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August 31, 2015 | 16th Elul 5775

Incubator Grant FAQs

What kinds of programs are you looking for? How do I know if my proposal is creative enough?

The Incubator Grant is designed to stimulate and support new and creative thinking in congregations. If your proposed program is already on your congregational calendar, is already advertised or advertising is already planned for it, or if it already has congregational funding and you are merely seeking reimbursement, your program is not a good candidate for an Incubator Grant. (Consider, instead, applying for a Belin Outreach and Membership Award.)

The selection committee will give first preference to programs that are new, i.e. are not being done elsewhere. Second priority is given to programs that are similar to one that already exists, but with a significant new twist. Third priority will be given to programs that exist elsewhere, but are new to your area. It may help you to be familiar with other congregations’ efforts to engage a similar target population. Our Program Bank and our Idea Books are a good place to start. Interested congregations are strongly encouraged to speak with us during the phase of developing ideas and drafting the application. While our consultation can in no way guarantee that your project will be funded, it can help you determine whether your project meets the selection criteria. Contact Stephanie Fink to be matched with a URJ Specialist.

Can I apply for an Incubator Grant to purchase and implement someone else’s program (e.g. Moving Traditions, National Jewish Outreach Program, Jewish Outreach Institute)?

Preference is given to proposals for programs that are newly created, not just new to you.

There is an item on the application about partners. Are partnerships expected?

We encourage creative thinking, and find that more congregations are considering ways to partner with each other and with other agencies to serve the local community. It is not required. However, if you do plan to list a partner organization, this intent must be more than theoretical. We assume that your proposal has the full support of your partners.

Does the size of our congregation matter?

Creativity knows no size limits. Nearly half of the winning proposals in 2011 were from congregations with fewer than 250 households. Funded projects have come from congregations smaller than 50 member households, as well as larger than 1200 households.

Can we be funded for multiple years?

The goal of the Incubator Grants is to stimulate creativity across the Movement. In order that we can impact the greatest possible number of congregations, we cannot offer funding to the same congregation twice.

If our project is funded, how will we receive the funds?

Funding will be disbursed as reimbursement for documented expenses incurred during the Fiscal Year beginning July 1, 2012 and ending June 30, 2013.

Can I use funds for a marketing campaign?

Effective marketing and advertising is part of what effective congregations do. We expect marketing, advertising, and social networking to be a portion of nearly every proposal. It cannot be the entire proposal.

Upgrading technology is a huge concern for our congregation. Can we use grant funds to purchase hardware or software, or for other uses of technology? If so, is there a cap to the amount of our budget that can be devoted to technology acquisition?

Technology is a means, not an end. Successful applications will make a compelling case for the projected use of technology to engage a specific group of people, as well as for the congregation’s readiness to make good use of said technology, and its ability to reach the target
This grant request is for funding a part of a project with a larger budget, and we have some other funding. How do I indicate that on the budget form?

Near the bottom of the budget worksheet, beneath the subtotal, there is a cell for ‘other funding’. Please include the amount, and in the adjacent cell, an explanation of where the funding will be coming from.

Your application form is electronic, but I would like to circulate my draft among staff and lay leaders as I develop the idea.

We strongly encourage a team approach. Draft your proposal in Word, then cut and paste into the wufoo e-form when you are ready to submit. Download the budget spreadsheet and save it, then upload the completed budget when you submit your electronic application.

Looking at the electronic application form, the spaces look pretty small.

E-form space is unlimited.

Can I start the online application, save it, and return to it later?

Unfortunately, the information you enter is only saved once you reach the end of the form and click ‘submit’. We recommend you draft your application using the Word version of the application form, circulate it for feedback, and paste the information into the wufoo form only when you are ready to submit the application.

I wasn’t able to print a copy of the application for my records once I submitted it.

A copy of the application should have been automatically emailed to the address you typed into the form. If you did not receive a copy, please email a request to Stephanie Fink along with the complete name and location of your congregation and a copy will be sent to you.

Can our congregation submit multiple proposals?

No. The selection committee will read only one proposal per congregation. Please choose what you believe to be your most creative idea with the greatest chance for success. It is up to you to coordinate with other representatives of your congregation to make sure you are submitting only one proposal.

I have supporting documents and would like to submit them.

We encourage you to include all necessary information in the application form itself. If you feel you must submit additional documents, please email them to Stephanie Fink and they will be forwarded to the entire selection committee.

Can I have an extension?

In fairness to all applicants, as well as to the selection committee which has hundreds of applications to read, we cannot extend the deadline. Applications received after 11:59 p.m. on February 28th will not be considered this year.

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