Ross invests in a small number of direct grants to federal tax-exempt 501(c)(3) organizations, schools, and government programs that serve a community in an area where we have a large presence and many Associates. Ross’ goal is to have a meaningful impact with our grants, and we will consider funding organizations that are strongly aligned with our philanthropic mission.

We have a two-staged review process with deadlines. Interested and eligible nonprofits will be asked to submit a Letter of Inquiry followed by an invitation-only full grant proposal.

Ross will welcome requests for one-year grants of $10,000, $20,000, or $30,000, and will consider funding both general operations/overhead and specific programs.

Grant Cycles

In 2020, we will have two grant cycles.

We are requesting Letters of Inquiry between July 1-15, 2020 for consideration in our first grant cycle. All eligible and interested organizations must register and submit a Letter of Inquiry through our online portal by July 15, 2020. After review, only a select number of organizations that strongly align with Ross’ mission will be asked to submit a full proposal. Grant awards will be announced in early October. We do not accept Letters of Inquiry via mail, email, or fax.

We will also request Letters of Inquiry between October 12-23, 2020 for consideration in the second grant cycle. All eligible and interested organizations must register and submit a Letter of Inquiry through our online portal by October 23, 2020. After review, only a select number of organizations that strongly align with Ross’ mission will be asked to submit a full proposal. Grant awards will be announced in mid-January 2021.

We expect to award approximately 20-30 grants total between these two grant cycles.

How to Apply

  1. Review Giving Guidelines and Eligibility Requirements

    Please review our giving guidelines and eligibility requirements for this program.

    In summary, your organization must:

    • Be a federal tax-exempt 501(c)(3) organization, school, or government program.
    • Align with our philanthropic mission to create brighter futures by building academic achievement and life skills in economically disadvantaged youth, ages 3-24.
    • Have not received a donation from Ross’ Regional Giving Program within the past 12 months. One exception is that organizations that have received gift cards or a small Store-Based Giving grant within the past 12 months may apply for a Regional Giving Program grant.
    • Serve a community in an area where Ross has a large presence and many Associates, which are the following areas:
      • California: San Francisco Bay Area, Los Angeles Area*, Moreno Valley, Perris, Shafter
      • Pennsylvania: Carlisle
      • South Carolina: Rock Hill, Fort Mill

    * Eligible programs in the Los Angeles Area will serve the communities north of Long Beach, south of Burbank and Pasadena, and west of I-605.

    While Ross has a large presence in other areas, such as New York City, the Regional Giving Program only serves those areas listed above. Organizations that do not meet the geographic criteria may be referred to our Store-Based Giving Program.

  2. Eligibility Quiz

    The eligibility quiz will help determine whether organizations and programs are aligned with our mission and comply with our guidelines. Take the eligibility quiz.

  3. Letter of Inquiry

    Upon completion of the eligibility quiz, eligible organizations will be prompted to register and complete an online Letter of Inquiry, which is a series of questions about the grant proposal. Submission of the Letter of Inquiry does not constitute a grant application. Information requested about the organization and planned use of the funds will help us determine whether there is alignment with Ross’ mission and objectives. We ask that organizations limit their submission to one Letter of Inquiry. We do not accept submissions via mail, email, or fax.

    Due to the high volume of submissions, we are unable to provide feedback on Letters of Inquiry that are not accepted.

  4. Full Proposal by Invitation Only

    Following review of the Letters of Inquiry, Ross will contact organizations that are most aligned with our mission approximately two weeks following the Letter of Inquiry deadline and invite them to submit a full grant proposal online. If further information is needed about the grant proposal, a Ross representative will contact the organization. We will announce a decision on awards within two months of the grant proposal deadline.

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