Guidelines and Eligibility
The foundation currently supports partners in Kenya, Uganda, Ethiopia, India, Haiti, Mexico, Guatemala, and El Salvador. Our partners share our vision of empowering marginalized communities to create social enterprises that serve the common good.
We believe that the most impactful way to create long-term change is to build holistic, sustainable communities which empower members to identify their own dreams and to put those dreams into action. This approach is based on the following assumptions:
- all people possess God-given talents and dreams;
- communities lack equitable access to resources to put those dreams into action;
- social enterprises can collectively leverage resources that enable communities to meet their own needs.
Following a business-as-mission model, we seek to stand alongside family farmers, small entrepreneurs, and other community leaders in their efforts to collectively meet both their own needs and the needs of the most vulnerable in their communities. Rather than provide funding to direct service projects like shelters, school feeding programs, and health clinics, our mission is to build up the capacity of communities to meet those needs themselves. “As such, our Theory of Change model includes three core elements in a cyclical and self-sustaining pattern.
- Serve: meet basic needs for shelter, food, water, and love so that people may gain a space to identify their own talents and dreams.
- Equip: expand access to education, vocational training, savings, credit, and income generating activities so that standards of living are improved.
- Empower: promote servant leadership, collective participation, market access, and awareness of rights so that initiatives go beyond the individual to serve the needs of the most vulnerable.
The board does not accept unsolicited proposals for review. In an effort to be more intentional and impactful in our grantmaking process, we take a proactive approach in choosing our partners. To be considered, partners must meet the following criteria.
- working in Kenya, Uganda, India, Haiti, Mexico, Guatemala, or El Salvador
- faith-based, articulating a holistic approach to human and spiritual development
- community-based, founded on local leadership and initiative
- sustainable in project design and implementation
- servant led, based on inclusivity, purpose, and service to the common good
If you feel that your organization meets these criteria, as well as our specific approach outlined above, you may send a 2-page letter of inquiry to the executive director at SuzanneB@FirstFruits.com outlining the following: mission and values of your organization, specific goals and activities of proposed project, amount requested and fundraising strategy. If your project fits our funding priorities and we have room to consider more partners, you will be contacted for more information.