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.
In 2016, the foundation announced a fourth round of 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.
In 2017, the foundation announced a fifth round of Rosin Fund grants, totaling $2,121,000 over three years, to six innovative and high-impact projects in the Arts and Strengthening New York Communities areas.
2018 Rosin Fund Grants:
The Scherman Foundation is pleased to support its sixth round of Katharine S. and Axel G. Rosin Fund grants, totaling $889,000 over three years, to three innovative and high-impact projects in the Environment area. Grants were made to the following projects:
Clean Coalition, $264,000 over two years
Clean Coalition, whose motto is “Making Clean Local Energy Accessible Now,” utilizes policy and regulatory advocacy, technological research, planning, economic modeling, and communications strategies to implement local, renewable electrical power systems, relying primarily on solar and storage.
The Rosin Fund grant supports its North Bay Community Resilience Initiative, which is focused on several Sonoma County working-class suburbs which were devastated in the climate-driven wildfires of last October. There is both the local determination and a clear need to build back these communities in a way that addresses the need for climate mitigation and adaptation, while lowering costs and increasing local resilience.
Urban Green Council, $250,000 over two years
The Urban Green Council (UGC) is the local affiliate of the U.S. Green Building Council, mobilizing architects, builders, government agencies, city planners, environmental designers, and others to transform the city’s buildings to create a sustainable future. It provides economic and design analysis, policy development, and professional education to spur market changes, new policies and regulations, and pilot projects.
The Rosin Fund grant supports the Advancing Electrification: Tackling Carbon in Multifamily Buildings Project, which will test its thesis that widespread use of heat pumps in large multifamily residential buildings is technologically and economically feasible as well as environmentally beneficial.
WaterNow Alliance, $375,000 over three years
WaterNow was founded in 2015 by leaders in water policy, law, business, and government to promote climate resilient water solutions by engaging local decision-makers and connecting them to new ideas, resources, and one another. It works on policy, technological research, and coalition-building, and showcases replicable and scalable community-based strategies.
The Rosin Fund grant supports the Catalyzing Leaders Campaign: Revolutionizing Utility Investment in Sustainable Water Infrastructure Project, which is based on the dual premise that massive investment in Distributed Infrastructure (DI) is critical to maintaining clean water, but that an intensive educational process will be required to change behavior and drive overwhelmingly conservative local water utilities to capitalize DI projects.