The RS&H Elevate Fund has compiled a grant impact report to shine a light on the organizations that have received grants over the past year. From May 2019 through April 2020, RS&H donated close to $100,000 to 24 nonprofits in communities across the country – all organizations dedicated to helping people in need, supporting children or providing educational programming.
The Elevate Fund was established by associates in 2018 and since then has made significant impacts, having distributed more than $199,000 to over 38 nonprofits in nine states. As a result, grants awarded have served over 23,000 people, nearly 17 times the number of associates at RS&H.
“The Elevate Fund has come so far since its beginning, and I’m so proud to continue our tradition of community involvement at RS&H,” said Chief Executive Officer Dave Sweeney. “This report offers a look back at a rewarding year and really allows us to appreciate the impact of the grants and how they have positively affected our communities.”
RS&H Associates’ Important Role
The Elevate Fund provides a unique opportunity for associates to support organizations in their own communities that also align with RS&H’s core values. Associates submit grant applications to the Elevate Committee, which then provides grants to different nonprofits in four payouts throughout each fiscal year.
“I must admit, it is exciting when you first learn your charity is a recipient of a grant awarded through RS&H’s Elevate Fund,” said Ben Chandler, an environmental specialist for the Sustainable Solutions Service Group. “We are so fortunate to work for an organization that supports the communities where we work and live.”
Chandler’s chosen organization, K9s for Warriors, is the nation’s largest provider of service dogs for disabled American veterans. Over the last four years, Chandler and his family have worked with K9s For Warriors by fostering three puppies, two of which have been specially paired with their warriors for a lifelong companionship.
Varied Investments Across Communities
RS&H’s investments are varied, covering several core areas. A large portion of the grants have gone to engineering and STEM programming, like the Girl Scouts of Gateway Council STEM Summer Camp in Jacksonville, Fla. The camp is dedicated to allowing young girls to explore STEM through interactive activities, sparking their interest in the field. A team of 12 RS&H associates also volunteered to host three sets of activities at the weeklong camp last year.
“The girls were introduced to autonomous vehicle simulations and water drainage concepts, built catapults and batteries, and even ate a road made of chocolate and ice cream,” said Amanda Schram, a traffic engineer.
Grants are also frequently allocated to civic, community, and human services – providing children with the resources to participate in educational afterschool programs, facilitating services for those in need or with disabilities, and funding necessary meals for food-insecure individuals.
Elevate Fund’s Look Ahead
As the Elevate Fund looks ahead, its mission is expanding to reflect an additional priority. Going forward, the tenant “helping people in need” will also incorporate the importance of organizations that help the environment.
In the past year, one grant funded a group of Denver employees’ mission to plant trees in an urban park through the Mile High Tree Champions, a branch of nonprofit The Park People.
“Thanks to the Elevate Fund, we were able to plant 26 trees here in Denver, coming one step closer to achieving the Denver Certifiably Green Accreditation,” said Evan Brigham, a transportation engineer.
It is the Elevate Fund steering committee’s hope that future payouts will support environmentally focused nonprofits at an even greater capacity.