Since the deadline for applying for these grants is fast approaching, the purpose of this article is to give more visibility to this worthwhile program. It has been discussed at previous city council meetings and information has been posted on the city’s website. This article is based on those sources. Applications are due by 1 p.m. on April 23, 2021. They can be submitted online at: www.rpcity.org/city_hall/commissions_committees_boards/city_of_rohnert_park_foundation/small_grants_program. You can also mail the applications to City Hall at 130 Avram Avenue, but they must be received on or before April 23.
Back in February, the city council approved another cycle of these awards. This is the third cycle. These small grants can be used for a diverse number of projects that will benefit or improve the community of Rohnert Park. These grants are funded by the non-guaranteed, recurring “Community Investment” contributions from the Graton Mitigation Fund. This fund came from an agreement between the city and the Federated Indians of Graton Rancheria.
Any community organization is eligible to apply. Grants for this cycle will be awarded beginning in the new fiscal year which is July 1, 2021. Projects approved must be completed by June 30, 2022. Applicants are required to provide justification to support the grant amount requested. The requested grant amount may be less than $5,000 but no grants can exceed that maximum amount.
These awards are not for replacing budget shortfalls or supporting on-going services. Unless the Foundation Board grants a waiver, a community organization will not receive a grant to conduct the same service or project for consecutive fiscal years. Because of the pandemic, the Foundation did waive that requirement for a couple of Cycle 2 grant awards. They were unable to complete their project because of the health order restrictions. Therefore, the Foundation is allowing those organizations to reapply this year if they so desire.
This cycle has a maximum of $100,000 available to be awarded. As many grants as possible that meet eligibility requirements will be awarded up to that maximum. However, the Foundation acknowledges they can’t fund every request. Therefore, they focus on those projects and services with “the most meaningful impact in our community.” They want to award grants to projects “in alignment with the City of Rohnert Park’s vision to make our community a safe, enjoyable place to live, work and play.”
Organizations applying for these grants must be able to contract with the City of Rohnert Park Foundation. They are “required to demonstrate the completion of contractual activities and provide financial documentation in compliance with IRS Expenditure Responsibility recordkeeping requirements.”
There is an extensive Frequently Asked Questions Section on the website. You can also find what grants were awarded in the first two cycles there. If you have additional questions, please email your questions to Elizabeth Machado: firstname.lastname@example.org or call 707-588-2227.