The Social Action Community (SAC) works to actively express our Unitarian Universalist social justice commitment and First Parish mission statement. The SAC Board manages the distribution of 7.5% of annual pledge income to local, national and international organizations. Currently, the SAC Coordinator’s salary is also supported by the 7.5% of annual pledge income.

Possible New Ways of Giving

This year, the Standing Committee has been soliciting congregational input on using this allocation of pledge income to support SAC grants and the SAC Coordinator, and will be presenting a proposed policy to the Congregation in June.  To prepare for potential changes in the ways that First Parish makes financial gifts for social action purposes, the SAC Board has assessed the grants process, piloted Share the Plate collections, and developed a proposal for a flexible model for giving to social justice causes that combines several different forms of giving.

Here is a link to our assessment of SAC grants and how they compare to our early experience learning about Share the Plate.  SC Presentation 4.8.18

Here is a link to our proposal for a Flexible Hybrid Model.The Hybrid Model – Mar 13 2018 rev2

FY2018 SAC Grant Awards

In April, the SAC Board awarded $48,600 in grants to the following applicants.

SAC Grant Awards 2017-18

Organization ProjectTotal
Amnesty International Grp 15Raise awareness of human rights issues, participate in human rights campaigns, and to bring Sister Helen Prejean$500
AWEMeals for Rosie’s Place$1,400
Budget BuddiesSupport financial literacy program for 12 to 15 residents at the YWCA Lowell, whose children attending an after-school program$2,000
Center for Parents and TeachersRaise awareness about increased use of heroin in Concord and offer tools for parents and others to talk with teens about heroin use.$500
Children’s IslandSupport meals program for families in need in Capilla Del Monte, Argentina$1,200
Concord Climate Action NetworkHalf of operating budget for public events in Concord, meeting costs, communication expenses, and collaborative projects$1,000
Concord Prison OutreachSupport for CPO programs$4,000
Dignity in AsylumProvide safe and free housing, food, transportation and overall caring community support to people seeking asylum$3,000
Household GoodsSupport Household Good’s Boston College Move Out, a weekend collection of students’ discarded furniture.$500
Merrimack Valley ProjectProvide legal resources and support for undocumented immigrants throughout the Merrimack Valley$5,000
Mil MiagrosDevelop the capacities of indigenous Maya women to support healthy development of young children and prevent malnutrition and stunting in communities where the child malnutrition rates exceed 70%.$3,000
Open TableSupport Maynard Pantry and Maynard and Concord Community Dinners and serve an increasing population$4,000
Restoration ProjectSupport operations of a new thrift shop as a new vocational opportunity for current participants until it becomes sustainable.$2,000
RIA HouseProvide women survivors of the commercial sex trade with financial assistance upon release from prison while they continue to participate in our Sisters Leading Sisters recovery program.$2,000
ROCAProvide digital platforms for Roca to embark on dual-generation education with high-risk young mothers and their children$2,000
STEM-UpBring intensive after-school STEM tutoring to public housing youth$5,000
The Nature ConnectionSupport at-risk youth by engaging them in nature-based activities$1,500
Unitarian Universalist Urban MinistryBelieve in Success supports low-income survivors of domestic violence to heal and prepare for skills training, entry level work, or secondary education.$10,000

Grant Applications

As noted above, the SAC grants process may be different in the future.  This section provides information about how we have administered the grants process in recent years.

The deadline for grants in the 2017-18 church year is January 31, 2018. Grants will be awarded by March, 2018. To apply for a grant through First Parish in Concord, first read our SAC Grant Application Policies 2017. Then download the First Parish SAC grantsrequestform 01-11-17 word, which includes application instructions. Completed applications should be emailed to Wendy Holt at wendyh@dmahealth.com.

You can view grant allocations from 2016 and 2017 to get an idea of what types and sizes of grants we give.

To learn more about the history of our grants programs, read this report by Dave Dawson and John Lowe, “History and Impact of Social Action Grants, 1968-2010″ [PDF]. A more recent summary, included in the 2015 report, is available here [PDF].