The Catholic Campaign for Human Development (CCHD) is the domestic anti-poverty program of the Catholic Church that was started in 1969 by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops. CCHD has two objectives: empowering the poor, and educating others about the root causes of poverty.
Empowering the Poor
The belief that those who are directly affected by unjust systems and structures have the best insight into knowing how to change them is central to CCHD. CCHD works to break the cycle of poverty by helping low-income people participate in decisions that affect their lives, families and communities, as illustrated in the video below. In order to fund community programs that encourage independence and break the cycle of poverty, CCHD holds a national collection on the Sunday before Thanksgiving. At any time during the year, however, donations can be sent to: United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, Office of National Collections - CCHD, 3211 Fourth Street NE, Washinton DC 20017.
Educating Others About the Root Causes of Poverty
CCHD has a complementary mission of educating and promoting understanding about poverty and its root causes through an initiative called PovertyUSA, and Poverty Awareness Month which we celebrate in January each year.
This strategy of education for justice and helping people who are poor speak and act for themselves reflects the mandate of the Scriptures and the principles of Catholic social teaching.
The Catholic Campaign for Human Development has three grant programs by which individuals and organizations can access funds for anti-poverty programs.
CCHD Community development grant amounts range between $25,000 and $75,000. Community Development grants support efforts that demonstrate a commitment to the dignity of the human person. CCHD-funded groups are led by people living in poverty and work to address the root causes of poverty by nurturing solidarity between the poor and non-poor and facilitating the participation of people living in poverty in decisions that perpetuate poverty in their lives. As part of such efforts, low-income people gain the ability to identify barriers, brainstorm solutions, and take action to change problematic structures and systems in their communities.
CCHD Economic Development grant amounts range between $25,000 and $75,000. CCHD supports economic development initiatives that significantly include the voice of the poor and marginalized in developing new businesses that offer good jobs and/or develop assets that will be owned and enjoyed by local communities.
These grants are intended for organizations working to promote justice or economic development on a significantly larger scale than the community-based organizations that typically receive support from CCHD. Applicants should demonstrate a commitment to pursuing goals on a statewide, regional or national basis. In keeping with their strategic nature, these grants are intended for campaign-style initiatives of significant scale, with focused time-specific goals of regional or national importance. These grants are not meant to supply ordinary financial support.
Organizations interested in applying for these grants are required to submit a pre-application between September 1 and November 1. For additional information, click here to contact Deborah Snapp, the local CCHD Diocesan Director in southwest Kansas.