Unitarian Community Fund
In partnership with the Székelyudvarhely Community Foundation (SzKA), Project Harvest Hope established the “Unitarian Community Fund,” a donor-advised fund that provides matching grants for projects proposed by organizations in Unitarian villages throughout the Homorod Valley.
Following the successful first round of funding in 2011, 15 new grants were awarded to rural communities in spring 2012 and 14 more in 2014. Two important elements in the selection criteria were that the project would incorporate local volunteers and would benefit the entire community.
Applicants were encouraged to collaborate with other community organization to accomplish their goals. SzKA monitored the progress of community projects, ensuring that they remained on track and budget. A final report was issued at the end of each grant cycle.
During three highly successful years of the Unitarian Community Fund, many village dreams came true. Projects large and small were tackled by enthusiastic volunteers who accomplished their goals, proving that a little goes a very long way in the villages of Transylvania.
Project Harvest Hope is currently transitioning to a new form of fundraising, while continuing to partner with SzKA. Look for the next phase of community development to begin soon.
Unitarian Community Fund 2013
The process for funding this year’s round of Unitarian Community Fund projects began in Spring 2013. Outreach to communities from our partner NGO in Transylvania, Székelyudvarhely Community Foundation includes the following description:
“A principal aim of the Fund is community building. For that reason, applicants must show a commitment to building local partnerships, involving local institutions, volunteers and providing some local resources. Involving partners and volunteers builds sustainability, ensures continuity and communications and helps SzKA determine if this idea is supported by the community. Additionally, applicants will be required to provide minimum 20% self contribution which can be a combination of materials and funds. Building the 20% self contribution ensures community buy-in and is an important part of ensuring commitment.”
We received many, many worthy applications, for a wide variety of projects. The 13 selected projects ranged from renovating community buildings and facilities to revitalizing traditional arts and crafts.