Community Grants

Woatsonville Rotary Grant Recipients
Rotary Grant Recipients 2018-2019

Community Grants

As part of our commitment to support our local community, the Watsonville Rotary Foundation makes grants to local non-profit organizations through its grant-making program.  The monetary grants support organizations that serve local youth that work to help minimize the factors that contribute to youth violence and/or support educational attainment.

Watsonville Rotary Foundation Guidelines for Community Grants

WELCOME GRANT SEEKERS

Since the inception of our Foundation’s grant-making efforts in FY 2017-18, Watsonville Rotary Foundation has awarded close to $100,000 through 57 small grants (ranging from $750 to a maximum of $2,500) to 41 nonprofit organizations serving thousands of vulnerable Pajaro Valley youth. These grants addressed youth needs through a broad spectrum of programs and services. Small grants have often played a critical role in the effectiveness of local nonprofits, especially small, grass-roots organizations. We are extremely proud of the resulting partnerships we have forged with these local organizations, and we are grateful that for four years, these small grants have helped to seed and strengthen numerous nonprofits serving thousands of Pajaro Valley youth.

TIME FOR A NEW APPROACH

As we begin our fifth year of grantmaking, the Watsonville Rotary Foundation is taking a new approach which we believe will further strengthen the organizations most effectively serving Pajaro Valley youth.

FIVE CHANGES IN APPROACH THIS YEAR

  1. In the past, our Foundation’s upper range for grantmaking has been as much as $2,500 per award. This year, we are doubling that amount to offer up to $5,000 per award. While this larger maximum amount (still considered a small grant) will result in fewer grants available, our goal is to determine if investing our grant funds in a more focused (less broad) manner yields a more impactful result for our youth.
  2. While maintaining our central commitment to funding programs that support vulnerable children and youth in our community, applicants must be able to demonstrate that their organization or specifically-funded programs are generating a substantial and lasting impact on the youth they serve.
  3. Only applicants whose annual budgets are $2.5 million or less are eligible to apply for a grant in any amount up to $5,000.
  4. Applicants will choose to focus their proposal on one of the revised Areas of Interest for Funding described in the Guidelines below.
  5. The Foundation is granting a more Flexible Spending approach this year. At the discretion of the nonprofit organization, applicants will choose (on their application) to earmark the grant funds they request for either programmatic needs or to support core operating costs.

As always, the Grants Review Committee (GRC) will use objective ranking tools to evaluate each proposal on a competitive basis. The proposals that most closely align with the goals and Areas of Interest for Funding included in these Guidelines will be recommended for funding.

FUNDING LIMITS: The Foundation’s budget for grantmaking this year is $30,000. Due to funding limitations, Watsonville Rotary Foundation will not be able to fund all requests submitted in response to this Request for Proposals (RFP).

NEW GUIDELINES FOR FY 2021-22

Please carefully review these revised grant guidelines and new approaches to determine whether your organization will submit a proposal this year.

AREAS OF INTEREST FOR FUNDING IN FISCAL YEAR 2021-22

  1. Safety Net & Crisis Resolution Services: These are programs that help families and children meet basic human needs for safety, food, shelter, clothing and childcare.
  2. Healthy Lifestyle, Learning and Living: These are programs that give youth access to activities and training that support youth with positive solutions to social problems, increase access to mental health services for youth and their families and increase access to education, job skills training or enrichment opportunities.
  3. Health and Youth Development: These are programs that encourage the practice of making safe and healthy lifestyle choices, teach life skills, conflict resolution, teamwork and ethical behavior.

ELIGIBILITY CRITERIA

Organizations that meet the following criteria are eligible to apply:

  • The applicant organization must be a nonprofit 501(c) (3), tax-exempt organization or a school-based program in the Pajaro Valley Unified School District, or have a 501(c) (3), tax-exempt organization as a fiscal sponsor.
  • The applicant organization must provide or plan to provide programs/services benefitting the residents of Watsonville (95076) including Pajaro, La Selva, Corralitos & Royal Oaks) as well as Freedom (95019) and Aromas (95004) in one of Watsonville Rotary’s Areas of Interest for Funding as described in these guidelines (above). The applicant organization does not need to be located in the Pajaro Valley, but the applicant organization must demonstrate that it provides or plans to provide services that substantially benefit residents of the Pajaro Valley.
  • The applicant organization must have an annual operating budget not to exceed $2.5 million.
  • The applicant organization must have a nondiscrimination policy in place.
  • The applicant organization must have the demonstrated capacity to carry out the program or core-operating work funded by the grant and to maintain fiscal accountability.

