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Request for Proposals—Grant Writer

Asbury First seeks to contract with a grant writer, in hopes of expanding our grant writing strategy. We are currently developing under direction of a Grant Writing Sub-Committee, a centralized grant solicitation strategy in line with our overall fundraising goals. Our expectation is that a grant writer will aid in research and identification of appropriate grants, advise in determining the correct strategy, and execute the writing process of applying for grants. This person would report their activity to the Director of Development and Communication, who would manage timelines, due dates, and any supplemental connection activity that could aid in our success. Our aim to identify a person who can serve long-term (at least a year, if not longer) as a contractual grant writer, especially in light of our timeline of our current capital campaign.

Background & Overview—

General: In 2020, Asbury First United Methodist Church will celebrate its bicentennial, marking two hundred years of faithful service to God and neighbor. We are located in the heart of Rochester NY—right in downtown on East Avenue. Our membership is currently 2,326 (1,290 family units). Our campus includes three historic Rochester buildings, one of which (1040) is fully accessible (ADA standards) and two of which are not currently (1010 and 1050). We host three traditional services each Sunday. We have chosen to be a reconciling congregation, which means we extend hospitality and encourage full participation of all, regardless of age, race, national origin, gender, gender identity and expression, sexual orientation, marital status or family structure, education or economic background and physical or mental ability.

Engagement: Our weekly attendance at worship is approximately 700 individuals. Each week, we have 233 volunteers serving in some way at Asbury First. Our weekly children engagement through our children’s programs is 115, and our weekly youth engagement through youth programs is 45.

Outreach: No one reading the dreams of our community or hearing the conversations of our members could doubt that outreach is a cornerstone of Asbury First’s identity. For at least fifty years, Asbury First has demonstrated a lasting commitment to outreach both on and off our campus. It has accomplished this through congregation-led and -developed ministries, as well as through strategic partnerships. The Outreach Task Force worked for over a year to detail a plan called, “A Way Forward,” translated the dreams of Asbury First for outreach into a strategy for change.

  •  On-campus outreach:
    o Dining and Caring Center (serves 35,000 meals each year)
    o The Storehouse (clothes 6,000 families each year)
    o UR Well clinic (offers medical care for 600 families each year)
    o Host site for Rochester Area Interfaith Hospitality Network (RAIHN)
    o Grocery Bag Ministry (provides 75 bags of groceries each month)
  • Off-campus:
    o School 17 (tutoring, mentoring, as well as supplying school supplies)
    o West Ave Youth Café (provides food, activities, and a safe space)
    o Habitat for Humanity (building homes in the JOSANA neighborhood)
  • Beyond our borders:
    o Project Chacocente (10-year commitment to 10 families in Nicaragua)
    o Miracle Garden (home in India for 38 children orphaned by the 2004 tsunami)

Finances & Fundraising: Our Annual Operating Budget is approximately $2M. Over 90% of our income comes in various forms of giving. Our endowment is just over $8M. Our total staffing level is 38 staff (4 appointed clergy, 13 full time, 25 part time/contract). We are currently in the midst of a Capital Campaign, named our Better Together campaign. Our goal is to raise $6.3M for various mission central projects around campus. The projects center around three areas—infrastructure, accessibility, and outreach.

Infrastructure projects include updating our HVAC system, repairing our front and side steps, organ repairs, and renovation of the third floor of one of our buildings (currently unused), and other smaller projects.
Accessibility projects include renovations to the two buildings on our campus, which are not currently accessible, making our entire campus ADA compliant.
Outreach projects include the renovation of our under-utilized historic building on campus (1010), to be our new Outreach Center, where all our on-campus outreach will be housed.

Request for Grant Writer—

Opening date: February 19, 2018
Closing date: March 9, 2018
Notification date: before April 1
Submit proposals via email to: Morgan Dornsife, Director of Development & Communications This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Shortly after the committee reviews all submissions, we plan to conduct in-person proposal review meetings between respondents and our selection committee. During these meetings, respondents can review their proposal in detail and address any other questions that committee members may have at that time. These meetings will be limited to one hour. It is then expected that the selection committee will make a recommendation for hire prior to April 1.

Expectations for goals, timelines, compensation, etc. will be discussed during the in-person interview. Any questions will be addressed at that time.

Asbury First seeks to apply to grants that are focused on (but not limited to) the following two areas—construction/capital updates, ADA accessibility, historic preservation, health initiatives, mercy & justice projects, help for displaced families, social work initiatives, faith-based projects, music and arts, staffing costs for any of these activities, etc.

Along with your proposal response, resume & cover letter, the following information must be provided in your proposal to Asbury First United Methodist Church:

  • We want to know about past organizations you have worked with and the results of your successful fundraising work with them
  • Do you have any methods/strategies that set you apart as a grant writer?
  • We would like to know the percentage of non-profit organizations you currently work with
  • Have you ever worked with a faith-based organization? If so, can you share more about your strategy and success in that particular area?
  • Describe your workplace style and preferred methods of communication
  • Do you have an idea of a strategic plan for the year ahead (2018) in terms of our grant strategy, based on the information we have provided here?
  • We want to know your preferred compensation structure
  • We need three client references and contact information for them