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The Purpose of the Community Marriage Initiatives Fund is to encourage, promote, and support community-wide implementation of Marriage Ministries as a way to strengthen marriages and reduce county-wide divorce rates


Sixth Round Grant Opportunity – Applications Due September 1, 2024

The CMI Fund is pleased to announce its sixth round of grant opportunities – with an application due date of September 1, 2024.   The purpose of this grant opportunity is to fund non-profit organizations who already have some track record of assisting churches implement marriage ministries, who want to expand that work, who want to replicate one specific model, and who have a goal to drive down their county’s divorce rate. This is a capacity-building grant, designed to equip, empower and position these organizations to be able to raise additional funding in the future once they have a critical mass of programs in their community.

Eligible Applicants:  Non-profit organizations within the United States

Amount of Funding and Project Period:  An organization is eligible to receive a maximum grant allocation from the CMI Fund up to $100,000 to fund a project that will span three years, with expected funding levels of up to $30,000 in Year 1, $50,000 in Year 2 and $20,000 in Year 3.

Number and Timing of Grant Awards.  Because different organizations will be at different stages of readiness to apply for and begin implementing these grant projects, the current plan is to award approximately ten of these grants in each of the years of 2022, 2023, and 2024 - for a total expected funding availability of up to $3 million across 30 organizations.  The application deadlines for the two rounds of funding taking place in 2024 are:

                       Application          Grant Period

   Round #      Due Date             Begins

        5              3/1/2024              4/1/2024

        6              9/1/2024              10/1/2024 

Organizations are encouraged to apply in whichever round best fits their state of readiness.

Application Process.  The first step in the application process is to download and read the 6-page Request For Proposal (RFP), by clicking here.

Application Contents:  As described in the RFP, the application will consist of two parts:

  • Part #1 consists of Narrative Descriptions, with a maximum of 6 pages, single spaced

  • Part #2 consists of a set of filled-out Forms, available here:

    • Table A2- Breakout by Denominations/Religions

    • Table A3 – Information about Historical Divorce Rates   

    • Form E1 – Church Assessments for Marriage and Relationship Ministries

    • Form E2 – Sample Letter of Support for Churches

    • Table E3 – Compilation of Church Assessments

    • Form F1 – 1-page Bio of Key Team Members

    • Form F2 – 1/3 page Bio of other Team Members

    • Certifications Sheet  

Description of the Model to be Replicated

The RFP refers to a specific model that has been shown to be effective in driving down county-wide divorce rates in the four consecutive situations in which it has been implemented at scale:  

  • In Orange County, California from 2003 to 2007

  • In Fresno, California from 2007 to 2011

  • In Jacksonville, Florida, from 2015 to 2018

  • In Live the Life’s “7&7” project in North Florida starting in 2021

This model and its results have been the subject of plenary (keynote) presentations at the following national conferences:  2008 Smart Marriages, 2018 NARME (National Alliance for Relationship and Marriage Education), and 2022 NARME.  Recordings and/or handouts for each of these presentations are available by clicking on the corresponding links below:

2008 Smart Marriages plenary          90-minute video

2018 NARME plenary                        38-minute video               Handout                  Transcript 

2022 NARME plenary                        40-minute video               Handout 

The first step in learning about the model is to view the (above) video of the the 2018 NARME plenary (Communities and Congregations: A Grass Roots Strategy for Strengthening Marriages and Families) which discusses the application of this model in Jacksonville. The 2022 NARME plenary (Reducing County-Wide Divorce Rates) quantifies the results from the four projects listed at the beginning of this section. For a deeper understanding of the model, feel free to also watch the (above) video of the 2008 Smart Marriages Plenary (The California Campaign), which in addition to providing a more detailed description of the overall model also discussed the work that was being done in Orange County and Fresno at that time and includes the initial reports of the reductions in Orange County's and Fresno's divorce rates.   

Related Webinars

To view a Grants-Opportunity Webinar describing this grant - which took place on Friday, February 4, 2022, click here.

To view a Grant-Writing Training Webinar associated with this opportunity, which took place on February 11, 2022, click here.     

To download a handout for that Grant-Writing Training Webinar, click here.    


If you have any questions about this grant opportunity, please contact Steffanie Oltmans at this email address

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