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Strategic National Grant Program


CCHD is currently not accepting letters of inquiry or applications for its Strategic National Grant Program.

See our Strategic National Grant Program Awardees

I. Purpose

The Strategic National Grant Program serves as a core fund of CCHD. It is discretionary, and responds to timely opportunities relevant to the priorities of the USCCB to promote human life and dignity, advance justice and address the root causes of poverty.

Strategic National Grants are meant to serve as a catalyst for organizations working to promote justice and economic development on a significantly larger scale than the community-based organizations that typically receive support from CCHD. Awards will be for an amount between $250,000 and $500,000 and may be renewed for a period not to exceed five years, for a total not to exceed $2.5 million.  

Applicants should demonstrate a commitment to pursuing significant goals related to the root causes of poverty or promoting economic development on a statewide, regional or national basis. These grants are intended for campaign-style initiatives of significant scale, with focused time-specific goals. 

Grants are not meant to supply ordinary financial support.

II. Application Process

Proposals will be requested upon favorable consideration of a Letter of Inquiry.

Letters of Inquiry should not exceed 4 pages. They should include a description of the applicant organization and mission, as well as a project description, including a summary of main objectives and proposed strategies, total amount of support sought, and the proposed project duration. A list of confirmed partners, including Catholic institutions, should also be included. Other supporting materials should not be included.

Letters of inquiry should be addressed to CCHD, attention: Strategic National Grants Program.

CCHD will normally review Letters of Inquiry every four weeks. If you have not received a response after that time, please assume that your Letter of Inquiry is not being considered.

III. Eligibilty

Applicants must be Catholic institutions or registered 501(c)3 organizations.

Applicant organizations should ordinarily be eligible to qualify for CCHD Community Development or Economic Development grants.

Applicants should exhibit exemplary commitment to the development of low-income leadership and power; demonstrated commitment to addressing injustice and the root-causes of poverty; and capacity and determination to build solidarity across cultural, economic and ecumenical lines.

Applicant organizations may in no way pursue activities or belong to coalitions that hold positions that violate Catholic moral teaching, including the promotion of gay marriage or abortion.

Consistent with CCHD's mission and identity, the Strategic National Grant Program does not fund initiatives or organizations primarily concerned with direct service.

IV. Purpose and Priorities

Proposals should clearly exhibit potential to advance the priorities of the USCCB in promoting human life and dignity.

Proposals should privilege and demonstrate a commitment to:   

  • promising strategies for helping the poor help themselves  
  • focus prophetically on neglected dimensions of poverty
  • intentionally involve Catholics and Catholic institutions in the pursuit of justice
  • establish means for participatory and just social structures, the redistribution of decision-making powers, and greater economic participation 
  • focus on urgent national strategic emphases as determined by CCHD

V. Strategic Emphases

The national strategic emphases determined by CCHD align with the priorities of the USCCB. They prioritize issues that advance the life and dignity of the human person, and currently include: criminal justice reform, immigration reform, economic justice, environmental justice, preserving a Circle of Protection around the poor and vulnerable, racial justice, and equitable economic development.

VI. Positive Consideration

Significant positive consideration will be given to those applications that encourage greater participation of the Catholic community in the work of justice, especially:   

  • Proposals submitted on behalf of a variety of Catholic institutions, dioceses and/or CCHD-funded organizations to pursue joint endeavors of significant scale. Such endeavors may include building regional coalition tables, the pursuit of significant public policy objectives that impact poverty and injustice, or other creative applications of Catholic social teaching that advance justice, build low-income community power, create economic empowerment through the development of real assets, and address structural poverty.
  • Proposals that demonstrate in a public and impactful way the connections between the pursuit of justice with and on behalf of the poor and Catholic social teaching.

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