Apply for a Grant

Apply for a Grant from the Rotary Club of Lansing Foundation

The Lansing Rotary Club has a foundation whose sole purpose is to manage grants and giving, to collectively make an impact on the Lansing community, the nation and the world. The Rotary Club of Lansing Foundation has established an enduring source of revenue and gives grants to not for profit organizations annually. Non-profits who are in need of funding can apply for a grant through the Rotary Club of Lansing Foundation.
Before applying, please note that there are specific dates when applications are accepted. For easy reference, the grant policies are detailed below.

Rescue South Sudan Village

Rescue South Sudan Village People (RSSVP) was founded over a decade ago by Abraham Majak and his older brother, Isaac.

After their village was attacked by marauders from the north of Sudan and their father killed, the young boys became part of the exodus of children called the Lost Boys of Sudan. After many years in refugee camps, the brothers were brought to the US, Isaac to Boston and Abe, a minor, to Holt, Michigan. The brothers founded RSSVP to give back to those left behind and to help rebuild the country of their birth.

Initial Help from Rotary
The first step was to obtain land on which to build the school. The village elders donated land sufficient to build a school containing eight rooms and latrines. Next was to restore a source of water so that the girls would not spend their days seeking fresh water sources. RSSVP raised funds, of which the Lansing Rotary Club was a significant donor, to repair a well that had been damaged and unusable for 20 years and to dig a new well. Subsequently, the new South Sudanese government built a third well in anticipation of the new school. Over the past several years, donations from private donors, Rotary, the R.E.O. Foundation, and others have enabled RSSVP to build the first half of the proposed school.

Continued Help from Rotary
Most recently, donations by various Michigan Rotary Clubs enabled RSSVP to complete the last parts of the four classrooms—the floor, doors, and windows. Grants by the International Committee of the Rotary Club of Lansing and our District 6360 are enabling RSSVP to purchase the desks and chairs for the teachers, blackboards, the tables and benches for the students, and school supplies such as textbooks, pencils, and notepads. Abe travelled to Africa to oversee this last part and to open the school.

Each of the four completed classrooms can hold at least 30 students, with grades 1-4 being taught. This will enable all of the children of Majok-Chedhiop to attend plus accommodate other children from neighboring villages within walking distance. Once fundraising and construction for the remaining four classrooms is complete, grades 5-8 will be added.


Rotary Club of Lansing Foundation Grant Program Policies

Applications to the Rotary Club of Lansing Foundation are completed online. The focus of the grants will be providing financial support for qualified applicants through the application process. The following types of grants are funded:
  • Local Community Grants
  • Signature Grants
  • Community Impact Grants
  • International Grants
  • Emergency Needs
Local Community, Signature, and Community Impact grants must make a significant, positive difference in the Lansing community and must address one or more of the following:
  • Projects serving residents of Ingham, Clinton or Eaton counties
  • Projects serving an underserved or disadvantaged population
  • Projects enhancing cultural or economic elements of the community
  • Projects demonstrating a unique or emerging need that is unmet by another organization

  • Grants will be made to organizations and groups that are qualified under Section 501(c)3 of the Internal Revenue Code, or to churches, schools, governmental units, or another Rotary Club.
  • One project per organization per grant cycle will be awarded
  • All applicants are encouraged to provide a letter of support

Local Funding Categories and Maximum Grant Requests:

Each applicant must choose a funding category in which to apply:

Community Grants (grants up to $10,000)

Community Grant is a competitive program to support a nonprofit organization’s mission rather than specific projects or programs. General operating support is the working capital nonprofits need to sustain their day-to-day operations, enabling nonprofits to build a strong and sustainable infrastructure to provide programs and services that will have the greatest impact.

Signature Grants (grants up to $25,000 to $50,000)

Signature Grant is a competitive program for nonprofit organizations that provide funding assistance for the expansion, renovation, or construction of facilities; upgrade of equipment and furnishings to provide an up-to-date environment; and/or provide or increase accessibility to persons with disabilities.

Other Grants

Community Impact Grants, $50,000 to $125,000 (total disbursed over 1 to 3 years) meet the following criteria:
  • The goal of the Community Impact grant is for Lansing Rotary to be a lead grantor (catalyst) for projects designed and implemented to benefit the Lansing area.
  • Community Impact grants are identified by the Foundation and not through an application process.
International Grants – Members of the Rotary Club of Lansing can sponsor grants to 501(c)(3) organizations which advance world understanding, goodwill, and peace through the improvement of health, the support of education, and the alleviation of poverty.
Emergency Grants - The Rotary Club of Lansing Foundation has funds in the budget for “Emergency Needs” which can be used for the small but important requests received as a result of an unforeseen disaster such as fire, flood, pandemic. The Foundation Board will determine if an application for funds from The Emergency Needs Fund constitutes an emergency.  In general terms, an emergency is unanticipated, sudden change of circumstances (natural disaster, fire, etc.) for which there is insufficient time to seek other sources of funding, i.e., unexpected or unbudgeted expenses that with normal planning could not have been foreseen or predicted.  
Not Eligible for Funding
  • Grants will not be made to cover unrestricted capital campaigns, endowments, litigation costs, religious programming, deficit funding or debt retirement.
  • Grants will not be made directly to individuals.
  • Applicants with unmet obligations on prior grants may not apply.

Grant Review Process:

  • Applications will be reviewed by the Rotary Club of Lansing Foundation administrator for eligibility.
  • A review panel will be appointed and will consist of Rotary Club of Lansing Foundation board members, who are elected on the basis of their familiarity with, and expertise in, a broad spectrum of nonprofit organizations programming and reach. During the review panel meeting, applications are discussed, evaluated and scored according to the guidelines and selection criteria.
  • The panel may opt to recommend full or partial funding to any eligible applicant.
  • Decisions of the community review panel may not be appealed.
  • The Rotary Club of Lansing Foundation board of directors’ reviews and makes final decisions regarding the community review panel’s recommendations prior to notification and announcement of grants.

Selection Criteria:

Selections for awards will be based on the following:
  • Project Description – Complete, descriptive project narrative including the who, what, where, when, why and how. The use of funds must be for a high quality, exemplary project that addresses the Rotary Club of Lansing Foundation purpose.
  • Impact on Community - Merit of the proposed project’s impact upon the community and target audience.
  • Management - Feasibility of the project and ability of the organization to undertake and complete the project.
  • Evaluation and Measurement of Outcomes – description of how and what measures you will use to define success.
If your organization meets the qualifications laid out in the policy section, you can apply for your organization during the open application window in early February.  Please email Cathy Andrews at to be added to the notification list when the application link opens.