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Programs > Consulting Assistance for CCHD Funds

Consulting Assistance for CCHD Funds

Catholic Campaign for Human Development Program
In Fall 2010, the National Catholic Rural Life Conference embarked on a three-year grant project together with the Catholic Campaign for Human Development (CCHD) to increase the number of qualified and successful CCHD grant applications from rural communities and in the long-term increase the capacity of rural communities to address rural poverty.
The new program will increase the number of fundable CCHD grant applications from rural communities to a level commensurate with the percentage of poor people living in rural communities. NCRLC will play a facilitating and consulting role, assisting organizations interested  in applying for CCHD funds.  
The CCHD is the domestic anti-poverty, social justice program of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops. Its mission is to address the root causes of poverty in America through promotion and support of community-controlled, self-help organizations and through transformative education. The grants, economic development, and education for justice programs of the Campaign,  implemented in collaboration with local dioceses, are supported from an annual collection in U.S. Catholic parishes. On average, the CCHD gives out a little more than $8 million in economic and development grants each year.  (Click here to view a CCHD brochure in English and in Spanish.)
The Situation
Approximately 17-20 percent of the U.S. population, or 50-60 million people, live in rural communities. Of that population, approximately 15.4 percent are living in poverty, compared to 11.9 percent in metropolitan areas, and 12.5 percent nationally. And in many rural communities, the poverty rate is much higher. Of 50 counties in the United States with persistent poverty, 48 are rural. 
Yet the number of grant applications sent to the Catholic Campaign for Human Development for agriculture or rural environmental justice or economic development projects are less than one might expect. According to CCHD’s data, over the past three years the
number of grants awarded to rural communities for agriculture and environmental justice projects has averaged less than five percent of the total grants awarded each year. CCHD is receiving far fewer applications for funding from rural communities compared to urban communities. 
That discrepancy, NCRLC believes, is due to the fact that there are many obstacles to reaching underserved rural communities and getting the communities to apply for, and be successful in securing, funds for projects. Other grant-making organizations, such as USDA’s Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education (SARE) program, face similar challenges of not receiving enough quality applications from rural communities. 
New Outreach Program
The new program will be partnership with the CCHD in which NCRLC will develop an outreach and education campaign to promote the application for CCHD grants. We will highlight success stories and publicize the stories of select CCHD funded projects through the NCRLC’s electronic bulletins, website and magazine; and develop related stories for publication in diocesan newspapers, newsletters and websites.
Working with NCRLC’s member network, made up of diocesan bishops, priests, men and women religious, social ministry directors, rural pastors, university and college faculty, non-profit and government workers, farmers and other advocates for rural issues located in every diocese in America, will allow us to encourage rural parishes and dioceses to promote the application for CCHD grants.
Over the next couple of years, we will assist rural organizations to develop fundable applications and target specific dioceses with high rural poverty (high unemployment) and key NCRLC member contacts. Our consulting services will include a combination of technologies—NCRLC website, email, and conference calls to clarify the process and develop high quality proposals.  We will focus our outreach efforts on diocesan contacts, community groups, and individual contacts in high poverty counties.   
To keep everyone updated on the program and to provide resources, this website will provide a forum for best practices in developing a CCHD project and proposal, share success stories, and provide answers to frequently asked questions for potential rural applicants. 
The Progress
NCRLC completed our research and analysis in 2011, which identified 19 rural dioceses experiencing elevated poverty in 14 states. We also conducted interviews with diocesan CCHD directors and CCHD grants staff to better assist rural groups with developing proposals. As part of our outreach/education plan, we developed and ran print ads in 13 diocesan newspapers reaching 626,000 Catholics and created nine CCHD pages on the NCRLC website - hosting 25,035 visits and 118 downloads of the CCHD Grants Guideline through October 2011. NCRLC staff provided consulting to 25 groups in 12 dioceses - referring 10 organizations to national grants specialists. Six community groups from rural areas submitted pre-application, and five groups submitted final applications. All five groups were awarded grants to move forward with their projects. The seeds have been planted. Read more about successful rural CCHD grants to explore possibilities for your community.
In the right-hand bar we’ve set up a place for you to read about successful rural CCHD grants that NCRLC will continue to add to as interviews are completed. If you think your organization has a potential grant project, you can see if you qualify for CCHD funding by clicking on CCHD Overview. The Getting Started page will allow you to submit your ideas to NCRLC for review. The CCHD Grant Process and Timeline tab lists key dates for the pre-application and application.  Finally, we have created a how-to’s page for grant writing in Writing Your Proposal/Video Resources.  



CCHD Grant Process and Timeline

CCHD Overview

Getting Started

Press & Outreach

Successful CCHD Grants

Writing Your Proposal/Video Resources