Freedom, Equality, Altruism

Credere Grants

Welcome to Credere Micro Grants

Hawthorne Valley Center for Social Research is pleased to carry on the five-year tradition of Credere Fund micro grants initiated by Think OutWord. While Credere has previously provided grants internationally, we will initially focus primarily on people and projects in the Northeast United States. A part of the reason for doing this is to enable the grant recipients to meet and learn from each other, and through a collaborative effort create a public event where their work is presented. Our first gathering will take place on October 3 and October 4, 2014.

The Meaning of “Credere”

“Credere” is the Latin word for “belief” or “trust” (the root of such English words as credit and credible), and it was chosen to acknowledge our belief and trust in the grant recipients. This belief in others can arise when we consciously and willingly enter the thoughts, feelings, and intentions of another person.

Empathic Individualism as an Evolutionary Necessity

Humanity has evolved through various stages of consciousness. The original state of mind embraced spirit and the manifestations of matter or nature as being united as one or as a whole and virtually indistinguishable.

The next phase of humanity’s evolution saw the separation of matter and spirit in human consciousness and experience of life. This coincided with the development of natural science, industry, and technology, and a growing sense of individualism and democratic rights.

However, unbridled individualism can result in polarized viewpoints, divisiveness, excessive competition, and social conflicts. Individualism needs to be counterbalanced by the soul-spiritual capacity of empathy—a living interest in the situation and perspectives of our fellow human beings. It is a capacity that needs to be systematically nurtured. The balancing and harmonization of individualism with empathy is an ethical and social imperative for our times. Overly competitive, profit-oriented individualism needs to evolve into “Empathic Individualism.”

2014 Credere Grant Cycle:

The next round of Credere micro grants will support individual and group initiatives that foster the development of innovative ways to express and employ empathy in personal, institutional, and community life.

Examples of anticipated granting areas are:

  1. Researching and documenting:
    • existing innovative educational or artistic methods that foster empathy, and harmonize empathy and individualism, in children and/or adults.
    • the development of new educational or artistic methods that foster empathy, and harmonize empathy and individualism, in children and/or adults.
  2. Prototyping practical methods and organizational structures for cultural, political, or economic institutions (including cultural and economic sector collaboration; farmer, processor, distributor, consumer relations; and community democratic processes) that foster the capacity of empathy in order to:
    • overcome disharmony and divisiveness and strengthen unity between people and/or groups of people, or to
    • enhance collective wisdom in groups in relation to governance or decision making.
  3. Creating literary or artistic works, or group events that give expression to the importance of empathy in modern life as a balance to the ever-increasing sense of individualism and self-interested behavior, and as a means of strengthening a unified vision of humanity.

Funding will also be provided to help defray expenses incurred by the recipients who participate in a public event in which they collectively present their projects.

Letter of Inquiry (LOI) Deadline:

All LOIs must be received by email no later than December 15, 2013 for the 2014 cycle of grants. If you have not received a confirmation from us that we have received your LOI by December 18, please call 518-672-4465 x 223.

Letter of Inquiry Process:

Email an initial letter of inquiry of no more than two typed pages to info@thecenterforsocialresearch.org.
Include the following information:

  • Your name and contact Information.
  • Amount requested ($500 to $2,500).
  • General description of your project or activity and how it specifically relates to the development and/or application of empathy as described above.
  • Timeline of activity and whether it is an existing or new activity for which you are asking for support.
  • How the grant money would be used and total budget of the project. (Detailed Budgets are not needed with the LOI.)
  • You may include links within the LOI and/or up to two attachments in support of your LOI.
  • Whether you are open to participating in gathering in October 2014 to share your work.