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Self-Development of People of Central Virginia

Self-Development of People (SDOP) is a mission program created in 1970 by the Presbyterian Church, USA to help alleviate poverty and oppression. The program seeks to provide grants and aid to organizations sponsoring projects and activities designed to eliminate the effects of injustice and powerlessness.

Self-Development of People of Central Virginia is a certified affiliate of the PC(USA) program and is supported by the collective churches of Presbytery of the James.

The program is rooted in the belief that the poor, oppressed and disadvantaged possess firsthand knowledge of the type of conditions poverty and powerlessness spawn, and a legitimate sense of what is needed to bring about effective change. Self-Development seeks to partner with organizations whose actions and achievements support these beliefs.

Through the years, community organizing has proven itself to be a successful strategy for empowering the disadvantaged and for that reason Self-Development of People focuses its grants on support for organizations. It is particularly concerned about self-development within communities of poor and oppressed peoples.


Lamar Lockhart, moderator
Peggy Fox
Curtis Kearns
Humphrey Muraya
Renita Page
Shaunta'h Powell
Lori Purcell
Lauren Ramseur
Sharron Saunders

Email the committee


SDOP Grants

Grants from SDOP of POJ

Each year SDOP of Presbytery of the James awards up to $10,000 in grants to community organizations operating within the presbytery. The annual application deadline is November 1.

Grants from the National SDOP Program

Augmented funding is also available, in a separate application process, by applying to the National SDOP Program which offers grants of varying amounts up to $15,000. For more information on exploring the possibility of applying at the National SDOP Program, email Potential applicant groups are welcome to complete the optional one-page pre application, available through the link for “Applying for a National SDOP grant” and submitting it. Once received, the group will be contacted to discuss the feasibility of the proposed project.

Past SDOP of Central Virginia Grant Recipients and Projects

United to Empower - Empowering Young Leaders Program

Grant announcement >

VA League for Safer Streets

Grant announcement >

Embrace Richmond - Brookland Park Young Leaders Project

Grant announcement >

Elevated Imagination Life Center

Stafford Junction - Helping Us Grow Strong (HUGS) kindergarten readiness program

Daily Planet - quality health services regardless of financial, housing or insurance status

Friends Association for Children - leadership and career advancement program

FIRST Contractors, Inc - picnic table project

Workshops and Events

Lift Them Up Through SDOP Grants

Learn about SDOP grants and how your grassroots group can qualify for funding. Access this recording on-demand to prepare for the 2024 funding deadline of November 1.

sdop sunday 2024

Presbyterian Committee on the Self-Development of People (SDOP) celebrates SDOP Sunday in 2024 on March 10. Through SDOP, PC(USA) partners with low-income communities locally, nationally, and internationally to eradicate systemic poverty. Observe SDOP Sunday by sharing a Minute for Mission about SDOP, singing a SDOP hymn, and collecting an offering for SDOP.

View the SDOP Sunday Resource and Yearbook.

How You Can Help

Self-Development of People is funded through the One Great Hour of Sharing Offering and by individual donations from friends and supporters of the program.