Founders' Grant Application

Deadline is April 14, 2017

Underwritten by:

Applications will be accepted from public schools, parochial schools, and other nonprofit community organizations operating within the geographic area of the Rockford Public School District which carry out REF’s mission of increasing educational opportunities for learners of all ages in the Rockford Community. A successful application will be one which presents an opportunity with a deep and lasting impact. Applications must be submitted to the REF not later than April 14, 2017.

The grant application should address at least the following:

» A description of the organization
» A description and purpose of the grant requested
» Data to support the efficacy of the grant in promoting the mission of the REF
» If the grant is for a pilot program, or durable asset, a description of how the program or asset will be funded or maintained in the future if it proves to be successful
» An estimate of the number of learners impacted by the grant
» A detailed budget of the grant, including a description of alternate service or material suppliers considered
» A description of the means of evaluating the success of the program, and reporting to REF
» A description of how the program will publicize REF funding
» Whether other sources of funding or volunteers will be used or available
» You may attach data, studies, etc. to support your grant (materials should be carefully selected to be succinct and informative)
» If the request is technology related, the application must include written support and confirmation that the equipment is compatible and will be supported from the RPS Op-Tech department or your organization’s IT department.


Underwritten by Wolverine Worldwide Foundation

Applications must be submitted to the REF not later than April 14, 2017. The minimum grant submission is $10,000; the maximum is $25,000. Applications will be reviewed internally by the REF. The top three to five candidates will be asked to make a presentation of up to 30 minutes in length to the REF Board at a date and time to be announced. Grants will be awarded in May, 2017.

The REF Board of Trustees generally looks more favorably upon grants that:

» Impact a large number of learners
» Are creative and innovative in nature
» Are sustainable for more than one year
» Are new start-up programs

Although the REF Board of Trustees may make exceptions, it prefers not to give grants involving:

» Consumable items such as food, t-shirts, prizes, subscriptions, etc.
» Substitute teachers
» Continuation of previously approved programs
» Furniture
» Transportation

If the grant is for a pilot or start-up program, it is important that there be an ongoing source of funding to continue the project. REF does not favor becoming a permanent source of funding for an ongoing project.

The applicant receiving the grant will be required to make a written and verbal report on the progress and success of the program funded. Compliance with this requirement will be taken into account in considering future requests from the organization. If you have any questions, you may contact REF Executive Director, Jill Silverman: 616-863-6317 or through email at


Please be sure to follow grant application bullet points and limit proposal to two pages written in clear non-technical language.