EXCLUSIONS/TYPES OF REQUESTS THAT WILL NOT BE CONSIDERED FOR FUNDING

In general, Watsonville Rotary does not give grants to:

  • For profit organizations
  • Projects that do not substantially benefit residents of the Pajaro Valley
  • Projects and proposals unrelated to Rotary’s defined Areas of Interest for Funding
  • Individuals
  • Religious organizations for religious purposes
  • Endowments, building campaigns, annual fund appeals, fundraising events or celebrations
  • Commercial ventures
  • Political Campaigns

 FUNDS AVAILABLE AND DURATION

Watsonville Rotary Foundation grants will be awarded in June 2022 to fund projects that will take place in FY 2022- 23.Watsonville Rotary Foundation will award grants of up to $5,000. Due to limited resources, applicants can apply for only one grant per year. Those who are awarded funding in a given year will not be eligible to apply the following year. However, they may apply again in the second year.

The number of grants and the amounts awarded are tied directly to Watsonville Rotary’s fundraising efforts on an annual basis and can vary from year to year. The Club’s GRC will review grant proposals in the spring of each year through an objective process designed to identify proposals that most closely align with our Grant Guidelines.

GRC recommendations are then forwarded to the Rotary Board of Directors for review. Approved grant awards are distributed in June. If your organization is approved for funding, we request that you recognize the Watsonville Rotary Club Foundation on your website, social media and/or advertising.

GRANT TERM

The grant term will be one year (July 2022-June 2023).

 TYPES OF SUPPORT

The Watsonville Rotary Foundation will consider proposals seeking either program support or core operating support.

GRANT CYCLE AND APPLICATION SCHEDULE

Grant Guidelines Released: October 15, 2021

Grant Application Due: January 31, 2022

Awards Announced: June 2022

HOW TO APPLY

First, please read these guidelines carefully before applying to determine if your organization meets the requirements for eligibility. Also, please make sure you are using the most up-to-date version of Acrobat Reader. Using the buttons below, applicant organizations should download and save the interactive PDF forms provided below. Organizations seeking core operating support must submit their annual operating budget instead of the Budget Worksheet provided below.

Your Grant Application Form, the appropriate Evaluation Form (Program or Core Operating), and the Budget Worksheet (or Annual Operating Budget for Core Operating grants) make up your grant proposal and are required for submission. The fourth (a PDF of these guidelines) is provided for your convenience.

Download Grant Proposal Application

Download Program Evaluation Worksheet

Download Core Operating Grant Evaluation Worksheet

Download Project Budget Worksheet

Download Grant Guidelines

Once downloaded, complete the required information and save your documents to your computer. When ready to submit, email all three completed grant proposal forms (substituting your organization annual budget if applying for core operating funds) no later than 4 p.m. on Monday, January 31, 2022 to the GRC Chair (email contact below). Applicants may choose to combine the three required documents in a single PDF using Acrobat Reader if desired.

Kathleen King, Chair
Grants Review Committee
Watsonville Rotary Club Foundation
kkingponzio@gmail.com
831-234-0062

CONFIRMATION OF RECEIPT:

The GRC Chair will confirm receipt of your grant application materials by email within five business days of your submission. NOTE: If you do not receive confirmation, it is your responsibility to contact the Chair immediately at the email or phone number above.

Community Grants Awarded

2020-2021 Grants Awarded

The Watsonville Rotary Club is pleased to announce the recipients of its 2020-21 Community Grants Program.  In June, 2021, grants were made to organizations and activities in the Watsonville community that encompassed preventing youth/gang violence, encouraging youth to stay in school, and/or offering educational and skills development opportunities to guide students in the pursuit of happy and productive lives. The awards were limited to a total of $1,000 each to 14 local programs serving Pajaro Youth. This amount was reduced significantly from the prior year grant funding offered $35,000) due to the cancellation of our Club’s major annual fundraising event (The Maine Lobster Dinner) during the height of the Covid Pandemic. Organizations receiving grant funding from Watsonville Rotary are noted with an asterisk.*

AG HISTORY PROJECT $1,000*  This grant supports installation of bilingual signage (English/Spanish) for the exhibits at the Ag History Project in order to better serving local residents, including children, whose primary language is Spanish.

FOOD WHAT! $1,000  Funding will support access for Pajaro Valley youth to safe and enriching opportunities  to immerse themselves in education that encourages advocacy for healthy food, healthy diet, food justice and youth well-being.

