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CREF Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Does the organization I want to nominate have to have a 501(c)(3) tax exemption?

A: Yes. The CREF trust document requires that the organization receiving a CREF grant have a 501(c) (3) tax exemption. When submitting their applications to CREF, all organizations are required to submit their IRS tax letter as proof that they are a 501(c)(3).

Q: The organization I want to nominate is not located in San Antonio. Is that OK?

A: Yes, IF the focus of the project under consideration is limited to the San Antonio Metropolitan Area (SAMA) or its residents. SAMA includes Atascosa, Bandera, Bexar, Comal, Guadalupe, Kendall, Medina and Wilson counties. Be aware that if the organization’s work is entirely outside the SAMA and the project does not directly benefit residents of the SAMA, it will not be considered.

Q: The organization I want to nominate is desperately in need of funds to “keep the lights on” to keep doing the good work they do. Can I nominate them for a grant?

A: The CREF grants are specifically for projects that reflect the charitable, religious, educational, and scientific considerations of our church. The trustees have not awarded grants to assist with general operating expenses, rather it asks organizations to specify a particular project; and the grant can cover those costs, including its staff and program expenses.  

Q: Once I nominate an organization will you notify me when they receive an application or when they have submitted their grant application to CREF?

A: No. Every 501(c)(3) organization nominated will receive an application in July. We suggest you follow up with the organization’s contact person that you listed on your nomination form by mid-July to urge them to get the application in. Not all organizations nominated turn in applications. The CREF trustees select grantees from the applications received. Applications will be due in August.

Q: If the organization I am thinking about has received funding in the past from CREF before, may I still submit a request?

A. Yes, if it meets all the guidelines. However, the CREF Trust Agreement provides that the same project may not receive funding for more than 2 years.

Q: Who receives and reviews the applications?

A: The CREF Trustees meet to review and select between 3 and 5 grantees.

Q: Who do I contact if I have a question about submitting an organization?

A: You may contact any of the CREF Trustees if you have questions regarding submitting a nomination. Please read the website and these FAQs first – we believe that all the necessary information regarding nominations is contained on this website. You may contact CREF Trustees at CREF@uusat.org.

Q: Who does the organization contact if it has a question?

A: If the question is regarding the nomination, then they should contact you – the First UU Congregant who wishes to nominate them. If the question is regarding the application, a contact name and email will be provided on the application itself. You may also contact CREF Trustees at CREF@uusat.org.

Q: What range of funds are available to suggest to the non-profit organization?

A: Awards have historically been granted anywhere from between $500 and $5,000.

Q: As a member of the church, how can I become a CREF Trustee?

A: Please contact our Leadership Development Committee at leadership@uusat.org to be considered for serving a CREF Board term (3 years). Please indicate any specific skills and experience you will provide to enhance the committee.