We are excited to announce our District’s first ever Shark Tank for Rotary Foundation grant opportunities!
What the heck are we talking about?  Well, we are going to have a Shark Tank style breakout session at this year’s District Conference of Clubs.  We are inviting clubs that haven’t sponsored a grant in at least three years to bring proposals for 2020-21 forward.  We are going to take the top 3 or 4 grant ideas and invite them to present in this breakout to our group of “sharks”. 
Who are the sharks?  They are going to be representatives from clubs in our district who are active in grants and have a history of partnering with clubs to help fund their grants (that’s where YOUR CLUB comes in!).  It will be their job to not only ask questions and give feedback but will be able to commit funds to the grants right then and there!  Then, on top of the funds from your club and the others, you’ll be able to get a grant match from The Rotary Foundation!
To help bring this to life, an example: Let’s say a club came up with a need in their community that they’d like to address, and the total cost was $5,000 but the club only has $1,000 to contribute.  Our Shark Tank is a perfect opportunity for them to present the idea to other clubs that could partner with them!  After the clubs present at the Shark Tank, your club as a shark will determine how you want to commit funds to these grant proposals.  If clubs were willing to give another $2,000, that would make $3,000 total…and you’d be able to get a grant match from TRF for around $2,000 for the full $5,000! 
So…what are your next steps?
  1. Have a discussion within your club (at committee or board level?) to determine if you want to participate. 
  2. Reach out to District Grants Team Leader Margie Horning (Margie.horning@comcast.net) to acknowledge your desire to participate, along with the person from your club that will be the shark and how much your club would be willing to contribute to these grant proposals. (**see below for a few additional details**)  THE DEADLINE FOR ENTRY IS MARCH 19th!!
  3. Register for the District 5960 Conference of Clubs to be a part of our District Grants Shark Tank!
I hope you’re as excited as we are about this great opportunity.  You’ll be able to provide great feedback to clubs on their grants, and make them excited about participating in a Foundation grant…helping create new energy in the club!
For more questions, please reach out to Margie Horning (Margie.horning@comcast.net) or Kyle Haugen (jkylehaugen@gmail.com)
**Additional details**
  • Clubs acting as sharks will be asked to contribute to the grant proposals in $250 increments ($250 minimum, $3,000 maximum per grant you are interested in).  A club does not have to provide funding to each of the grant proposals, but at least one partnership is required
  • The limit for clubs acting as “Sharks” will be four.  If more than four clubs apply, the Grants Team will select the clubs based on their grant partnership history and the amount of money they are willing to spend during the Shark Tank. 
  • If a club does not use all of the funds they are willing to spend on potential partnerships at Shark Tank, it is suggested that they earmark the remaining funds for partner contributions to other District Grants during the 2020-21 Rotary year.