Supporting Ideas and Initiatives

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).


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.


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)


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

Student Grants accepted until April 15, 2020

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

– Benjamin Franklin