Communicate and collaborate with CICW
We want to support and encourage you throughout the grant year. Feel free to email us with any questions, frustrations or excitements regarding your grant. We will send a monthly email to all project directors to share highlights of some of the grants and to provide additional information or reminders about the grant process. If a telephone conversation would be helpful for you, please let us know.
Changes in Contact Information
Please notify us in writing (preferably an email) if there is any information change on the Contact and Information Form, including personnel or contact information of the people listed. If for any reason the Project Director is unable to fulfill the responsibilities, please inform us promptly in writing.
Communicate and collaborate with your team and congregation/organization
In many cases, communication and collaboration working hand in hand lead to rich reflection on worship and a deepening of worship practices. We encourage you to be intentional about maintaining healthy communication practices within your team and your congregation, including the governance bodies of your organization.
Your monthly timeline will be essential to your project. Some project directors mark their calendar with specific deadlines and goals. Review your timeline periodically to assure that you are still on track, or assess whether you need to revise your timeline. One project director valued a timeline because “the frequent points of accountability and progress inquiry were just the prodding I needed to keep moving forward in a timely way.” Scheduling team meetings for an entire year helps give shape to your project.
Work on key leadership skills
Effective leaders are always thinking about the resources needed for a successful grant project. They ask questions like: What Resources Do I Have? and What Resources Do I Need?
Remember that the Project Director need not do everything! One project director discovered that “as an individual, I have learned about the need to let go of control over an idea….There were a wide variety of human resources that were unknown to us at the start of the process that we now believe are indispensable.” Determining the gifts and passions of people who will work alongside you will lead to collaboration and greater effectiveness.
Keep your timeline and goals in front of you so you can anticipate what will be needed for the next steps in your grant projects.
Don’t forget about the assessment process you described in your grant proposal. Watch for ways to evaluate your project along the way as well as when the grant is completed. Some key points for evaluation:
- Are we practicing new habits of worship?
- Has there been broad ownership of our project, indicating that it will have lasting effects?
- Have we listened to and recorded feedback received in conversations?
Let us know about your events so we can pray for you
Email information about your events to us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Take photos that show the learning taking place through the grant project. You will need some of these photos to create a poster for the 2nd Colloquium you attend.
Get advertising approval
Remember to submit your advertisements to us in advance, and to include the statement below about the source of your grant funding.
You may wish to establish a relationship with a local reporter who will publish information about your receipt of the grant, about events you are planning that are open to the public, and about results that may emerge from your project. Having photos available will help promote your grant. We ask that you send us copies of any articles that have been published.
One project director asked each member of her team to each contact 10 people about the event they were planning. The project director even invited several people over for a meal in her home! People began to catch the vision and the contagious energy of the event. She highly recommends networking with the people you know, and building new networks.
Grant recipients repeatedly tell us that large, expensive mailings have very little impact.
In any publicity or other printed material about this Program, this notice must be included: “This program is made possible through a Vital Worship Grant from the Calvin Institute of Christian Worship, Grand Rapids, Michigan, with funds provided by Lilly Endowment Inc.” Publicity must ALWAYS be submitted to us for approval in advance. Page 3 of the Letter of Agreement states “No release shall be made without the Institute’s approval.”
Consulting and coaching from CICW staff
Assistance and consultation are available to grant recipients through the expertise of the staff of the Calvin Institute of Christian Worship and some of its recommended partners in topic areas such as leadership and congregational change, collaborative worship planning, music, visual arts and presentational technology, drama and liturgical dance. If you desire some coaching, contact the grants team for advice.
A separate checking account for grant funds is strongly encouraged.
Use the budget (Excel doc) that has been approved.
Communication between the Project Director, Budget Officer, and anyone who will be involved in financial aspects of the grant, will assure accurate reporting of grant funds.
Budget revisions and expenditures
You will be soon spending money and may need to revise your budget as you implement your project and find that either costs have changed or your learning compels you to go in different directions. To propose budget revisions, please follow these steps:
- Go to the Excel doc that you received from the grants team after your grant was approved.
- Notice the lettered columns at the top go from A→G. Columns D-E are used for budget revisions.
- Use Column D for your proposed revisions, putting new numbers in the line items you propose to change. Use Column G to explain changes. Don't forget that the total of the grant can't change!
- Send the proposed budget revision to us by email attachment.
- When we have approved the changes we will send the Excel doc back to you with Column E listing your new revised budget. The approval date will be noted on top of the page.
- Column F is for entering your expenditures.
Please note: The total amount of a grant can never be increased. Budget revisions must ALWAYS be approved in advance! Please send the Excel doc as an email attachment for our review and approval.
Continue to review your own project timeline
Creating ways that your project team can all view your timeline and calendar helps keep you all on track together.
Q #1. Can we apply next year?
A. We have learned that it is best to focus on the grant you have this year, and leave thinking about a new grant for another year.
Q #2. Can we have an extension? A year isn’t long enough!
A. We have learned that extensions usually are not effective. It is better to stick with your timeline and plan. So, it is important to begin well and to finish well…and on time!
Q #3. Can we increase the amount of our grant?
A. No, we cannot increase the amount of the grant that was approved and awarded.
Q #4. Can we change our project?
A. Yes! If you find new ideas and new learning leads you to propose a change to your project, please let us know! We would consider those changes along with a budget revision proposal. Just remember that the same restrictions on funding for equipment or personnel, etc., will apply.
Q #5. Must we use the publicity wording in our church newsletters?
A. Yes, we appreciate your using the publicity guidelines for all public announcements and advertisements. We trust your judgment for using the guidelines in your church’s bulletins and newsletters. While we understand you may not want to repeat the publicity statement every week, we trust you will ensure that your church knows the funding source of your project.
Q #6. What if people in our congregation want to use grant funds for things not in the budget?
A. We cannot allow grant funds to be used for purposes other than for the grant project. Also, remember that food costs must be for grant-related events.