LIVE LIKE COCO FOUNDATION $1,000  Funding will support purchase of 1,000 Spanish language books to be used in Coco’s Birthday Books Program or to be given away at five PVUSD elementary schools and/or at Little Free Libraries in the Pajaro Valley.  Cocos’s will also continue to deliver free, new English-language books for students to choose as a birthday gift.

MENTORS DRIVING CHANGE FOR BOYS, MEN AND DADS $1,000  Programming provides mentoring services to boys, men and fathers to help them develop enriched awareness and engagement in seeking positive solutions to social and personal problems and to develop healthy masculinity.

MONTEREY BAY ECONOMIC PARTNERSHIP $1,000*  Funding supports free services to students, employers, educators and the community that includes Monterey Bay internships, local college career readiness resources, job seeker resources and local labor market data.

NOURISHING GENERATIONS $1,000  Funding helps cover costs for the agency’s nutrition, cooking and fitness education programs for low-income children at five Mid-Peninsula Affordable Housing sites in the Pajaro Valley.  Children will learn healthy eating and exercise habits, culinary skills along with proper kitchen safety and hygiene.

O’NEILL SEA ODYSSEY $1,000  Programming supports enrollment of up to 300  PVUSD students with in O’Neill Seas Odyssey.  Students will take part in a “living” classroom on a 65-foot catamaran sailing Monterey Bay where they will engage in hands-on lessons in marine science, watershed-to-the-sea ecology and navigation. Follow-up classes will take place at the shore-side education center at the Santa Cruz Harbor where students will learn to use science tools and technology for academic and career experience to encourage a life of ocean stewardship.

PAJARO VALLEY SHELTER SERVICES $1,000  Funding is used to supplement the cost of providing mandatory workshops for all families at the Pajaro Valley Shelter Services (PVSS).  The workshops empower homeless families by teaching emotional stability, positive parenting, family planning, banking & budgeting, safety in the home, health & nutrition and especially focus on strategies for economic self-sufficiency, enabling them to move into stable housing.

SANTA CRUZ SYMPHONY ASSOCIATION $1,000  Funding  helps support the symphony’s Youth Concerts at the Mello Center (or by Zoom if necessary due to Covid-19 precautions)in Watsonville to introduce Pajaro Valley elementary school students to classical music.  Included in programming is connection to an ongoing music education program that provides teachers with the tools to teach their students how to read music by singing and clapping to rhythms, and to learn to play an instrument like a recorder or ukulele.

WATSONVILLE POLICE ACTIVITIES LEAGUE $1,000*  Programming provides academic support and recreational activities for Pajaro Valley youth, ages 8-17, at two WPAL locations. Programs include homework support, arts and crafts, hiking, gardening and mentoring. Grant funds would be applied toward fees that will help keep low-income youth enrolled in programs.

WATSONVILLE WETLAND WATCH $1,000  Funding supports a new, free program offered by Watsonville Wetlands Watch,  the Climate Corp Leadership Initiative (CCLI).  The program enrolls up to 15 local high school students in a hybrid (depending on Covid-19 precautions required) of in-person and online environmental education, stewardship action, leadership development and career exploration.

YOUR FUTURE IS OUR BUSINESS $1,000  Funding is used to support a series of work-based learning experiences for PV elementary, middle and high school students through career expos, career panels and job shadowing opportunities

VENTANA WILDERNESS ALLIANCE $1,000*  Funding supports overnight and day hikes for up to 30 Pajaro Valley youth, ages 13-18, to expose them to the wilderness where they learn first-hand the benefits that time in nature bestows, including, history of the indigenous residents of the area, exercise, healthy habits, stress relief, strengthening the immune system and sparking inspiration.  The program includes classroom orientation in a preparatory workshop, followed by immersion in the outdoor classroom.

25 KIDS $1,000*  This program provides access to no-cost books by staging book fairs at elementary schools in the PVUSD.  Teachers and librarians help students make appropriate reading choices.  500 elementary children will receive one new and one used book to take home

2019-2020 Grants Awarded

The Watsonville Rotary is pleased to announce the recipients of its 2019-2020 Grants Program.  In June, 2020, grants were made to organizations and activities in the Watsonville community that encompassed preventing youth/gang violence, encouraging youth to stay in school, and/or offering educational and skills development opportunities to guide students in the pursuit of happy and productive lives. The awards totaled a record high of $35,000 and were funded through 100% of the proceeds of the 2019 Lobster Feast and Gala.  Organizations receiving funding for the first time are noted with an asterisk “*”.

