RMSFF Grants

Richard M. Schulze Family Foundation

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Grant amount: Up to US $15,000

Next deadline: Nov 6, 2019 (Letter of inquiry)

Later deadlines: Dec 4, 2019 (Full proposal), May 10, 2020 (Letter of inquiry), Jun 7, 2020 (Full proposal)

Applicant type: Nonprofit

Funding uses: Capital Project, General Operating Expense, Education / Outreach, Project / Program

Location of project: Counties in Florida: Charlotte County, Collier County, Glades County, Hendry County, Lee County Show all

Location of residency: Counties in Florida: Collier County, Lee County, Counties in Minnesota: Anoka County, Carver County, Dakota County Show all

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About this funder:

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Overview:

Note: All eligible organizations, including current grantees, must first submit a Letter of Inquiry (LOI). After RMSFF staff review the LOI, you may be invited to submit a full proposal

Our Vision and Mission

Founder's Vision

"Enabling transformational change benefiting mankind."

Our Mission

The RMSFF is driven to improve the lives of others, particularly U.S. middle- and working-class families, through results-oriented investments in human & social services, education, and health & medicine with a special focus on the seven-county metropolitan area of Minneapolis and St. Paul and Lee and Collier counties in Florida.

How We Work

The staff of the Richard M. Schulze Family Foundation has great respect for the grantees we are able to fund and for those operators of nonprofit organizations whose work is not our work but is important and worthy of support nonetheless. It is our intent in all of our interactions with grantees and potential grantees to honor their expertise, commitment and selfless efforts. Our perspective is intended to be supportive and appreciative.

It is our belief that the vast majority of nonprofit organizations are just as accountable to their own stakeholders as any for-profit organization and that many are as results-oriented, efficient and driven as any successful business. “Not-for-profit” is only an indication of tax status. It does not imply anything about an organization’s performance characteristics. At the same time, we have heard that not all funders share the same mandate for accountability. And we're told that some, with good intentions, fall into the trap of discounting the hard-earned conventional wisdom and hands-on experience of practitioners in favor of theoretical speculation of how some of society’s toughest and most persistent problems might be resolved.

As we strive to achieve the philanthropic ambitions of our founder and our board, we hope to offer grantees not only our funding but also other types of support they might find helpful when we are able. We have resources within the foundation office to assist in important areas like fundraising, organizational development, public and governmental affairs, educational administration and enrollment management. We are willing to partner with grantees, if needed and requested and when capacity exists, in these and other areas to maximize outcomes and further the goals of our partner organizations.

Feedback is a critical part of our commitment to our grantees. Honest assessment, comments and constructive criticism will ensure greater success in our efforts to provide the support we intend. We will seek this feedback in individual meetings between staff and members of grantee organizations and in periodic surveys and gatherings of grantees.

The Schulze Family Foundation, at the urging of its founder, is constantly seeking transformational impact. We have come to realize that often transformation occurs on the scale of the individual, one person at a time. We recognize that every person and all such transformative efforts, regardless of scale, are valuable. The people and organizations that devote themselves to this important work in service of others are worthy of our respect and in select cases our funding. We approach these decisions with the care and sensitivity they deserve. 

Focus Areas

The Richard M. Schulze Family Foundation (RMSFF) creates grant partnerships with organizations that generate transformational results in human and social services, education, and health and medicine.

Education

We support high-performing educational institutions by invitation only. We also support other nonprofit organizations that offer effective learning experiences through tutoring, after school-programming and camps. Reducing burdensome student loan debt for select, high-potential college students and their working-class families is one of our key objectives. Exceptional college students who pursue teaching careers are also important to us as is excellence in teaching and scholarship.

Education Strategic Directions

The founder and the family are concerned about the rapidly increasing cost of higher education and declining levels of achievement of U.S. students (K-12) compared to their worldwide peers. Although funding certain programs in public district schools remains a possibility, the majority of school funding will be directed at charter, Catholic or private schools, which serve the working- and middle-class and are high performing.

The Foundation, in its areas of geographic emphasis, will issue grants to:

  • Build the capacity of high-performing schools, by invitation only, to provide more children with a quality education and a better start in life and promote sharing of best practices with schools having that potential;
  • Support high-quality, out-of-school-time activities to increase exposure to instruction and allow for greater progress in learning and the development of resiliency;
  • Attempt to improve the success rates among future generations of students of entrepreneurship through the development and exchange of knowledge;
  • Lessen the negative impact of rising costs in higher and professional education on middle- and working-class students by offering college scholarships primarily in the foundation's areas of geographic focus; and
  • Attempt to incent high-achieving students into careers in education through scholarship programs designed to reduce the debt burden assumed by education school graduates.

