Annual Grants Program
Catholic Youth Foundation USA (CYFUSA) has a history of prividing support for the field of Catholic youth ministry. CYFUSA considers their grant awards an investment in the community or ministry of present and past recipients.
2017 Award Guidelines
Catholic Youth Foundation USA serves the National Federation for Catholic Youth Ministry (NFCYM) and provides grants annually for activities, events, strategies, or campaigns designed to:
- Foster leadership development in youth
- Train youth ministers
- Reach out to youth in crisis or at risk
- Develop multicultural and minority youth inclusion and involvement
- Projects promoting peace and justice
- And other worthy youth ministry projects consistent with Renewing the Vision: A Framework for Catholic Youth Ministry (USCCB)
Priority is given to initiatives that advance the NFCYM’s three pastoral priorities:
- Cultivate a desire in young people to encounter Jesus personally
- Support the family in their critical role in forming their children in the faith
- Cultivate pastoral leadership
Preference is given to projects which are new and innovative, collaborative in nature, and demonstrate long-term effects.
Grants are not available to individuals.
The Foundation annually awards funds by application from NFCYM member dioceses, NFCYM collaborating members, parishes sponsored by dioceses, high school campus ministries sponsored by dioceses and religious communities, and special service groups. A letter of support from the diocesan youth ministry director is required for applications from parishes, schools, and special service groups. For applications from NFCYM collaborating members, a letter of support from the organization’s president or episcopal moderator is necessary.
Matching local funds are desirable as a sign of commitment and on-going support at the local level.
Once a particular project from an organization receives funding, the same or similar project is not eligible to reapply for funding for three (3) years.
The normal range for a grant award is from $500 to a maximum of $4,000. Grant funds are only distributed to registered 501(c)(3) charitable organizations.
Incomplete applications will not be considered.
The Foundation does not consider applications proposing to fund travel, capital or building expenses, or applications originating from, or to be expended in, countries other than the United States (with the exception for applications from entities under the jurisdiction of the Archdiocese for the Military Services). The Foundation will likewise not consider requests for funding to be used solely, or primarily, for registration fees for events, but will consider partial funding of these expenses.
The Foundation will not consider requests for funding activities or programs completed, or substantially completed, by the time funding decisions are made (February 2017).
All awardees must provide a written update and accounting of funds to date by November 1, 2016. A final project report is due at the completion of the project. Failure will jeopardize consideration for future funding requests.
View/download the 2017 Grant Application:
Applications for the 2016 Grants Program must be received by November 1, 2016.
2016 Grant Allocations
Center for Ministry Development
The Center for Ministry Development was granted an award of $4,000 in order to partner with the Archdiocese of Newark Youth and Young Adult Ministry Office to bring the five-day, in-depth training program YouthLeader to the youth center in Kearny, New Jersey. The focus will be to provide leadership training to eighty youth from low-income families in the archdiocese.
YouthLeader places a greater emphasis on Catholic identity, the spirituality of a leader, and the importance of team ministry. It empowers youth to be missionary disciples in the world through service and leadership in their Catholic communities, their families, and in the world. This training will reach all cultures and economic conditions and target low-income and immigrant communities.
The YouthLeader philosophy and training methods are based on the belief that the voice of young people must be heard within our church and that youth have gifts and charisms to be shared with the world in which they live. YouthLeader is designed to develop leadership skills in young people through hands-on activities, simulation experiences, personal reflection, and small group discussions. The ways in which these young people become involved as leaders in their schools and parishes will be tracked.
YouthLeader helps youth improve their ability to communicate, facilitate group discussions, and accept leadership roles with confidence. Young people will be interviewed several months after their experience to see if they feel they received the skills needed to be confident and effective leaders. The adults will receive training on how to support these inspired and motivated young people back home.
Our Lady of the Woods
Our Lady of the Woods Parish, Woodland Park, and the chapels St. Peter and St. Victor in the Diocese of Colorado Springs, Colorado, are located in the mountain areas of the diocese. During the winter months, it can be treacherous to travel to and from these parishes. The youth, especially, can be isolated which in part, has contributed to a high rate of suicide and depression.
The parish of Our Lady of the Woods recognized this need and committed themselves to make their part-time youth minister a full time position, to recruit volunteer adults and youth and provide leadership training and to renovate the parish social hall and make it into a youth coffee house to be open Tuesdays through Fridays after school, as well as before and after weekend Masses to serve both as a welcome place for the youth of the parish and community.
The goal is evangelization (in the form of a ministry of presence, bible studies and a community service project) of the community at large, as well as parish youth, and to increase youth involvement in the spiritual life of the parish. The parish recognized a real need for a welcoming healthy space for youth. It will also be the foundation for a permanent full-time effective youth ministry, which is badly needed as the culture around becomes more hostile and dangerous for youth.
The award for this project, $4,000, will fund materials for the core training for the adult leadership team skilled in listening and mentoring, development of a youth-lead service project in the community, and a youth bible study program. The target audience initially will be the youth of the parish and their parents, and soon after they will reach out to the youth of Teller County, especially those most at risk.
Institute for Pastoral Initiatives
The Institute for Pastoral Initiatives of the University of Dayton was granted an award of $4,000 to offer the Hispanic Catholic Youth FORUM to forty Hispanic youth and twenty young Hispanic adults in the Archdiocese of Cincinnati. The program will aid the youth and young adults in developing a personal relationship with Jesus, with a strong emphasis on the teachings of the church and Scripture. It will provide a solid foundation for growth in Hispanic youth leadership, allowing them to evangelize other youth. Resources and programs will be provided for the diocesan leaders and families so that they can support Hispanic youth and their faith formation, and it will help youth to understand who they are and how their cultural identity is an essential piece of their development, self-esteem, leadership, and evangelization.
The FORUM offers participants a comprehensive formation that affirms and empowers the diverse gifts and talents they possess in order to live their role in the mission of the church and in society. It coaches them in a model of servant leadership based on the example of Jesus. The program strives to nurture opportunities for Hispanic youth and young adults to develop strong values and abilities and to increase their faith by encouraging them to pray, read, and apply the Scriptures in daily life. The life and teachings of Jesus Christ are the example and model for advocating for the poor and serving those in need.
Center for FaithJustice
The Center for FaithJustice based in Lawrenceville, New Jersey, was awarded $2,500 to offer the CommUNITYworX program which inspires the next generation of leaders to serve those in need and educate for justice in the Catholic tradition. The core program is targeted at middle through collage-age students using mission retreats to impoverished areas.
The goal of the program is to foster understanding among high school age youth across racial and socioeconomic barriers. Through meaningful dialogue community service, and intensive reflection on the intersections of faith and social justice, this program enables participants to challenge the status quo and move outside their comfort zones. As a result, participants are opened up to a broader world view and experience a shift in their perspectives. The Center will offer six weekend retreat training programs during 2016 for up to thirty high school students of diverse ethnic groups per retreat.