Travel Grants

Travel Grant Program Description and Guidelines

The UU Partner Church Council is pleased to solicit grant applications for its Cathy Cordes Travel Grant Program. The fund supports travel that furthers the mission and vision of the UUPCC. The purpose of these grants is to serve as a catalyst for travel and programs that would otherwise not occur and which will make a difference in the lives of the individuals and their congregational partnerships. Recipients are encouraged to write, preach or otherwise broadcast to the wider community the benefits and value of the UU Partner Church movement.

Application Process

Grants are available for travel from overseas partners to North American partners as well as from North American partners to overseas partners. Only North American partner congregations which are institutional members of the UUPCC in good standing may apply. They may apply to support visits to and from overseas partners. There are two funding rounds per year. Deadlines for applications for the two cycles are March 15 and October 15. The awards are capped at $500 each per grant. Only one grant will be awarded to a church group regardless of how many people are traveling.  If two or more people are traveling from overseas to the US or Canada, only one $500 grant will be awarded.  And if a person is traveling to the US or Canada and will visit more than one church, only one $500 grant will be awarded for their travel. Applicants' congregations are required to pay at least 50% of the costs involved in the trip.

Evaluation Criteria

Reviewers apply the following criteria to evaluate proposals:

  • Requests for travel from overseas to North American partners. The costs are approximately the same for travel either way, but in general the overseas applicants have less ability to pay.
  • First visits or very infrequent visits between congregations, or first visits one-way.
  • Visits that coincide with a special event. (Example: church dedication, General Assembly, Community Capacity Building workshop, installation of minister, etc.)
  • Trips that are organized to strengthen the congregational partnership. (How much time will the person/s spend with the partner congregation? Special religious services planned during the visit?)
  • First time travel grants for this partnership.
  • Youth and young adults--Partnership needs to a steady stream of youth and young adults to stay vital and strong.
  • Degree to which North American partner church is supporting applicant's pilgrimage with funds.

Distribution and Examples

The UUPCC Travel Grant program uses a reimbursement system. Grant recipients will be paid back after their trip. We require that grant recipients submit an itemized list of their trip expenses. We also require that recipients' congregations raise at least 50% of the costs involved in the trip. Grant recipients are asked to report how much they raised and how they raised it. 

We also ask grant recipients for a trip report. This should be submitted with their request for reimbursement. The report should include a short synopsis of the visit that includes how this trip benefitted their partnership and include some photos, too. This report will become part of our Travel Grant Archives, and we’ll consider running it in the UUPCC newsletter.

All applicants meeting the criteria will be considered by the UUPCC Pilgrimage Committee. Should there be more applicants than available awards, applicants will be prioritized by a vote of the members of the UUPCC Pilgrimage Committee.

Examples of applications received include youth leadership travel to connect with youth, ministerial sabbatical travel that will enhance partnership, support for community capacity building programs, visits from overseas travelers to enhance the connection between congregations, and youth volunteers to work in schools, camps or orphanages associated with UUs overseas.

To Apply

Please fill out the application online and email it to office@uupcc.org, or print and mail to UUPCC, 483 E. Lockwood Ave., Suite 109, St. Louis, MO  631109-3168.

Reminder:  There are two funding rounds per year.  Deadlines for proposals for the two cycles are March 15 and October 15. Applications must be postmarked or received by the deadline to be considered. Applicants are encouraged to address all of the evaluation criteria in their narrative description.