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Apply for a MidAmerica Region Chalice Lighter Grant! It can be used to start a new congregation, acquire a meeting space, secure a minister, religious educator, or other professional staff, or provide for an outreach or public relations program. Any congregation may apply.


There are three cycles of grant giving. Depending on which cycle you are applying in, the Application is due in the MidAmerica Region office no later than:

August 15  -  November 15  -  February 15

Email completed application to  (REQUIRED)


Important! Read the remainder of the Guidelines before applying for a grant.


Donations by Chalice Lighters can be used for four (4) purposes:

  • Supporting a new or emerging congregation.
  • Acquiring or expanding meeting space for an existing congregation.
  • Increase paid professional staffing.
  • Establishing outreach and public relations programs.


The primary intent of the Chalice Lighters Program is funding for well-thought-out growth efforts connected to the larger vision of Unitarian Universalism.

  • Congregations may be awarded a CL grant more than once; however, preference will be given to congregations who have not previously received a Chalice Lighter grant.
  • A congregation may submit only one proposal for each call.
  • Shared stewardship within the whole congregation, such as a challenge matching pledge or increase in volunteers will be viewed favorably.  
  • Preference will be given to those congregations which have contributed their fair share to the UUA Annual Program Fund (APF) and Regional Fair Share (formerly called regional or district dues), or can demonstrate a plan for getting to Fair Share, and/or have given financial support to a new church start.  
  • Preference will be given to congregations with active and growing Chalice Lighter programs.  We suggest a minimum goal of 20% of members active in the Chalice Lighter Program.
  • Churches receiving Chalice Lighter Grants are expected to participate in the life of the MidAmerica Region of the UUA, including regional growth, membership and leadership development workshops.
  • Interim and 6 and 12-month reports will be required on the expenditure of Chalice Lighter Funds.


Each Chalice Lighter grant application will be evaluated based on the following criteria.

  • The project reflects UU values and the congregation's mission and vision.  (Please include your congregation's mission and vision statements.)
  • The project supports congregational growth and/or Unitarian Universalism.
  • The project has broad congregational support and is integrated into the long-range plan.
  • The budget and pledging reflect strong stewardship values, e.g. pattern of increased giving, fair compensation for staff).


  • All components of the application are complete & concise, and required & relevant documentation is attached.
  • The goals of the project are clearly defined and achievable, and there is a plan for tracking success.
  • The plan includes a means of reporting; project results should be reported to MidAmerica Region Chalice Lighter Committee through the regional office at six months and twelve months.

Supporting Information

  • The grant is for a specific project and not general budget relief.
  • The congregation is working toward Fair Share and a high percentage of Chalice Lighters.
  • The application includes the following fiscal information:
  • Current year's budget including previous year's annual fiscal report
  • Budget projections for next 2-3 years that show project sustainability
  • The application provides:
  • The name of the current Chalice Lighter Ambassador and the number of Chalice Lighters;
  • Information on Fair Share status on a) Annual Program Fund (APF) to the UUA and b) MidAmerica Region congregational contribution.

Connections to the Greater Community

  • Special consideration will be given to projects that promote inclusiveness, environmental issues, social justice, and accessibility.
  • Special consideration will be given to projects that demonstrate learnings that can be shared with other congregations.
  • Preference will be given to congregations that have not received a CL grant in the past three years.
  • Evidence of how PR effort(s) will be integrated with overall strategic planning is encouraged.

These Guidelines are in the Application: icon MidAmerica Chalice Lighter Grant Guidelines & Application (258.5 kB).

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