Funding for Rosenwald Schools

Rosenwald Schools represent an important chapter in the history of the United States. Originally begun through a partnership between Booker T. Washington of Tuskegee Institute and Julius Rosenwald, president of Sears, Roebuck & Company, the program for building rural African American schools provided seed grants for the construction of more than 5,300 schools, shops, and teachers’ homes across the South and Southwest. Today it is estimated that less than 15 percent of the buildings survive.

The National Trust, through its Rosenwald Schools Initiative, has a goal of saving Rosenwald Schools as vital hubs of community activity and revitalization. To date, the National Trust has provided a more than $2 million in grant funding to support the restoration of Rosenwald Schools. The following grant programs are available exclusively to nonprofit organizations or government agencies working to save a Rosenwald School in their community.

Rosenwald School Centennial Fund

Funding Type: Rehabilitation & Restoration
Maximum Grant: $20,000
The April 15, 2013 deadline has passed. 

Grants from the National Trust for Historic Preservation’s Rosenwald School Centennial Fund enable local groups to respond proactively to preservation challenges by providing grants for the physical restoration and rehabilitation of Rosenwald School buildings. Grants from the Rosenwald School Centennial Fund will be a maximum of $20,000 and matching funds are required.  Read more.

Alice Rosenwald Flexible Fund

Funding Type: Preservation Planning, Education, Bricks and Mortar
Maximum Grant: $5,000
Next Deadline: Applications accepted on a rolling basis

The Alice Rosenwald Flexible Fund is intended to advance ongoing Rosenwald School preservation activities. The fund supports, but is not limited to, such needs as preservation planning, engineering studies, architectural plans, rehabilitation, workshops and conferences, publications, films, oral history, scholarships, surveys, photography, archeology, and research.  Grants range from $500 to $5,000 and require a dollar-for-dollar match. Read more.

Richard E. Deutsch Memorial Fund for Rosenwald Schools

Funding Type: Preservation Planning
Maximum Grant: $5,000
Next Deadline: Applications accepted on a rolling basis

Grants from the National Trust for Historic Preservation’s Richard E. Deutsch Memorial Fund for Rosenwald Schools are designed to advance ongoing Rosenwald School preservation planning activities. Preference is given to projects related to Rosenwald Schools located in Tennessee. The fund supports, but is not limited to, projects such as preservation planning, engineering studies, architectural plans, archeology, and research that advance the preservation of Rosenwald School buildings. Grants range from $500 to $5,000 and require a dollar-for-dollar match. Read more.