Grant Application

School Year & Student Grants

REF’s mission is to provide funding for educational opportunities, both basic and innovative, in the Rockford community. Some of this funding each year is through our School Year Small & Large Grant and Student Grant programs.

» These grants are intended to impact as many learners as possible over a multi-year horizon.

» Large Grants ($1,001-$5,000) that are innovative in nature or intended to fund new, pilot programs that, if successful could be implemented more broadly, will be looked upon favorably. In addition to the online application, Large Grants require a 5-10 minute presentation or video submission to the REF Board of Trustees. Additional information and guidelines regarding the presentation or video submission will be provided after application is reviewed.

» These grants are one-time in nature and must be fully funded by April 15th of the same academic year.

» An individual may apply for one (1) School Year Grant for the 2020/2021 academic year. A student may apply for one (1) Student Grant per school year. However, an individual may be listed on another grant application as part of a group.

» Student Grant requests must be initiated by the student(s). Requests clearly conceived by or written by a parent, teacher, or administrator will generally not be considered.

» Applications that have the following characteristics generally will not be approved: Requests for Consumable items; Gift cards or other cash-like instruments; Items to be included in upcoming bond issues; Reimbursement of purchases already made; and, Items that will be used to profit personally or used in a for-profit manner.

Application Tips & Tricks:

» All School Year and Student Grant applications are required to be submitted online using the form below.

» There is currently no capacity to save the application ‘in-process’. It must be completed and submitted in one session. We recommend saving your narrative responses in a separate document and copying them into the online application form.

» Up to three (3) files of supporting documentation may be attached to your application. There are five (5) acceptable file formats that may be uploaded: pdf, doc, jpg, gif, and png. Trying to attach a docx or other non-acceptable file format will result in your application not successfully reaching REF. This is the most common error encountered in the application process.

» You will receive a confirmation email and copy of your application after you click Submit. If you do not receive confirmation, please contact us for assistance at 863-6317 or use the online contact form found at the very bottom of this page.


School Year Small Grant Applications
Accepted until Monday, February 8, 2021, 5:00 pm

School Year Large Grant Applications
Due Monday, January 25, 2021, 5:00 pm

Student Grants
Accepted until April 15, 2021


Please keep in mind that you are competing for grant money and we encourage you to put your best efforts into the application.

Rockford Education Foundation grants are funded by community donations. To help us spread the word about how REF grants enhance education in our community, successful grant applicants will be asked to provide an impact report including photographs, recipient narrative regarding the outcomes, quotes from impacted students, etc. These photographs and impact stories will be utilized by REF in our various media releases.

Grants pertaining to Rockford Public Schools that are technology related must be submitted to the RPS Technology Department prior to the application due date (one week is recommended). Materials used to support your request are encouraged, but please be mindful of the acceptable file formats. Attachments in other than the acceptable formats will result in the application being unable to successfully submit.

Thank you for your interest in a REF grant and we look forward to reviewing your application!

    Type of Grant

    Small Grant (Up to $1,000)Large Grant ($1,001-$5,000)Student Initiated Grant (Up to $500)

    Application Information

    (select all that apply, CTRL click)
    Specify Other School, Organization, or Department Name

    (select all that apply, CTRL click)
    Specify Other Grade


    Grant Information

    All technology related requests must be emailed to the RPS Help Desk a minimum of one week before the REF Grant Application Form is due. All requests will be reviewed promptly for pre-approval for use with existing hardware and software in the district.

    Approver Name: Approver Email:

    ex: PTO, personal funds, matching, etc...

    In some cases, the REF trustees may award partial funding if there are not enough funds to grant all requests. Would you be willing to accept part of the funds requested?

    Include an itemized budget for this project. Include item descriptions, quantity needed, and price each. Identify any other funding sources and any partial funding options.

    Helpful hint: type your description in a separate document and use copy/paste to place it in the application form. The suggested word count is 250 words or less.

    If you have additional printed material or information that you could not include above, you can upload it here.

    Accepted file upload types: pdf, doc, jpg, gif, and png. NO docx allowed.

    Accepted file upload types: pdf, doc, jpg, gif, and png. NO docx allowed.

    Accepted file upload types: pdf, doc, jpg, gif, and png. NO docx allowed.

    Where has this idea been used previously and is there research to support it? How does it impact district goals? Suggested word count is 250 words or less.

    How will the success of this proposal be measured and reported back to REF and the community? Suggested word count is 250 words or less.

    Grants Pertaining to Technology

    Your technology related item, if granted, will be ordered by the technology department

    Additional Comments

    If you are experiencing trouble with this application form, please contact us for assistance at 863-6317 or use our online contact form.