Human & Social Services

We support organizations that provide human and social services as well as offer opportunities that help people lead self-sufficient, productive lives. We assist families with a variety of needs including food and nutrition, housing or shelter, skill training and development and serious medical challenges. We have a history of support for Hope Lodges and their positive impact on the treatment of cancer patients and their families. We support by invitation only mental health organizations who have a lengthy and positive funding history with the Foundation and that provide prevention, early intervention and children’s/adolescent mental health services.

Human and Social Services Strategic Directions

Human and social services are necessary and are a proper concern of public funding. It is clear, however, that critical needs are still going unmet and that "giving back" to the communities of special interest to the founder and family requires complementary and supplementary attention to public safety nets for many of the most vulnerable residents and for the basic needs of the community. Persistent problems of

  • housing,
  • transportation,
  • food distribution,
  • skill training/job placement,
  • mental health,
  • veterans assistance,
  • domestic abuse,
  • mentoring, and
  • many others

have become a part of the Foundation's activity. Grants will be directed to effective, efficient and responsible organizations willing to regularly evaluate and improve their strategies and approaches. Grants will also be directed to organizations that work to move clients out of circumstances where they are reliant upon others toward self-sufficiency.

We are open to considering project grants, general operating support, capital requests and program-related investments. We provide funding to responsible and effective organizations that

  • promote self sufficiency and resilience,
  • enhance access to basic human services,
  • encourage organizational effectiveness,
  • foster innovation and collaboration,
  • strengthen existing programs that produce measurable outcomes,
  • support new approaches to old problems, and
  • achieve long-term impact.

Health & Medicine

We support health-related investments with insight from our Scientific Advisers.

The RMSFF has a history of making major investments in projects with the potential to reduce human suffering through advances to medical science. At one time those investments were disease specific (Cancer and Type 1 Diabetes) and ranged from basic scientific research to capital investments in facilities dedicated to the treatment of critically ill patients and care for their families. In the current phase of the Foundation’s life, the family and the Foundation board have become interested in the great potential demonstrated by regenerative medicine and stem cell research. The Foundation, however, is not open to biomedical research LOIs or proposals through its website and we would never fund research that used fetal stem cells. Research proposals are considered by invitation only and are referred to the Foundation’s board of Scientific Advisers for evaluation and recommendations to the board of trustees.

The family and board are focused on clinical ideas or observations that have the potential for significant impact in the improvement of treatment protocols within a three to five year time frame.

Health & Medicine Strategic Directions

Continued and selective support of

  • Health-related support efforts that work to alleviate human suffering and improve lives;
  • Stem cell research; and
  • Medical research proposals by invitation only. 

Our Awards

The Richard M. Schulze Family Foundation now awards in two grant cycles annually, spring and fall. We consider awards $50,000 and over to be major grants and we typically award $15,000 or less to organizations new to us and without an award history at the foundation.

You can learn more about this opportunity by visiting the funder's website.

Eligibility:

  • We are open to LOIs and proposals addressing our focus areas of Human and Social Services, Education (schools by invitation only), and Health & Medicine (biomedical research by invitation only).
  • Richard M. Schulze Family Foundation grantees must be nonprofit organizations with tax-exempt status under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code. Grantees must be organized and operated for charitable purposes.
  • Grantees must serve the people and communities of Anoka, Carver, Dakota, Hennepin, Ramsey, Scott or Washington counties in Minnesota or Charlotte, Collier, Glades, Hendry and Lee counties in Florida. Requests for grants serving counties other than these are by RMSFF invitation only.
  • We are open to funding specific elements of capital campaigns.
  • We are open to program or mission-related investments as well as grants.

Preferences:

  • While specific programs with specific and measurable outcomes are preferred, the Foundation will consider and occasionally fund requests for general operating support when that seems the best way to support an organization's mission and activities.

Ineligibility:

  • It is not the Foundation’s practice to accept LOIs or proposals to fund individuals (unless through our scholarship program), government agencies, for-profit business, special events or conferences, endowments, the Arts or organizations outside the seven-county Minnesota or Lee or Collier counties in Florida. 
  • We do not support labor organizations, lobbying, political campaigns, organizations or work conducted outside of the United States.
  • We do not fund sports or athletic organizations, sectarian religious causes or the fine arts.