Innovation Funding

 REQUEST FOR PROPOSALS: Board Seed-Fund for Innovation                                      11/16/2015


The Seed-Fund for Innovation will support new, creative programs which may increase our membership or provide new ways of fundraising. Seed funding is available to programs led by First Church committees, members, or staff. Grants will fund up to $300 for experimenting with new ideas and programs. Not every idea will succeed but it is important to try out promising initiatives.


Recent Church conversations and the leadership of the Futures Task Force have highlighted large shifts in the way that people engage with church, leading to stagnating membership numbers and reduced Canvass giving. First Church’s Committees have felt the financial pressure through reduced budgets that are limiting the capability for new, experimental programs. Consideration of these changes makes it clear that First Church will need to adjust how we interact with prospective new members and how we fundraise, which comprise two of the Board’s goals for the year. Such goals will require experimenting with new programs and approaches. In order to lower the barriers to innovation, the Innovation Seed-Fund will provide financial means to try out new ways of outreach, with the ultimate goal of attracting new participants in order to grow our membership or raising additional funds for First Church.  Programs funded by the innovation seed-fund will demonstrate a new idea, possibly on a small scale. If the program is successful, the Board will consider it for ongoing, repeated and/or increased funding.


Criteria for selecting proposals to fund

Successful proposals will articulate how a program new to First Church relates to the 2015/16 Board goals of

  • Increasing visitation and membership
  • raising incremental funds for First Church’s general (or capital) fund through pilot fundraising projects, innovative funding opportunities, and new donations.


Proposals should be sent electronically to any of the three Board members who are leading the Fund: Lynne Ambrosini, Bill Baker, and Peter Koenig. Proposals should contain the following elements:

  1. Goal(s) of your proposal and how it links to Board goals given just above under ‘Criteria’.
  2. Program leader(s)
  3. Program description
  4. Describe how you will measure success. This will help determine the future of the idea.


Proposals will be reviewed in the order received. Good ideas meeting the criteria above will be funded as long as the budgeted funds last. The early bird gets the worm!

                                                                        Lynne Ambrosini,

Bill Baker,

Peter Koenig,