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Disaster Relief Grants
Disaster Relief Grants for Congregations and UU Entities
Finance for Congregations

Disaster Relief Grants

When disaster hits a community, people want to help. Often, that takes the form of contributing financially to organizations that they trust—organizations that they know have the relationships necessary to convert monetary donations into real-life support for the people who need it.

The Unitarian Universalist Association (UUA) amplifies the voices and ministries of our faith, in part through supporting UU congregations and communities. As a part of our covenant, we know that if we can’t support one another in times of crisis, it is unreasonable to expect us to be able to support others outside our congregations and communities.

The UUA's Disaster Relief Fund enables this by awarding grants to Unitarian Universalist congregations and affiliated organizations for them to use to assist with building, member, and community partner needs. Grants from the Disaster Relief Fund help congregations care for their buildings and the needs of their members.

Disaster Relief grants have been used for mold remediation in sanctuaries, tree removal, immediate evacuation needs and more. In addition, the UUA understands the connection between disaster relief and justice making: it is the most vulnerable populations who suffer worst in a disaster. Disaster relief grants to our UU congregations and organizations not only help other Unitarian Universalists, they can also support on-the-ground relief efforts through existing partnerships that congregations already have. These grants encourage congregations to build coalitions to meet the needs of their communities.

Between the support for congregation’s buildings, members and community partners, we also increase awareness of and build good will for our faith. For instance, the St. John, Virgin Islands fellowship applied for and received a grant which aided the private school in which they meet. This grant funded repairs needed to allow the school to open their doors to all the children of St. John at a time when no public schools were open.

Grant Guidelines

Grants are made to Unitarian Universalist congregations and affiliated organizations that are in covenant with the Unitarian Universalist Association; and are in a disaster zone, where a disaster is defined by:

  • Significant loss of life, injury or displacement; or
  • Significant impact on a congregation’s livelihood and capacity to respond; or
  • Significant impact on vulnerable populations—children, the elderly, veterans, the uninsured, and people with disabilities, for example; or
  • Heightened national media attention; or
  • FEMA Declaration of a major disaster.

Funding Priorities

Priority is given to immediate and intermediate disaster relief needs such as building repairs, food, water, shelter, sanitation, health care, and needs related to return to school and work. Priority is also given to support vulnerable people and communities. We welcome projects that creatively address community needs in partnership with local organizations. Please be as concrete as possible.


Grants are not made to individuals or for training. Though we recognize the need for disaster preparedness, and that not enough funding is available in this category, we are not prepared to fund these projects at this time.

Grant Size

Unless there are extenuating circumstances, the maximum grant given at one time is $50,000. Additional grant applications may be submitted after a 60-day follow-up form is completed on the initial grant.

How To Apply

Congregations and affiliated UU entities may complete a Disaster Relief Application online. Applications are reviewed by the Disaster Relief Application Review team, which is made up of Congregational Life staff in each region.  

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