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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 reduce county-wide divorce rates

 

THE JACKSONVILLE MIRACLE

Jacksonville, Florida experienced an astounding 28% reduction in its divorce rate in only two years - from 2015 to 2017.  This was accomplished through the implementation of a church-based Community Marriage Initiative (CMI). 

In a CMI, a lead agency – in this case Live the Life – empowers a large number of churches within a community to implement highly effective self-sufficient marriage ministries across all the ages and stages of the marital life cycle.  The three main components of this approach are to:

1)      Increase the Supply of marriage programs and resources within a community

2)     Increase the Demand for marriage programs and resources within a community

3)      Develop and promote a Community Marriage Resource Center website – which is an electronic clearinghouse of marriage related resources within a community.  This is the way that the “Increased Demand” finds the “Increased Supply”. 


This approach is based upon a simple fact – which is that very few people ever really WANT to get a divorce.  Divorces almost always occur because one or both people think their present situation is hopeless, so they just give up!  To address this, we now believe that the best way to reduce the number of divorces that occur in a community is to “flood the community” with high-quality marriage-related programs and resources – and then let people know that those resources are out there!  We “restore hope to the hopeless” by giving them access to the resources that they need to build the type of marriage that they were hoping to have when they first got married.

 

GRANT OPPORTUNITIES

Does your organization have a successful track record of working with churches and empowering them to implement highly effective self-sustaining Marriage Ministries across all the ages and stages of the marital life cycle?


Are you interested in expanding your work in your area in the attempt to reduce your county's divorce rate?


If so, you may be eligible for funding of between $10,000 to $20,000 from the Community Marriage Initiatives Fund.

For more information, please check out the FAQ section below. 

Church Candles
 

GRANT-RELATED FAQS

HOW CAN I FIND OUT MORE INFORMATION ABOUT THE MODEL THAT WAS USED IN JACKSONVILLE TO REDUCE THE DIVORCE RATE BY 28%?

This model was the subject of a presentation at the July 2018 NARME (National Association of Relationship and Marriage Education) conference.   To learn more about the model, you are encouraged to either watch the video of that presentation or to read the transcript of that presentation.  To view the 37-minute video, click here.  To download the transcript, click here.  To download the handout for the presentation (which we recommend, especially if you are reading the transcript) click here.

WHAT ARE THE ELEMENTS OF THE JACKSONVILLE MODEL THAT A GRANTEE WOULD BE EXPECTED TO IMPLEMENT IN THEIR COMMUNITY?

The two most important elements of the model, which we would expect all grantees to implement are:

  1. Empower local churches to implement highly effective, self-sustaining marriage ministries - balanced across the three areas of Vision, Skills and Support - across all the ages and stages of the marital life cycle.

  2. Implement the 3-part model of: Increase Supply, Increase Demand, and a Community Marriage Resource Center website using USMarriage.org

WHO IS ELIGIBLE TO APPLY FOR A GRANT FROM THE COMMUNITY MARRIAGE INITIATIVES FUND?

We are looking to fund non-profit organizations (or individuals – see next paragraph) who already have some track record of assisting churches implement marriage ministries, who want to expand that work, who want to replicate the Jacksonville model, and have a goal to drive down their county’s divorce rate. In addition, they need to be willing to network with other of these grantees in order to share with and learn from each other. They have to be willing to work to raise additional funding in the future once they have a critical mass of programs in the community.


To receive either a $10,000 or $20,000 grant, the organization must already have received their 501(c)3 designation.  However, there is limited funding from an alternate source for $5,000 grants for experienced individuals or non-profit organizations that have not yet received their 501(c)3 designation but who plan to be obtaining that designation in the near future.

WHAT SIZE OF A GRANT SHOULD I APPLY FOR?

Most initial grants will be for $10,000.
The $20,000 grants are reserved for organizations that are well-established with an in-place network of churches that they are already working with in the area of Marriage Ministries, such as the San Antonio Marriage Initiative.
if you are a non-profit organization that has not yet received its 501(c)3 designation or are an individual, the maximum grant you can apply for is $5,000.

IS THIS A ONE-TIME ONLY FUNDING OPPORTUNITY – OR WOULD AN ORGANIZATION BE ABLE TO RECEIVE FUNDING FROM THE COMMUNITY MARRIAGE INITIATIVES FUND IN MULTIPLE YEARS?

If you are successful with your project, you will be encouraged to apply for funding from the Community Marriage Initiatives in future years.  It is our hope that many of the organizations that begin at the $10,000 level will be able to “graduate” to the $20,000 funding levels as their experience develops and their and network of churches expand.  At this time, there is no upper limit to the number of years that an organization will be eligible to receive funding from the Community Marriage Initiatives Fund, as long as their performance justifies continued funding.

WHAT ARE MY NEXT STEPS IF I AM INTERESTED IN APPLYING FOR ONE OF THESE GRANTS?

  1. Watch the video or read the transcripts of the 37-minute presentation described in the answer to FAQ #1, above, to get a

  2. Send an email to Dennis@MarriageInitiatives.org , requesting a phone call to learn more about this opportunity and to get your questions answered.  (Note:  these phone calls may either be one-on-one or a group teleconference, depending upon schedule availability). 

  3. Submit application.