
  • Provisional decisions about the distribution of grants will be made by the beginning of October, when all applicants will be informed as to whether they have or have not been provisionally successful.
  • Those who have been successful at this stage will be asked to share further information such as key dates with QPSW, and to work with QPSW to develop their project if necessary. The purpose of these ‘conditions’ is to ensure that your project benefits from the most appropriate support from QPSW and we have the best information to share and celebrate what you are doing.
  • Assuming the ‘conditions’ are met, provisional successful grant applications will be finalised by the end of December 2015, with money distributed by January 2016.
  • Decisions are made by the QPSW Economics, Sustainability and Peace group with professional advice as necessary.

Sharing the story

  • All successful applicants will be expected to work with QPSW staff to find ways to share information about their project within the Yearly Meeting. This could be through writing an article for publication, talks at other meetings or workshops at events.
  • We will also expect an opening and closing report that we can share through the ‘Stories of Witness’ www.quaker.org.uk/stories-of-witness
  • All successful applicants will be asked to join a skype call in January to meet with other grant recipients, connect and share learnings and experience.
  • We also hope to be able to link grant recipients and other active Quakers who may be working on similar issues, so we may be in touch with you throughout the year.

Examples of grants

In past years we have funded:

Sums available

  • You can apply for a grant of between £100 and £2000
  • A maximum of £5000 in grants will be distributed annually.
  • Grants are one-off payments, though applicants can re-apply in future years, but we may prioritise applications from new projects and/or meetings that have not received a grant before.
  • A grant may provide the sum total of the amount needed by the project, or may only cover a proportion of the costs, though it must comprise no less than 20% of the total.
  • If the grant covers a proportion of the cost, you will need to explain where the balance of funds will come from, how much of this is already secured, how much is still to be secured, and if any risks are foreseen. If you still need to find additional funding, please see the additional sources of funding document that is available on the website.

Origin of funds

The funds for these grants come from the annual budget of QPSW. Grants are intended to enable meetings that would not otherwise be able to carry out this work on sustainability or new economics to do so. They are also a means for Friends to support the work of other Friends across the Society and to strengthen the corporate concern for sustainability and economic justice.

Key dates

  • Application form available: April 2015
  • Closing date for applications: 14 September 2015
  • 1st decision: By beginning of October. At this point unsuccessful applications will be told that their applications will not be being taken any further. Other applicants will be told they are provisionally successful, on the condition that they work with QPSW in the period until December 2015 to share further information such as key project, and to develop their project if necessary.
  • 2nd decision: by end December 2015 assuming all ‘conditions’ have been met, all successful grants will be finalised.
  • Grants will be distributed in early 2016.

Notes for Clerks

All applicants should make sure that the following information is shared with the clerk/s of the local or area meeting.

  • Clerks need to make sure that the project has gone through a full discernment process within the local and/or area meeting, and that if the meeting is led to support the project an appropriate minute of support, signed by the clerk/s, comes with the application.
  • Clerks will also need to read through and sign the completed application form before it is returned to Friends House.
  • We would also hope clerks ensure that the meeting remains informed about project throughout the year, particularly if the project is not a project of the Quaker meeting. We recommend a regular (perhaps 6 monthly) update to the meeting from the project.

For further information

We recommend that you contact Maya Williams to discuss your project before applying. We can answer any questions you may have on the grants or the application process, and we can provide some support to help develop ideas into project plans.

Successful applicants can also get in touch at any point during their project to ask for advice, or share any updates or questions about your project with us.

Maya Williams
Economics, Sustainability & Peace Network Coordinator
Friends House
173 Euston Road
London
NW1 2BJ

Email: mayaw@quaker.org.uk
Tel: 020 7663 1056

 


[1] Minute 23, Yearly Meeting Gathering 2011