The Shoemaker Fund Trustees invite nonprofit organizations to apply for grants for projects in line with our strategic goal of renewing and strengthening the Religious Society of Friends. We welcome efforts toward this goal from Quaker organizations, as well as from meetings. We are keenly interested in projects that bring innovation and vitality to monthly meetings and can be replicated in other meetings.
The Shoemaker Fund recognizes that grant writing takes a great deal of time and effort, and does not want to burden applicants with preparing proposals that may not be competitive for funding. Hence, the Fund has a two-stage application process — an inquiry stage and a full proposal stage. This helps the Fund to quickly gain an understanding of the proposed work, especially the alignment with the Fund’s focus on renewing and strengthening the Religious Society of Friends. For organizations interested in submitting their ideas, the first step is to complete the inquiry form with a 200 word narrative. Click HERE to download the inquiry form. These may be submitted at any time before the 15th of April or October. After reviewing the inquiry at its May or November meeting, the Fund will decide whether to invite full proposals from an organization.
The Fund does not provide annual operating funds, but supports specific projects and the overhead costs associated with them that address the strategic goal stated above. The Fund also does not make grant awards to endowments. Grants have ranged from several hundred dollars to over $200,000. Grants may be distributed over 1-3 years.
Inquiries are evaluated by the Shoemaker Fund Trustees using the following criteria:
- Organizations that have not previously received support from the Shoemaker Fund
- A clearly articulated connection between the project objectives and the Fund’s strategic goal.
- Innovative collaboration between Quaker organizations, including monthly meetings.
- Creative thinking that goes beyond structures or programs that have served the Religious Society of Friends in the past.
- Clear possible outcomes of the project, such as increases in attendance/membership, production of materials/programs, development of young leaders, etc.
Distributing Trustees review all inquiries at regularly scheduled meetings in May and November. Organizations that have submitted inquiries that are deemed to have merit are invited to submit a complete proposal for consideration at the next regularly scheduled meeting. Organizations not invited to develop a full proposal are notified promptly. Trustees generally do not meet in advance with grant seekers. From time to time, representatives of funded organizations are invited to share their work with trustees at one of their meetings.