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The Roosa Fund of Block Island Ecumenical Ministries, Inc. is a donor-advised fund administered by Block Island Ecumenical Ministries, Inc. (BIEM). It was established in 2011 with a generous gift from a family foundation that has now closed down.

The late Florence E. Roosa set up the Vernon D. and Florence E. Roosa Family Foundation Trust (“the Roosa Family Foundation”) in 1994 as a vehicle for the family’s philanthropic activities. The trustees of the Roosa Family Foundation dissolved the foundation in mid-2011 and transferred its assets to two new donor advised funds. An affiliate of the Hartford Foundation for Public Giving will administer one fund to serve Connecticut.

The other donor-advised fund is administered by Block Island Ecumenical Ministries, an incorporated non-profit, interfaith religious association and public charity that acts as a community fund for its home community, Block Island, Rhode Island. BIEM intends to continue the giving priorities of the Roosa Family Foundation and adapt them to current conditions.

The new Roosa Fund’s Advisory Committee and its part-time administrator have developed a mission statementgrant guidelinesapplication procedures and other policies to guide its grantmaking.

As you read the grant guidelines posted on this web site, keep two points in mind:

  • The Roosa Fund ordinarily supports qualified non-profit organizations based on Block Island, Rhode Island that provide assistance, programs and/or services to benefit or meet the needs of Block Island’s people and environment. We also support qualified organizations based off-island providing assistance to the poor in developing countries.
  • The Roosa Fund does not accept proposals that have not gone through a pre-application process.

If you have questions that this web site has not answered, please contact Patrick Tengwall, the Fund Administrator, at ptengwall@juno.com or by calling  (401) 525-0506.

Thank you for your interest in the Roosa Fund.


About Block Island Ecumenical Ministries

The Roosa Fund shares and carries out the fundamental organizing principle of its parent organization, Block Island Ecumenical Ministries, Inc. (BIEM). That is: To be the works arm of the Block Island ecumenical faith community and the visible response of Block Island’s faith communities to the injunction to treat the stranger as you would be treated.

Block Island Ecumenical Ministries, Inc. is a non-profit religious association and public charity acting as a community fund providing educational and charitable support for the community of Block Island, Rhode Island. BIEM was founded by the island’s clergy in 1977 and incorporated in 1983 as a Rhode Island non-profit corporation. It is exempt from Federal income taxes under Internal Revenue Code Sections 501(c) (3) and 509(a)(1).

Block Island Ecumenical Ministries reaches out to the larger community of Block Island with:

  • Worship and celebration, with ecumenical services;
  • Music, supporting a community-wide Ecumenical Choir;
  • Ministry for children and senior citizens, including weekly meals for seniors supported by the Manley Fund;
  • Emergency assistance for Block Island families and individuals in need, through the Mary D Fund; and now
  • Support for charitable organizations and their programs, through the Roosa Fund.

Each of BIEM’s major programs receives public support for operating and program costs through local fundraising efforts. We also welcome direct contributions to the Roosa Fund in order to build its asset base and increase the amount available for future grants.

Charitable contributions to BIEM are deductible to the full extent of the law. To make a donation, or for more information about Block Island Ecumenical Ministries, Inc., contact BIEM’s Treasurer, Cantor Elliot Taubman, at (401) 466-2861 or at etbi@verizon.net.