Guidelines for the Social Action Fund


(These Guidelines were revised and approved by the 1999 Provincial Chapter.)



I.   Purpose


To fund self-help projects initiated, organized, and implemented by poor and oppressed people so that they can gain an effective voice in and control over decisions which affect their lives through:


A.         the funding of such projects, to give public witness to Christian sharing and Christian respect for the dignity and right to self-determination of all people;

B.         the funding of such projects, to contribute to the accomplishment of the work which Pope Paul VI asked Christians throughout the world to undertake, namely, the work of establishing progressively a justice which will be less and less imperfect . . . until He comes;

C.        the funding of such projects to assist and encourage members of the Province to take a more active role in bringing about a more just human society.


II.  Source of Monies


Money from the fund shall be obtained from three sources:


A.         voluntary contributions by communities of the Province and individual brothers;

B.         voluntary contributions from individuals and organizations outside the Order; these will not be solicited, but will be accepted if made;

C.        the provincial budget.


III.  Allocation of Monies


A.  Social Action Fund Committee

1.         All decisions about allocation of monies in the Fund shall be made by the Social Action Fund Committee.

2.         Members of the Committee shall be appointed by the Prior  Provincial and the Council.  They shall be five in number and shall serve on a rotating basis.  The Director of the Social Action Fund is ex officio chairman.

3.         The Committee shall meet once a year to allocate funds with date, times and location of the meeting to be determined by the Committee.

4.         The Committee shall submit an annual report to the Prior Provincial and the Council.


B.  Criteria and Guidelines for Funding



1.         Criteria:  To receive funds, a project must satisfy the following criteria:


a.         The project must benefit the poor and/or oppressed.  Fifty per cent (50%) of those benefitting from the project must be from poor and/or oppressed groups.

b.         The poor/oppressed must have the dominant voice in any self-help project.  As a norm, 50% of those involved in the planning, implementing, and policy, making (e.g., Central Committee, Board of Directors, etc.) of a project, should be persons who are involuntarily poor or oppressed.  Funding will not be considered for projects controlled by any agency of government (e.g., OEO, HEW, HUD, Model Cities) or by any established private agenda (e.g., United Way, hospitals, Jaycees).


For projects which do not presently meet these criteria, applicants should document (in their proposal):

1)         why the poor/oppressed do not have the dominant role in planning and implementing;

2)         how the poor/oppressed were involved in determining their need for the project;

3)         what are the time schedules and specific plans for poor/oppressed people assuming leadership and control of this project.


c.         Funding will not be considered for projects sponsored by organizations which presently receive substantial sums of money from other funding agencies.  Projects sponsored by organizations staffed by members of the Province of Saint Albert the Great may, however, be exempted from this criterion.


d.         Funding will not be considered for projects which can be adequately funded by monies known to be available from the private or public sector unless applicants document that they are unable to obtain funds from other sources. However, proposals which call for "seed money" or "matching money" from the fund, applicants must present positive documentation that other public and/or private sources will, in fact, commit their share of monies for this project.


e.         No more than 10% granted can be used for construction and/or renovation of physical facilities for a project or organization.


f.          No funds granted may be used for academic research.



g.         funding for international projects will not be considered except for projects run by members of the Dominican Order.


2.         Guidelines:  High priority will be placed on projects in the following general classifications:

a.         projects which aim at changing power relationships or institutional policies and practices as opposed to alleviating effects of such relationships, policies, or practices;

b.         projects which directly benefit a larger number of people rather than a few individuals;

c.         projects which have definite plans and a time-table for becoming financially self-supporting;

d.         projects which will use Social Action Fund money to secure matching money from other sources on a dollar-for-dollar(s) basis ($1 for $1, $1 for $2, $1 for $3, etc.).

e.         projects within the boundaries of the Dominican Province of St. Albert the Great and projects with direct Dominican Order involvement.


C.  Applications


1.         Projects seeking funding must fill out and submit the Social Action Fund Application Form to the Social Action Fund Committee.  A letter of recommendation from a member of the Dominican Order will be required.


2.         The Social Action Fund Committee shall allocate funds only to organizations which are incorporated and which have an Internal Revenue Service tax-exempt number.  If the applicant organization or group is not incorporated and tax-exempt, then the Social Action Fund allows funds to be channeled through some organization which has such a status.


3.         Upon resubmission of a funded proposal, some projects may qualify for additional funding after the first year, but none will be funded beyond a three year commitment.


4.         Applications are due April 1st.


IV.  Evaluation


Projects which receive funding will be evaluated by the Social Action Fund Committee at the end of the funding period, on the basis of criteria established before funding begins. Completion of this evaluation will be necessary if a project is to be considered for second or third year funding, and the results of the evaluation will weigh heavily in such considerations.



c/o Fr. Dennis Woerter, O.P.