Self-Development of People

The Self-Development of People (SDOP) ministry is designed to enter into partnerships with poor and oppressed people, who organize sufficiently to do things to help themselves.

The national Self-Development of People Committee administers funds from the One Great Hour of Sharing to provide grants to address long-term conditions that keep people bound by poverty and oppression.

Categories of Need

The SDOP program enters into partnerships with groups of poor, oppressed, and disadvantaged people who:

  • Are oppressed by poverty
  • Want to take charge of their own lives
  • Have organized, or are organizing, to do something about their own condition
  • Have decided that what they are going to do will produce direct, long-term changes for their lives or communities and will benefit them directly.

Grant Guidelines

Grants awarded through the Presbytery's SDOP program generally do not exceed $10,000 and are invested with groups that submit a valid SDOP proposal. Criteria used by the SDOP committee to determine if a proposal is valid for funding are as follows:

  • A proposal will address long-term correction of conditions that keep people bound by poverty and oppression.
  • A proposal will be owned and presented by a group of people who will benefit directly from it. The proposal will identify the people by name, economic situation, and background. While congregations and other organizing groups are encouraged to help groups develop and submit proposals, the proposals must be presented, owned, and controlled by the direct beneficiaries.
  • A proposal will describe, in detail, its goal (the point of the proposal), its objectives (the specific steps the group will take to accomplish the goal), the way the direct beneficiaries will be involved in all stages of the proposed project, and the methods to be used to achieve the goal and objectives.
  • A proposal will not advocate violence as a means of accomplishing its goal or objectives.
  • A proposal will describe fully the resources known to be available to support the project, including a description of a) those within the community, b) those available to the community, and c) the in-kind and other financial resources sought or to be sought.
  • A proposal will contain a balanced income and expenditure budget. A financial plan showing expected income and expenditures over the life of the project will be included, as well as a statement of how the group intends to manage the program.
  • A proposal will specify how progress toward the stated goal and objectives will be evaluated by the group, and when the evaluation will be made. It also will say how the group will engage the greater community in evaluating the program.

Grants that meet these guidelines may be submitted to the Presbytery of New Hope.


Etheredge, John