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CCHD Local Grants

  • This local CCHD page is gratefully dedicated to New Labor's co-founder Rich Cunningham (left), a light in the Metuchen Diocese CCHD arena until his untimely death from cancer in September 2009. Inspired as a youngster by Catholic champions for justice, Rich and others launched an important organization, New Labor, to secure safety and dignity for day laborers.
  • Holy Family parishioners team up with Esperanza Project for a New Brunswick, NJ clean-up day May 17, 2014.
  • Leaders of our leading grantees: PICO's Joe Fleming and The Intersect Fund's Rohan Mathew, June 2014.

Each year, the Diocese of Metuchen has local CCHD funding available for local grants, from the 25% portion of the national collection taken up in parishes in the fall.  We encourage groups that desire to break the cycle of poverty to apply for grants in the range of $3,000 to $15,000.

Our funds are meant primarily as start-up funds for nascent groups who do not have access for other funding.  Please read the criteria for local funding carefully.

Also, be aware, that, as of Sept. 9, 2016, our funding priorities center on the "Bishop Joseph Durick Fund for African-American Development." Secondary use of funds are maintaining ongoing commitments to: a) continuation funding for Faith in New Jersey (PICO), b) diocesan-wide, multi-level Filipino leadership training.

    Criteria for CCHD Local Funding

   (adapted from National CCHD criteria)

    To be eligible for local CCHD funds in the Diocese of Metuchen, a project must satisfy all of the following criteria simultaneously. Our available funds for grants are limited to the amount brought in each year by the CCHD collection.

  1. The project must benefit a poverty group through either community organizing or economic development. At least 50% of those benefiting from the project must be from the low-income community. The project must also demonstrate the ability, and have a plan, to develop leaders from that low-income community. The organization needs to state how it defines poverty for its community. This can be both descriptive and/or statistical. Federal, state, local or other indicators can be used to define poverty.
  2. The applicant organization must be no older than three years if a community organizing group, and no older than seven years if an economic development group.  Local CCHD funds are intended to primarily benefit start-up groups.  Three years is a reasonable time to get established. At the same time, on the economic development side, we do not want to impede innovation that originates from somewhat older economic development organizations.
  3. Members of the poverty groups must have the dominant voice in the project. At least 50% of those who plan, implement and make policy (e.g. the Board of Directors) of a project, should be persons who are involuntarily poor.
  4. Projects must work to bring about institutional change by attacking the basic social, economic and political causes of poverty.

    CCHD defines institutional change as:

    a. Modification of existing laws and/or policies;

    b. Establishment of alternative structures and/or redistribution of decision-making powers;

    c. To a lesser extent: provision of services which result in the achievement of (a) and/or (b), or leads the recipient community to focus on (a) and/or (b).

  5. The project must not violate the moral and social teachings of the Catholic Church, nor must the group espouse teachings or practice that are contrary to the Catholic Church. To the contrary, our expectation for funded groups is to be shining examples of stringent application of Catholic social doctrine.  Additionally,  groups with a demonstrated Catholic identity will be favored in tie-breakers.

    Important: There may be projects that meet these initial criteria above but will still not be considered for funding (adapted from national CCHD criteria), because of the classifications of projects that may fall into the following areas:

a. Direct service projects (e.g. day care centers, recrea tion projects, community or neighborhood centers, scholarships, subsidies, counseling programs, referral services, cultural enrichment programs, direct clinical services, emergency shelters and food programs, refugee resettlement programs, etc.).

b. Projects controlled by either government (federal, state, local) or educational bodies or other institutional bodies OR by predominant funding from the same.  Metuchen CCHD is a private, Catholic fund.  We want to promote independent, and, where appropriate, evangelizing alternatives to government programs.

c. Research projects, surveys, planning and feasibility studies, etc.

d. Projects sponsored by organizations which at present receive substantial sums from other funding souces (private or public foundations, state tax credit programs, corporations), unless the applicant documents that this project cannot be funded by these agencies.

e. Individually-owned, for-profit businesses.

f. Projects engaged in partisan political activity.

6. CCHD is concerned about the growth, integral development, and dignity of the individual person as well as the collective strengthening of the low-income community. An organization seeking CCHD support must demonstrate ongoing leadership development, first because CCHD is committed to increasing the skills of individual low-income leaders as persons, and second, because ongoing training and leadership development is considered essential to the strength, depth, and sustainability of organizations.

Mindful of some of Metuchen's specific local qualifications to CCHD's criteria, please read the national CCHD pre-application guide for a richer understanding of our principles and goals with funding.

    If you are interested in exploring the possibilities of a grant from Metuchen CCHD, please contact diocesan director Deacon Michael Martini at