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.

Amnesty International Group 15   Raise awareness of human rights issues, participate in human rights campaigns, and to bring Sister Helen Prejean to Concord.

Advocates for Women’s Empowerment: Meals for Rosie’s Place.

 Budget Buddies. Support provision of our financial literacy program to 12 to 15 residents at the YWCA Lowell, in a program for mothers of children attending an after-school program.

Center for Parents and Teachers.   Raise awareness about the increased used of heroin in Concord and offer parents and other community members  tools to talk with teens about heroin use.

Children’s Island. Support meals program for families in need in Capilla Del Monte, Argentina.

ConcordCAN! – The Concord Climate Action Network.   Cover 50% of our operating budget, which pays for numerous public events in Concord, meeting costs, website and newsletter expenses, and participation in collaborative projects.

Concord Prison Outreach.  Support for CPO programs.

Dignity in Asylum.  Provide safe and free housing, food, transportation and overall caring community support to people seeking asylum.

Household Goods.  Support Household Good’s Boston College Move Out, a weekend spent collecting students’ furniture that is no longer needed.

Merrimack Valley Project.  Provide legal resources and support for undocumented immigrants throughout the Merrimack Valley.

Mil Milagros.  Develop the capacities of indigenous Maya women to improve the healthy development of young children and prevent malnutrition and stunting in communities where the child malnutrition rates exceed 70%.

Open Table.  Support Maynard Pantry and Maynard and Concord Community Dinners and serve an increasing population.

Restoration Project.  Support operations of a new thrift shop as a new vocational opportunity for current participants until it becomes sustainable.

RIA House.  Provide women survivors of the commercial sex trade with financial assistance upon release from prioson while they continue to participate in our Sisters Leading Sisters recovery program.

ROCA.  Provide the digital platforms necessary for Roca to embark on its next phase of dual-generation education with high-risk young mothers and their vulnerable children.

STEM-Up.  Bring intensive after-school STEM tutoring to public housing youth.

The Nature Connection.  To support at-risk youth by engaging them in a variety of nature-based activities.

Unitarian Universalist Urban Ministry.  Believe in Success supports low-income survivors of domestic violence, especially those for whom few other pathways to financial self-sufficiently exist, including low income women, survivors of color, LGBTQ survivors, immigrants, and survivors with low or limited English proficiency to heal and prepare for skills training, entry level work, or secondary education.

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

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].