Like every charitable foundation that awards grants, the Rosendin Foundation has its criteria for awarding grants to nonprofit organizations. However, the process is a thoughtful and deliberate one for the Rosendin Foundation. By focusing on education, health, and community development, engaging stakeholders, developing criteria, reviewing applications, making decisions, announcing grants, and monitoring and evaluating funded projects, the foundation ensures that its grant-making efforts are impactful and aligned with its mission of making a positive difference in communities. In today’s podcast, Jolsna Thomas from The Rosendin Foundation and Stephen Halasnik from Financing Solutions discuss how the Rosendin Foundation decided to award grants.

How the Rosendin Foundation Awards Grants: A Look Behind the Scenes

The Rosendin Foundation, which is the philanthropic arm of Rosendin Holdings – a leading electrical contractor, has been making a significant impact on communities across the United States through its grant program. Each year, it awards grants to deserving organizations that align with its mission, with a particular focus on supporting education, health, and community development initiatives. However, the grant selection process is not simple. It involves careful planning, evaluation, and collaboration to ensure that the funds are allocated to projects that align with the foundation’s mission and have the potential to make a meaningful difference. 

This article will provide insight into the Rosendin Foundation’s grant selection process, exploring the criteria used to evaluate applications, the proposal submission timeline, and offering tips for crafting a winning application.

Understanding Rosendin Foundation’s Priorities

It is important to familiarize yourself with the specific areas of focus that the Rosendin Foundation prioritizes when awarding grants before submitting your application. This community-focused foundation has identified education, health, and community development as its focus areas because it believes these are critical areas that can significantly impact the well-being of communities. Consequently, the foundation is more likely to sponsor nonprofits that have a community-oriented mission rather than those that do not. Additionally, the foundation is currently paying more attention to areas of food insecurity and child abuse and domestic violence.

To increase your chances of success, tailor your application to demonstrate how your organization aligns with the foundation’s priorities. Therefore, it is essential to conduct thorough research on the foundation’s focus areas before submitting your application.

Engaging Stakeholders

After identifying the focus areas for its grant-making efforts, the foundation takes a collaborative approach to ensure that its investments are aligned with the needs and priorities of the communities it serves. This involves engaging with a diverse group of stakeholders, including community leaders, nonprofit organizations, and Rosendin employees, to gather input and feedback.

The foundation recognizes that the success of its grant-making efforts depends on building strong relationships with stakeholders and understanding the unique challenges and opportunities facing each community. Through ongoing dialogue and collaboration, the foundation works to identify key issues and opportunities for impact and to develop effective strategies for addressing them.

Thus, involving stakeholders in the decision-making process, helps the foundation to leverage the collective knowledge, experience, and expertise of the community to drive positive change. This collaborative approach helps to ensure that the foundation’s grant-making efforts are responsive, effective, and sustainable and that they have a meaningful impact on the communities they serve.

Developing Criteria

Once the foundation has collected feedback from stakeholders, it creates a set of guidelines for giving out grants. These guidelines are crafted to guarantee that the funds are assigned to initiatives that hold the most potential for making a positive impact. The guidelines may cover aspects such as the project’s compatibility with the foundation’s areas of interest, the project’s long-term viability, and the organization’s ability to successfully execute the project.

The Grant Selection Process

The Foundation offers one major grant issuance cycle every year, and it is reserved for financial grants exceeding $2,500. The deadline for this grant cycle is July 1st, and the Foundation will issue the annual grants in Quarter 4 every year. Additionally, the Foundation accepts grant applications from qualifying organizations on an as-needed basis for one-time emergency grant requests that are less than $5,000.

Application Submission

When your nonprofit organization is seeking funding for a particular project, you should apply during a designated application period. This application typically outlines your organization’s goals, objectives, and budgetary requirements. The application process may involve a detailed description of the project, including timelines, deliverables, and key stakeholders. If Rosendin does not accept your application, your organization may need to provide additional documentation or information to secure the funding. The application review process is often rigorous, with multiple stages and criteria used to evaluate the proposals. Ultimately, the decision to award funding is based on various factors, such as the project’s potential impact, feasibility, and alignment with the funding Rosendin Foundation’s mission and priorities.

Initial Review

In the first step of the grant application process, the foundation’s staff or a designated committee conducts a thorough review of all submitted applications. This review process involves a detailed analysis of each application to ensure that it meets the eligibility requirements set by the foundation. The review team also carefully evaluates the application to determine its alignment with the foundation’s priorities and goals. The team takes into consideration various factors such as the applicant’s mission, vision, and proposed activities. This review stage is critical as it ensures that only the most eligible and deserving applicants move to the next stage of the grant application process.

