Process for Funding Ministry through
Block Grants to Provinces

Presented to Executive Council on 11/3/98 by Ralph Spence

Possible Benefits:

1)  Gives broader ownership of ministry.
2)  Allows more members to be involved in ministry decisions.
3)  Provides way to determine what ministries can best be done regionally.
4)  Avoids lengthy time delay between determining priorities for ministry and funding.
5)  Encourages sharing ministry stories and networking successful programs.
6)  Closer accountability between those providing and those receiving the ministry.
7)  Supports the governing structure of the Church by sharing control of resources.
8)  Would encourage greater participation and networking at the Province level.
9)  Encourages sharing and discussion of regional ministry opportunities at General Convention.

Proposed Process:

A)  As we involve Provinces in the information gathering phase of the budget process, encourage them to also consider a grant making process for the distribution of block grants.  Try to determine which ministries now being supported at the national level could more effectively be funded and administered accountable at the Province level.  Use response to determine where cuts may be made in the national budget to fund grants to each Province.  Determine if grant restrictions may be needed to prevent excessive administrative cost.

B)  Encourage Province to begin preparing process that will be used after the General Convention in 2000 to allocate grant funds.  The model of the "Challenge Process" used by C-14 is one way priorities could be determined for allocation of funds.  Other methods may be more appropriate in some Provinces.  Provinces could actually begin identifying and preparing ministry opportunities before funds are received.

C)  Encourage a discussion at General Convention of the funding and prioritizing processes that will be used in each Province.  Include block grants in the budget and any grant restrictions and criteria for approval of General Convention.  Block grants will be administered by the treasurer and distributed through provincial Executive Committees.

D)  Following GC allow each Province to complete their funding process and have them submit a full description of each ministry being funded as they request block grant funds.  The process for determining grants provides an great opportunity to discuss various ministry opportunities at the Province level.  It also helps members in each diocese learn more about the priorities and challenges of other diocese in their Province.  The ministry descriptions submitted with requests will help provide accountability, can be used to share ideas for ministry throughout the church and can help us learn more about each other.  

E)  Evaluation of the block grant process and a comparison of ministries done at the national and provincial level would be required to make decisions for block grants prior to General Convention in 2003.  There may be opportunity for sharing programs and ministry resources between Provinces.

F)  General Convention could provide a forum for the discussion of various ministries supported through the block grant process.  Again, new block grants would be included in the budget along with restrictions and criteria for distribution.

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