In 2012, through the generosity of a bequest from Katharine Scherman Rosin the Foundation established a new giving program, The Katharine S. and Axel G. Rosin Fund (Rosin Fund), which provides support for a limited number of innovative, short-term and high-impact projects that address critical issues in the Arts, the Environment and Strengthening New York Communities.
Katharine S. Rosin was born in New York City, the daughter of Bernadine and Harry Scherman, founder of the Foundation. A gifted author of ten non-fiction books, her interests ranged from ornithology and mountain climbing, to classical music and European history. Her broad knowledge and experience, and clear sense of right and wrong, illuminated the deliberations of the Foundation’s board for almost 50 years. Her generous bequest has allowed the Foundation to substantially increase its giving with the Rosin Fund, jointly named for her husband of 62 years, Axel G. Rosin. Born in Germany, Axel immigrated to the United States in 1934 under the looming threat of Nazism. He went on to become the president of the Book-of-the-Month Club, founded by his father-in-law Harry Scherman, and the chairman and guiding spirit of the Scherman Foundation. From the time of his retirement from the Club he committed full-time to the work of the Foundation. His humanity, vision, and belief in the effectiveness of non-profit leaders and organizations in building a more just world guided the Foundation for more than twenty years.
Previous Rosin Fund Grants:
The Scherman Foundation inaugurated its first round of Katharine S. and Axel G. Rosin Fund grants in 2013, totaling $4,226,029 over three years, to eight innovative and high-impact projects in the areas of Arts, Environment, and Strengthening New York Communities.
In 2014, the foundation announced a second round of Rosin Fund grants, totaling $3,200,000 over three years, to eight more innovative and high-impact projects in the areas of Arts, Environment, and Strengthening New York Communities.
In 2015, the foundation announced a third round of Rosin Fund grants, totaling $2,230,000 over three years, to five innovative and high-impact projects in the areas of Arts and Strengthening New York Communities.
2016 Rosin Fund Grants:
The Scherman Foundation is pleased to support its fourth round of Katharine S. and Axel G. Rosin Fund grants, totaling $1,040,000 over three years, to three innovative and high-impact projects in the Environment area. The Foundation also made an additional $100,000 matching grant to a current Rosin-funded project. Grants were made to the following projects:
Oregon Environmental Council, $375,000 over three years
Founded in 1968, the Oregon Environmental Council (OEC) is the state’s premier multi-issue environmental organization, using policy and scientific research, organizing, public education, and advocacy to address issues of climate, fresh water, wilderness protection, recycling, and toxics.
The Rosin Fund grant supports its Legalizing Sustainability: Advancing Eco-Friendly and Affordable Water and Sanitation Infrastructure Project in collaboration with Recode and International Living Future Institute, which will work to change the statutory, administrative, and policy frameworks in Washington, Oregon, and California in order to encourage decentralized wastewater solutions that save water and energy while increasing community-level resiliency. The Project will also facilitate several pilot projects that demonstrate solutions and educate decision-makers.
Solar One, $365,000 over three years
Solar One founded Stuyvesant Cove Park in 2004, turning its two-acre site on the banks of the East River between 18th and 23rd streets into a vibrant cultural hub and environmental educational center, including an off-the-grid, solar-powered classroom and recreational building. Solar One’s current Here Comes Solar program works to promote PV solar for low and moderate income (LMI) communities. It has worked closely with the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) to aggregate solar demand in LMI communities, thereby reducing the cost of customer acquisition, permitting, and installation by 20% in 2015 alone.
The Rosin Fund grant supports Shared Community Solar, which will use virtual net metering and new rooftop canopies to facilitate the financing, demand/customer aggregation, and installation of rooftop PV solar arrays on low and moderate income (LMI) housing developments in New York City.
Western Resource Advocates, $300,000 over three years
Western Resource Advocates (WRA) works in the Interior West—Arizona, Colorado, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, Utah, and Wyoming—to protect the area’s land, water, and air. The Energy Program works to restrain the growth of carbon intensive electrical production and to encourage energy efficiency and the use of renewables.
The Rosin Fund grant supports Water Efficiency Standards for Next-Generation Public-Private Retrofit Programs in the West, which will work with governmental and private interests in New Mexico, Nevada, and Colorado to create best practices for each state’s water conservation performance contract program, and to implement two pilot projects.
Charles River Watershed Association, $100,000 one-year matching grant
An additional matching grant of $100,000 for a fourth project year of its Smart Sewering: Infrastructure for a Livable Future, an innovative approach to fundamentally changing urban wastewater infrastructure that will harness the potential of wastewater to generate energy, free capacity in existing sewers to protect cities from flooding, foster smart growth, and reduce pollution to rivers.