Love Letter Fund FAQ


LOVE LETTER FUND FAQ

 

what is the mission of the love letter fund?
The Love Letter Fund invests in people who want to make positive social change in Austin. The Love Letter Fund provides resources to enable more people to live out Covenant's mission to follow Jesus where they live, work, and play. Awarding financial grants and using Covenant members' skills, experience, and networks to help launch new and scale existing products and services transforms how we participate in God's mission in and for the world. The Love Letter Fund invests in opportunities that: 
  • Contribute to the spiritual formation process for recipients to live out their faith at work
  • Leverage Covenant members' strengths and experience to provide mentorship
  • Demonstrate potential for long-term social impact on the city of Austin
  • Accelerate or launch lasting, sustainable programs

 

Why these guiding principles for investing?
The Love Letter Fund helps people live out their faith at work, and in doing so, be a love letter to the city of Austin. The intended outcomes of the Love Letter Fund are to: 
  • Help recipients live out their faith at work: We recognize that "church" doesn't just happen in a building. The Love Letter Fund investments should inspire recipients to apply their experience and expertise in a way that follows the example of Jesus.
  • Connect our Covenant community: Our membership is bursting with gifts that come from God and are meant to be shared. The Love Letter Fund investments should catalyze the financial, spiritual, social, and civic gifts in our community to impact the large Austin community. 
  • Impact the city of Austin: We live, work, and play in the Austin community. The impact of our investments should blanket the city with love letters. By focusing on unsolved and underemphasized problems in our larger society, we can be the cause for positive social change.
  • Generate growth through sustainable solutions: Because the needs of the city and of our Covenant community can change, the focus of Love Letter Fund investments should be to launch and scale initiatives with sustainable solutions that last beyond the initial investment. We envision these investments to be a bridge that can bring focused attention to solving social problems, but not long-term solutions to permanently or annually fund any one program. That can allow the Love Letter Fund to take on new cycles to help solve issues in Austin. 
 
 
what Evaluation criteria will be used in the selection process?
  • Overall fit with Covenant’s mission of following Jesus wherever you live, work, and play.
  • Contribution to the applicant’s formation. Will this the project help the applicant live out their faith?
  • Ability to use Covenant congregation members' strengths, experience, and expertise.
  • Talent of applicant and other team members (if applicable) to execute the project.
  • Potential for social impact. Will this project satisfy an unmet need in the city of Austin and is there capacity for scale/growth?
  • A working prototype (proof of concept) and financial model.

 
Does an applicant have to be christian or a member of Covenant?
  • The Love Letter Fund is an initiative of Covenant Presbyterian Church. While being a Christian is not a requirement for funding, the proposals should further the values that are aligned with Covenant and the Christian faith. 
  • If an applicant is not a Covenant member, he or she will need a Covenant member to serve as a reference.

 
WHO EVALUATES THE PROJECTS? WHAT IS THE EVALUATION PROCESS?
  • A panel comprised of Love Letter Fund committee members, Session members, and members of Covenant staff.
  • If the first application is approved, applicants will be invited to a second round with more in depth questions. A final round includes an interview.
  • The application will close on December 13. Second round applicants will be notified in early January. Interviews will take place in late January or early February.

 

HOW MUCH ARE THE GRANTS WORTH?
  • Grants will be awarded in the amount of $50,000 - $100,000 based on the scope of the project.

 

WHAT IS THE APPLICATION DEADLINE?
  • Application deadline is December 13. Applicants will be notified in writing of the acceptance or rejection of their request within three to four weeks of the application deadline.

 

WHAT ARE THE REQUIREMENTS TO APPLY?
Complete the online application. You will need the following information and documentation:
  • Contact information: name, address, phone number, email address
  • Organization contact information: name, address, website, tax identification number
  • Organization background: Organization’s mission, overview and description of the project
  • Formation: Description of how the project allows you to live out your faith
  • Social Impact: Evidence of impact, if funded. Include objectives, metrics, and intended measures of success.
  • Covenant connection: List of at least three Covenant members or functional areas in need of support that can be provided by at least three Covenant members.  
  • See Mentor page for more details
  • Funding request and Covenant member as reference (if not a member)

 

ARE THERE ANY RESTRICTIONS TO APPLY?
For this round of funding, the Love Letter Fund will generally not fund:
  • A project without other funding in place. We do not generally make grants where Covenant is the sole source of funding.
  • Non-profit organizations except as a single impact grant.
  • The Love Letter Fund is exclusively for business entities with Tax ID/Business EIN.
  • Organizations whose mission and vision are in opposition to the mission and vision of the church

 

I have an idea for a new venture start-up. I don't have other funding or a tax id. Can I apply?
We would love to hear your ideas in this round and may be able to set you up with mentors to help develop your business plan! We can work with some projects so they are eligible for financial funding in future rounds.

 
How Does Covenant support the Love letter fund?
  • Covenant has devoted financial resources to be used as grants for the Love Letter Fund through the Institute for Missional Formation.
  • Additionally, Covenant staff provide significant administrative and spiritual support for the program. 

 

I HAVE MORE QUESTIONS. IS THERE SOMEONE I CAN EMAIL?
Of course. Please contact loveletterfund@covenant.org with any additional questions.