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.

SDOP 2019_IMG_0141_web
 People Investing in People
People Investing in People


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

Email the committee


Lift Them Up Through SDOP Grants

Informational webinar

The Self-Development of People Ministry seeks to lift up those in need. Learn about SDOP's funding criteria and program through this virtual workshop recorded in October 2021. Help identify possible funding recipients working to end poverty and oppression.


Each year the SDOP of Central Virginia awards grants to a number of community organizations in the Greater Richmond Area generally in amounts up to $3,000 per recipient. There is potential for the grants to be larger if additional funds become available.

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

VA League for Safer Streets

Embrace Richmond - Brookland Park Young Leaders Project      >> Read more >>

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

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.