FAQs

About Us

What organizations does ECF work with?

ECF provides funding, leadership, and resources to enable Episcopal parishes/worshiping communities and their nonprofit partners to lift up people experiencing poverty and oppression and to achieve significant, long-lasting impact in the Episcopal Diocese of Atlanta. Since its inception, ECF has donated more than $5.3 million to promote thriving and spiritually strong individuals, families, and communities locally. View projects funded by ECF.

There are many phenomenal efforts and ministries geared towards national and international efforts to relieve poverty and oppression that are supported by parishes throughout the Episcopal Diocese of Atlanta. However, the Episcopal Community Foundation specifically supports those working in our local communities in Middle and North Georgia.

What issues does ECF aim to resolve?

ECF helps resolve important issues in our local communities, including efforts around hunger, homelessness, generational poverty, refugee services, human trafficking, and those whose lives have been impacted by the criminal justice system.

How is ECF affiliated with the Diocese of Atlanta?

ECF is a ministry within the Episcopal Diocese of Atlanta. We specifically fund parishes and worshiping communities in our Diocese as well as nonprofit organizations which have a substantial relationship with one of these parishes or worshiping communities.

While our administrative office is located within the Office of the Bishop at the Cathedral of St. Philip, our budget is separate from the budget for the Diocese. Unlike other diocesan ministries, ECF is not funded by the Fair Share Assessment.

How is ECF funded?

ECF is funded by the Rt. Rev. Bennett J. Sims Endowment. We also raise funds through events (e.g., annual Hunger Walk Run) and individual giving (e.g., donations, planned giving opportunities, and legacy gifts). We are the only ministry in the Episcopal Diocese of Atlanta that provides opportunities for individuals to establish a lasting legacy to serve the poor and oppressed, as well as to honor their individual parishes in their estate. Unlike other organizations in the Episcopal Diocese of Atlanta, we are not funded by the Fair Share Assessment.

How We're Different

How does ECF differ from other ministries in the Diocese?

  • ECF grants can support traditional and non-traditional ministries and must have parish involvement and collaboration. Grants will NOT be funded to a nonprofit partner without a strong parish connection that is spiritually enriched by the partnership.
  • ECF grants must serve people experiencing poverty and oppression from a parish’s community, and therefore do not include building loans or funds for repairs that are not outreach-related.
  • ECF grants are not intended for individual use and therefore do not includes loans, education funds, or other individual purposes.
  • Generally, ECF does not require a matching contribution for our grants unless discussed at the time of your application; however, we can serve as the matching grant for a Ministry Innovation.
  • ECF grants are not supported out of the Diocese of Atlanta Fair Share Assessment but through our endowment and donations from individuals.
  • ECF is the only ministry in the Diocese that provides opportunities for individuals to establish a lasting legacy to serve people experiencing poverty and oppression, as well as to honor their individual parishes in their estate. ECF serves as a resource to parishes around outreach ministry and planned giving.

Is ECF a part of Episcopal Relief & Development?

No, ECF is a specific ministry to the Episcopal Diocese of Atlanta and is not affiliated with Episcopal Relief & Development.

ECF partners with Episcopal communities in Middle and North Georgia to lift up people experiencing poverty and oppression, creating a sustainable impact for individuals, families, and communities. While there are many phenomenal efforts and ministries geared towards national and international efforts to relieve poverty and oppression, we specifically support those working in our local communities in Middle and North Georgia.

Episcopal Relief & Development works globally to respond to human suffering in the world. ERD administers funds that are received from The Episcopal Church and raised from other sources to provide relief in times of disaster and promote sustainable development by identifying and addressing the root causes of suffering. Learn more about Episcopal Relief & Development on their website.

Is ECF a part of the Episcopal Church Foundation?

Despite sharing the “ECF” moniker, the Episcopal Community Foundation for Middle and North Georgia is a specific ministry to the Episcopal Diocese of Atlanta and is not affiliated with the Episcopal Church Foundation.

The Episcopal Church Foundation works with Episcopal faith communities to support strategic visioning and planning exercises. These exercises enable lay and clergy leadership teams to raise financial resources for ministries and affect positive change in their communities through Christian Stewardship and ministry. Learn more about the Episcopal Church Foundation on their website.

