2015-2016 Funding Guidelines for SPSARV


Due to your commitment to address the substance abuse epidemic, The United Methodist Church, through the Special Program on Substance Abuse & Related Violence, has made a significant impact. In the information that follows, you will see that the UMC remains committed to responding to the needs of those who suffer as a result of the disease of addiction as well as to reducing the number of young people who abuse substances. 


Since 1992, SPSARV has provided funding for projects and we will continue to do so.  Our hope is that after reviewing the following information about funding guidelines, you will work with SPSARV to implement evidence-based prevention, treatment, and training programs.


2015-2016 Funding Guidelines for SPSARV


The primary purposes of SPSARV are leading the UMC’s worldwide response to the problems of substance abuse, addiction, and related family violence in order to:


1)   Assist the recovery process for as many people as possible who have been impacted by their own or a loved one’s addiction, and


2)   Prevent as many young people as possible from abusing substances.


In order to have the most impact, SPSARV funds the following types of projects:


1)    Prevention programs that have been proven, by the results obtained from carefully implemented evaluation tools, to be effective. 


Successful prevention programs do not primarily focus on providing drug education.  These programs are designed to reduce risk factors and to increase protective factors. 


There are a variety of examples of successful programs that have been supported with SPSARV funds.  These include NACoA’s Celebrating Families! program and the Shade & Fresh Water program of the Methodist Church of Brazil.


2)   Prevention programs, preferably led by prevention experts, which are based on knowledge derived from prevention research or the field of child development. Examples of programs that fit this category are again designed to reduce risk factors and increase protective factors.


These include year-round afterschool programs, which provide opportunities for children to develop social skills, improve school performance, and develop mentoring relationships with positive adult role models. 


Included also are programs based on the principles of Positive Youth Development such as a Boy Scouts program combined with a drug education component.


3)   Training programs designed by government agencies and individuals with very high levels of expertise. 


This would include training programs developed by certified prevention specialists and certified addiction counselors.  Likewise, this includes training programs endorsed by nationally recognized organizations focused on substance abuse issues, like NAADAC and programs created by international organizations like The Colombo Plan.


Priority is given to training programs designed to help church members to become certified in prevention or addiction treatment. 


Likewise, priority is given to Clinical Pastoral Education (CPE) and seminary programs designed by certified prevention specialists and certified addiction counselors.


4)   Treatment programs, where a clearly defined need exists, which are organized and implemented by individuals who are certified as addiction counselors by NAADAC  or IC & RC.


5)   Low-cost, church-based ministries, which do not fit neatly into the categories of prevention, training, or treatment, but that have been effective at reducing the suffering of those who are impacted by their own or a loved one’s addiction. These ministries includeRecovery@Cokesbury (but not Celebrate Recovery) as well as church programs that are designed to motivate homeless addicts to enter treatment.


If a proposed project meets the criteria for one of the five types listed above, the decision about whether it will be approved for funding is influenced by the same considerations used for any SPSARV expenditure:  Will this expenditure add to the UMC’s worldwide response, as noted above, assisting more victims of this disease and/or preventing more young people from abusing substances?  Is this the wisest use of the funds or are there alternatives that would have more of a sustainable impact?  Is the project and the project organizer supported by the district superintendent and/or the bishop?


If after considering this information, you believe you could submit a proposal that will assist victims of this disease, including family members, and you believe it matches one of the four types of projects listed above, please contact SPSARV.  SPSARV can then provide suggestions to guide you as you prepare a written application.   


Please contact SPSARV by email: spsarv@umcmission.org or by phone: 1-212-870-3883.