Grants

Supporting Ideas and Initiatives

2020 Founders' Grant Application

NOTICE: Due to the unprecedented events of the COVID-19 situation, the 2020 REF Founders' Grant application process will be suspended until further notice. The Rockford Education Foundation is evaluating the best course of action to support Rockford schools. 

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Who can apply for a grant?

Anyone who represents a public, parochial or other non-profit education-focused organization in the Rockford community (i.e. teachers, staff, students, parents, community members).

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What are the criteria?

Our grants are intended to impact as many learners as possible over a multi-year horizon. Grants are to be used to fund a wide spectrum of educational needs from basic to innovative with a bias towards innovation for School Year Large and Founders' grants. Funding will generally not be approved for grants that have the following characteristics: Consumable items; Gift cards or other cash-like instruments; Items to be included in upcoming bond issues; Reimbursement of purchases already made; Items that will be used to profit personally or used in a for-profit manner.

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What are the criteria?

Our grants are intended to impact as many learners as possible over a multi-year horizon. Grants are to be used to fund a wide spectrum of educational needs from basic to innovative with a bias towards innovation for School Year Large and Founders' grants. Funding will generally not be approved for grants that have the following characteristics: Consumable items; Gift cards or other cash-like instruments; Items to be included in upcoming bond issues; Reimbursement of purchases already made; Items that will be used to profit personally or used in a for-profit manner.

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What are the award amounts for REF grants?

School Year Small Grant (up to $1,000)
School Year Large Grant ($1,001-$5,000)
Student Initiated Grants (up to $500)
Founders' Grant ($10,000-$25,000)

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2019-2020 School Year Deadlines

Fall School Year Applications Due
Monday, October 7, 2019, 5:00 pm

Winter School Year Applications Due
Monday, January 20, 2020, 5:00 pm

Founders’ Applications Due
Monday, March 30, 2020, 5:00 pm**
**Due to the unprecedented events of the COVID-19 situation, the 2020 REF Founders' Grant application process will be suspended until further notice. The Rockford Education Foundation is evaluating the best course of action to support Rockford schools. 

Student Grants accepted until April 15, 2020

"Tell me and I forget. Teach me and I remember. Involve me and I learn."

– Benjamin Franklin