About the Foundation

Established in 1980, the S. Joseph-Benton Harbor Rotary Club Foundation has awarded over $1,000,000 in grants to area causes.  Through club members’ donations the foundation has grown to over $1.7 million in assets.  Normally, only income earned by investment of members’ donations is disbursed through grants.  A volunteer Board of Directors made up of Rotary members sets policy and approves all grants.

How Does The Foundation Work?

The St. Joseph – Benton Harbor Rotary Club Foundation’s resources come from gifts made by Rotarians and other individuals, families, businesses, and local organizations. Normally, only income earned by the investment of these gifts is disbursed through grants, providing a continuing source of funding to benefit the community.

A volunteer Board of Directors made up of Rotary Club of St. Joseph -Benton Harbor members sets policy and approves all grants. All directors have extensive service to and knowledge of our community.

Funds of the St. Joseph-Benton Harbor Rotary Club Foundation are managed by an Investment Advisory Committee which, in turn, is monitored regularly by the Foundation Board of Directors.

Mission Statement

The mission of the Foundation is to improve lives in the greater St. Joseph-Benton Harbor community by supporting projects that focus on:

    • Improvement of health
    • Support of education
    • Economic and community development
    • Rotary International initiatives that have local impact

Financial Range of Giving

The total amount of awards to be give in a year is set by the Foundation Board of Directors on an annual basis. Grants are awarded annually in a grant cycle that begins in August with applications due in mid-September.  Grant applications and information for the grant cycle are posted on the website in early August and grants are awarded in late November or early December.

Eligible Grant Requests

To be eligible a grant request must be for a minimum of $5,000 and must be submitted by a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization or governmental unit within the greater St. Joseph-Benton Harbor area.  Emphasis is given for efforts that seek to better opportunities for youth and special needs populations.  Requests for ongoing operational funds and annual drives are assigned a low priority. Requests for sectarian religious projects and programs, national fund-raising efforts, requests by political organizations, requests to fund program deficits or previously incurred obligations are ineligible.

Deadline for Application

Deadlines for grant applications will be announced. Persons/organizations submitting grant applications will be notified in writing of Foundation action normally written 60 days of application deadlines. Denied applications may be resubmitted in a subsequent grant cycle; however, the Foundation is in no way obligated to give preferential treatment to previously submitted requests. The Foundation does not obligate itself to grant awards at each review process. Requests may be made for multi-year projects; however re-application will be required for subsequent years.

Review Process by the Foundation Board

Criteria the Foundation Board will consider in evaluating proposal include:

    1. Focus on the Rotary International missions
    2. Scope of impact on the community
    3. Response to emerging needs or new approaches to meet current needs
    4. Measurable outcomes and program evaluation methods
    5. Collaboration within the community and elimination of duplication of services
    6. Sustainability of project and ongoing support