Grant Guidelines

The Roosa Fund is a donor-advised fund of Block Island Ecumenical Ministries, Inc. (“BIEM”), established in 2011 with a generous gift from the Vernon D. and Florence E. Roosa Family Foundation Trust (“the Roosa Family Foundation”). The Roosa Fund continues the philanthropic priorities of the late Florence E. Roosa and the Trustees of the Roosa Family Foundation, while adapting those priorities to the 21st century situation of Block Island and the world.

The mission of the Roosa Fund is to respond to the needs of its home community, Block Island, Rhode Island, by providing assistance to vulnerable people in our midst – including the poor, the young, and the elderly; and by improving Block Island’s vulnerable natural environment. We also extend our concern and care for vulnerable people to the poor in developing nations. Within these broad areas, the Fund’s giving emphasizes affordable housing, other basic human needs, local environmental improvement, education and justice.

This is a broad mission, with a narrow geographic focus. To implement this mission, the Roosa Fund ordinarily supports qualified non-profit organizations based on Block Island, Rhode Island (i.e., in the Town of New Shoreham) that provide assistance, programs and/or services to benefit or meet the needs of Block Island’s people and environment.The Fund will consider applications from other non-profit organizations (based “off-island”) if the organization’s programs and services benefit Block Island’s people or environment. The Roosa Fund also supports qualified organizations based off-island providing assistance to the poor in developing countries.

Section 501(c)(3) (“501(c)(3) organizations”) which the IRS has also determined qualify as public charities. The Fund does not make grants to governmental organizations, with the specific exception of Block Island quasi-governmental organizations that could stand alone as exempt organizations in the areas of affordable housing, health care and the environment.

In its discretion, the Fund may occasionally make grants to causes outside of its usual priority areas. In general, however, the Fund does not make grants to individuals, to associations and their charity appeals, to political organizations and political campaigns, or to annual fund appeals. The Fund does not make grants to cure an organization’s budget deficit.

The Fund gives grants for program or project support, for capacity building and for capital needs. A portion of the Fund’s total grant budget can be used for grants of $5,000 or less. One-year grants are the norm; however, requests for multi-year grants will be considered. These types of support are in keeping with the giving history of the Roosa Family Foundation. The Fund is also authorized to make loans to qualified, responsible organizations.

The Roosa Fund invites applications from eligible organizations whose missions, priorities and interests match these guidelines and the Fund’s current giving interests and priorities. A representative of any interested organization, including those we or the predecessor Roosa Family Foundation have funded in the past, must discuss their eligibility for support and the ideas related to their program or need for funding with the Fund Administrator before submitting any documents. Contact the Fund Administrator by telephone or email to schedule a pre-application meeting.

Based on the pre-application meeting, the Fund Administrator will make an initial determination of an organization’s eligibility to submit a grant request. The Administrator will then provide the application procedure and instructions to invited organizations.

The Administrator processes invited applications for review and approval by the Roosa Fund Advisory Committee, which includes David E. Roosa as Donor-Advisor and members of BIEM’s Board of Directors. We are committed to keeping the Fund’s application process and other administrative procedures as simple as possible, while fulfilling all legal requirements and making grants in the priority areas identified by the Fund’s Advisory Committee.

Please contact Patrick Tengwall, Administrator of the Roosa Fund, with any questions, or to schedule a pre-application meeting. You may reach Mr. Tengwall, the Fund Administrator, at [email protected] or by calling  (401) 525-0506.

You may download a copy of these Grant Guidelines here.