ARTS COUNCIL OF SANTA CRUZ COUNTY/MARIPOSA ART* $2,050
Assist high school students in developing skills to co-teach art lessons to elementary and middle school students

CABRILLO COLLEGE’S ENGINEERING ABROAD PROGRAM $2,500
Support Pajaro Valley Cabrillo College students in the Engineering Abroad Program

COMMUNITY BIKES COLLECTIVE $2,000
Provide a safe environment for at-risk and disadvantaged youth learn to use bikes safely

COMMUNITY BRIDGES (LA MANZANA COMMUNITY RESOURCES $2,000
Free bilingual counseling and mental health services for underserved families and youth

DIGITAL NEST $1,500
Support the bizzNEST program to enable youth to gain valuable experience through working with clients

HOSPICE OF SANTA CRUZ COUNTY $2,000
Provide youth with grief support programs

JACOB’S HEART CHILDREN’S CANCER SERVICE $2,500
Support an At-risk Youth Mentorship Program for siblings of children with cancer program

KIDPOWER $2,500
Staff and youth training for Violence Prevention and Intervention Skill-Building Program in local schools

NATIONAL ALLIANCE ON MENTAL HEALTH ISSUES (NAMI)* $1,500
Support the “Ending the Silence” Program to reduce the stigma of mental illness by educating students about mental health issues

PAJARO VALLEY COMMUNITY HEALTH TRUST/DHC $2,000
Diabetes education services for low-income and underserved children and families

PAJARO VALLEY EDUCATION FOUNDATION $2,450
Purchase distance learning supplies for special education teachers and therapists (OT, PT) during the COVID-19 pandemic

PAJARO VALLEY PREVENTION & STUDENT ASSISTANCE (PVPSA) $2,000
Support the summer Empower Watsonville Youth Leadership Program and Conference

POSITIVE DISCIPLINE COMMUNITY RESOURCE* $2,500
Support workshops for at-risk youth to develop positive social, emotional, and life skills

SANTA CRUZ COMMUNITY VENTURES* $2,000
Support the Santa Cruz Seeds/Semillitas to establish college/vocational school savings accounts for low-income babies at birth

TEEN KITCHEN $2,500
Support the Teen Chef Program

WATSONVILLE TAIKO GROUP* $2,500
Support free public performances, classes and workshops in local schools to expose children to Taiko drumming

2018-2019 Grants Awarded

Awardees were selected through a rigorous competitive process overseen by the Rotary’s Grants Review Committee.   Proposals  were evaluated based upon their evaluation of addressing the Rotary’s funding priorities for the Watsonville community: 1) preventing youth/gang violence;  2) encouraging youth to stay in school; and 3) offering an array of educational and skills development opportunities to help guide students in the pursuit of happy and productive lives.

Court Appointed Special Advocates

Ceiba Public Schools Foundation

Ecology Action

Friends of Santa Cruz Public Libraries (La Selva Summer Reading Program)

Jovenes Sanos

Live Like Coco Foundation

Music in May

New School Community Day School

Nourishing Generations Educational Project

O’Neill Sea Odyssey

Pajaro Valley Shelter Services

Santa Cruz Symphony Association (youth concerts)

Fairgrounds Foundation (Careers in Ag Mentorship)

Second Harvest Food Bank

Watsonville Ivy League Project

Your Future Is Our Business

Youth Now

2017-18 Grants Awarded

AZTECAS YOUTH SOCCER ACADEMY $1,500
Year-round soccer team for at risk-youth

COMMUNITY ACTION BOARD $ 750
Alcance’s-Xinachtli Girl Empowerment Program

DIGITAL NEST $ 500
Retreat for Youth-Led Consultancy

FAMILY SERVICES OF THE CENTRAL COAST $1,000
Survivor’s Health Center, Caring 4 Kids

Food What?! $1,500
Food for Self, Family & Community Program

HOSPICE OF SANTA CRUZ COUNTY $1,500
Children’s Grief Support Program

JACOB’S HEART CHILDREN’S CANCER SERVICES $1,500
Teen Support & Peer Mentorship

KIDPOWER $1,500
Building Capacity to Reduce Youth Violence

MENtors, Driving Change for Boys, Men and Dads $ 750
Boys Inc. Club

PAJARO VALLEY PREVENTION & STUDENT ASSISTANCE $ 750
TUPE Summer Youth Development Program

PAJARO VALLEY UNIFIED SCHOOL DISTRICT $ 750
College & Career Center

TRIPS FOR KIDS $1,000
Take 100 Kids Mountain Biking

WATSONVILLE WETLANDS WATCH $1,000
Green Careers Institute