In-Depth Review

When an application shows promise, the Rosendin Foundation takes the time to evaluate it more thoroughly. This evaluation includes a detailed review of the application materials, such as the applicant’s proposal and supporting documents like a determination letter and list of current board members, as well as research into the organization’s background and past performance. Moreover, the Foundation confirms IRS good standing, state good standing, GuideStar/Candid rating, and Charity Navigator rating when evaluating applicants. We look at how the proposed project aligns with the organization’s mission and goals, and how it will benefit the community. Additionally, we may reach out to the applicant organization to ask follow-up questions or request additional information. This allows the Foundation gain deeper understanding of the project and determine if it’s a good fit for its program.

Final Selection

The grant-making committee is responsible for reviewing all the received grant applications. Based on their evaluation, they make recommendations to The Rosendin Foundation Board of Directors. After the board meeting, staff members send out an email to the grant applicants within two weeks. The email notifies them if their application has been approved, denied, or held for consideration during the next grant cycle. However, note that the foundation will not consider incomplete applications, and will not send notifications to those who submit them.

Monitoring and Evaluation

After awarding the grant, next crucial step is monitoring the progress of the funded projects and evaluating their impact. This process helps the foundation to assess the effectiveness of its grant-making efforts and identify areas for improvement. By continuously monitoring and evaluating its grants, the Foundation ensures its funds are used to make meaningful differences in communities.

Crafting a Winning Application

So, how do you increase your chances of getting the Rosendin Foundation to fund your grant proposal ? Here are some tips:

Read the Guidelines Carefully

When submitting your application, carefully read and follow all the guidelines and formatting requirements set by the foundation. It is important to ensure that your application meets all the necessary criteria for easy approval. The guidelines may include specific word count, font style and size, document type, and other important formatting instructions. By adhering to these guidelines, you can demonstrate your professionalism and attention to detail, which can help make a positive impression on the foundation. Therefore, we recommend that you take the time to thoroughly review and understand all the guidelines before submitting your application.

Highlight Your Alignment with Their Mission 

Provide Specifics: It’s important to clearly and specifically demonstrate how your organization’s work aligns with the Rosendin Foundation’s priorities. This shows that you have done your research and understand their mission and goals. For example, if the foundation focuses on education and community development, highlight how your organization contribute to these areas. The more specific and detailed you can be, the better chance you have of showing the foundation that your organization is a perfect fit for its philanthropic goals.

Quantify Your Impact

Quantifying the positive impact of your organization requires the use of data and metrics to quantify it. Hence, collecting and analyzing data is essential to showcase the effectiveness of your strategy and policies. This information allows you to measure the outcomes precisely and determine how well your organization is performing in achieving its goals. Using metrics will provide your stakeholders with objective evidence of your organization’s success and help to identify areas for improvement.

Present a Clear Budget 

When applying for a grant, it is crucial to present a clear and comprehensive budget plan that outlines precisely how the funds will be utilized. A detailed and realistic budget will not only help you keep track of your expenses but also demonstrate to the grant provider that you have carefully considered the project’s financial aspects. Your budget should include all the necessary expenses that you will incur, such as equipment, supplies, salaries, travel expenses, and any other costs that are relevant to the project. It’s also essential to ensure that your budget aligns with the grant provider’s guidelines and that the proposed costs are reasonable and justifiable. By presenting a clear and well-structured budget, you will increase your chances of securing the grant and demonstrate your commitment to using the funds effectively.

Proofread and Edit

When preparing a proposal, it’s important to ensure that it is free of any grammatical errors and typos that may undermine the clarity and credibility of your message. A polished presentation can make all the difference in how the reader perceives your proposal . It sets the tone for your overall professionalism, attention to detail, and dedication to the project. Therefore, we recommend that you review your proposal thoroughly before submitting it, looking for common mistakes like misspellings, punctuation errors, and sentence structure issues. You may also want to consider enlisting the help of a trusted colleague or professional editor who can provide a fresh perspective and valuable feedback to help you refine your message and make it as effective as possible.

Additional Resources

Beyond the information provided, consider checking the Rosendin Foundation’s website for grant guidelines and application materials. Researching past successful grant proposals may also be helpful.

About Our Guest, Jolsna Thomas From The Rosendin Foundation

Jolsna Thomas is the Executive director of The Rosendin Foundation which was formed in 2020 as a 501 (c)(3) charitable corporation to act as the charitable arm of Rosendin Holdings for which all charitable giving would be centralized or guided through. This includes Rosendin Electric, Inc. (Rosendin) and Modular Power Solutions (MPS). Although the corporation is based in San Jose, California, the Foundation provides funding to non-profit organizations across the United States.

Learn About Stephen Halasnik

Stephen Halasnik co-founded Financing Solutions, the leading provider of lines of credit for nonprofits and church financing. The credit line program for nonprofits & churches is fast, easy, inexpensive, and costs nothing to set up, making it a great backup plan when cash flow is temporarily down. Mr. Halasnik is also the host of the popular, Nonprofit MBA Podcast. The podcast brings experts to discuss fundraisingnonprofit grantsexecutive director leadershipnonprofit boards, and other important topics. You can learn more about the nonprofit line of credit program here or call 862-207-4118.