Community Outreach Partnership

Applicants will be notified of their status by June 30, 2017

If you have questions, concerns or need help of any kind,
please feel free to contact us for assistance at:


The goal of the Faith in Action program at First Unitarian is to provide members and friends with opportunities for community service and volunteer work. We wish to partner with various organizations (called Community Outreach Partners) in the community, each for a two-month period of time, to give not only of our financial resources, but our time and talents as well.

Selected Community Outreach Partners will receive half of First Unitarian’s offering plate donations during the two-month partnership. In addition, the selected organization and nominating member/friend of First Unitarian will be asked to coordinate at least two volunteer opportunities for 10 or more people (or the equivalent, such as four opportunities for five people). Selection of Community Outreach Partners is based strongly on the volunteer opportunities that can be made available through the partner organization to our members.

Our intent is for a mutually beneficial partnership:

  • Each Community Outreach Partner receives a financial donation from the congregation (range of $1,000 – $2,000 is typical), plus several hours of volunteer assistance to help with one or more projects. Organizations also benefit by being exposed to a congregation of active, socially-minded individuals, as the organization’s name will appear in our weekly service bulletin, in e-mails, and on our website.
  • The members of First Unitarian benefit by being exposed to the work of various non-profit organizations in the community, and are given multiple opportunities throughout the year to volunteer and put their faith into action.

Application Process


  • Nominations will only be accepted from members or active friends of First Unitarian Church of Des Moines. Please coordinate with the organization you are nominating to complete the form.
  • Organizations must have 501(c)(3) non-profit status and serve all or part of the Greater Des Moines metro.
  • Please keep the nomination to no more than 2-3 pages, not including requested attachments.
  • Organizations, whether or not they have been selected to be an Outreach Partner before, may apply again in subsequent years. Having previously been an Outreach Partner does not increase or decrease your chance of being selected again.


  • Interest in applying may begin with either the organization or a member/friend of the church who is connected to an organization.
    • If you are a member or active friend of the church and there is an organization you wish to nominate, please start by contacting that organization to ensure they are interested in partnering with First Unitarian for a two-month time period and work with them to identify potential projects.
    • If it begins within the 501(c)(3) organization that wishes to apply, please be aware that you must be nominated by a member or active friend of First Unitarian. Your first step is to see if you have a natural connection to someone at the church – e.g., a staff member, volunteer, or someone on your board.
  • The nominator and the point-of-contact from the organization should work together to complete the application form.
  • For more information about the seven principles of Unitarian Universalism, please see our Principles and Sources page.
  • If you have any questions while filling out the application, call 515-244-8603 or e-mail
  • Submit the completed application, with requested attachments, by 11:59 p.m. Central Time on May 1. E-mailed applications are preferred (send to, but hard copies may also be submitted (mail to First Unitarian Church of Des Moines, ATTN: Faith in Action, 1800 Bell Ave, Des Moines IA 50315).


February – May 1:   Applications accepted for First Unitarian’s Faith in Action Community Outreach Partnership
May 1, 11:59 p.m.   Application deadline
May – June   Six Community Outreach Partners are selected by the Faith in Action Coordinating Team
June 30   All applicants are notified of their status by this date
September 1   Community Outreach Partnership Cycle begins, with a new partner every two months (Sept-Oct, Nov-Dec, Jan-Feb, Mar-Apr, May-June, July-Aug)

Selection Criteria

Final selections are made by the Faith in Action Coordinating Team using the following criteria:

  • Does the organization meet all basic requirements for eligibility? (Includes 501(c)(3) status, nomination by a member or active friend of the congregation)
  • Does the organization have a clear mission and do financial operations appear to be in order?
  • Does the organization’s work fulfill one or more of the seven principles of Unitarian Universalism?
  • Most critically, does the organization offer meaningful volunteer opportunities for the members of our congregation to put their faith into action? The volunteer opportunities available should be clear and compelling, as well as appropriate for a broad cross-section of our membership, which will encourage more people (including youth) to participate.
  • The Faith in Action Coordinating Team will take care, as nominations allow, to select a variety of organizations that represent different community needs and present a variety of volunteer opportunities to our members and friends.


We are open to publicizing the partnership in your newsletters/social media/etc., but ask that you coordinate those efforts in advance with our Communications Coordinator, Abby Chungath (