Grantmaking

How are ECF grants awarded? What is the criteria?

ECF provides charitable grants from The Rt. Rev. Bennett J. Sims Endowment to create significant, sustainable ministries and community partnerships that serve people experiencing poverty and oppression as well as encourage spiritual growth for Episcopalians through service.

  • Offered twice a year, our grants are available to parishes in the Episcopal Diocese of Atlanta and their nonprofit partners to fund collaborative efforts that utilize the skills and resources of our shared communities to make an impact for people experiencing poverty and oppression. Learn more about the criteria for grant applicants.
  • Each spring we participate as a benefiting partner in the Atlanta Community Food Bank’s annual Hunger Walk Run and offer specially designated grants to hunger-related efforts from the event’s proceeds.

Does ECF fund general operational support?

ECF prioritizes requests that support creating new programs, expanding existing efforts, or innovative ideas and solutions. Our grants typically fall into two large categories: capacity-building and capital needs. ECF seeks to fund opportunities equitably across the 117 worshipping communities across the Diocese of Atlanta which means that ECF grants are not renewable year-over-year. As such, we are significantly less likely to provide funding for operating support such as administrative and general programming costs.

We have received an ECF grant in the past. When can we reapply?

ECF gives strong preference to applications from parishes and organizations that have not previously received funding. However, previous grant recipients may apply for additional funding within the following guidelines:

  • A ministry/organization cannot submit another request until 12 months AFTER they have submitted an approved final report from their previous funding.
  • A parish cannot receive funding (either directly or through a supported ministry) more than once every 18 months.

For all previous grant recipients, ECF tracks when parishes and nonprofits are eligible to reapply – you DO NOT need to keep track of these dates yourself! If you have questions about when your ministry is eligible to apply for additional funding, please contact us.

Our nonprofit does not have a relationship with an Episcopal church. What do we do?

As a ministry of the Episcopal Diocese of Atlanta, ECF’s funding is specifically designated to help our parishes better serve people experiencing poverty and oppression. Sometimes the parishes themselves are engaged directly in this ministry work; directly funding our parishes is our first priority. However, we greatly value the impact and efficiencies that collaboration generates. If existing nonprofit organizations are already engaging the community in areas where our parishes seek to get involved, we highly recommend partnering with existing nonprofits over creating new ministries.

With this in mind, ECF’s grant funding is also available to nonprofit organizations which have a substantial relationship with one (or more!) of the 117 worshipping communities across the Diocese of Atlanta. Many of our parishes have made a significant impact in their local communities through nonprofit partnerships which not only help people experiencing poverty and oppression, but also provide an opportunity for Episcopalians to experience spiritual growth through service.

While ECF does require a significant partnership with a parish, we do not have any requirements around how long the partnership has been in place. In fact, ECF is more than happy to provide funding for efforts to create new partnerships! However, we do not serve as a “matchmaker” for organizations looking to find a parish to partner with. We recommend nonprofits start by connecting with the church(es) in your local area to see if there is interest in building a relationship. Please keep in mind that some churches are eagerly looking for new ways to engage with their community, and some churches are already at capacity with their existing outreach efforts. A conversation is always the first step!

View a listing and map of all Episcopal churches in the Diocese of Atlanta.

What issues does ECF aim to resolve?

ECF helps resolve important issues in our local communities, including efforts around hunger, homelessness, generational poverty, refugee services, human trafficking, and those whose lives have been impacted by the criminal justice system.

Legacy Gifts

How is ECF funded?

ECF is funded by the Rt. Rev. Bennett J. Sims Endowment. We also raise funds through events (e.g., annual Hunger Walk Run) and individual giving (e.g., donations, planned giving opportunities, and legacy gifts). We are the only ministry in the Episcopal Diocese of Atlanta that provides opportunities for individuals to establish a lasting legacy to serve the poor and oppressed, as well as to honor their individual parishes in their estate. Unlike other organizations in the Episcopal Diocese of Atlanta, we are not funded by the Fair Share Assessment.