About the Rose Foundation


Our Vision

The Rose Foundation envisions a future where nature is protected, people’s rights are ensured, and environmental justice is advanced, and where these three values are deeply interconnected.


Our Mission

We support grassroots initiatives that help build a world in which individuals, organizations, and communities are empowered to promote stewardship of nature, inspire people to take action, and hold government and corporations accountable.

To accomplish our mission, we:

• Foster Stewardship

• Build Community

• Demand Justice


Our Theory of Change

Rose Foundation's Theory of Change


Our Theory of Change is represented as a set of three interlocking “gear wheels” that generate change as they rotate. This graphical representation reflects the ways our values, resources, and strategies drive forward our vision for change.

Find out more about our Theory of Change, and how our values, resources, and vision fit together to turn the wheels of change in our world.


Our Programs

New Voices Are Rising Program

New Voices Are Rising strives to develop young leaders in low-income communities and communities of color in Oakland by helping young people gain the skills and experience in civic engagement required to tackle the many problems – especially environmental health problems – that disproportionately impact their communities.

Grantmaking Programs

Grantmaking programs support community-based projects and organizations that are building long-term solutions that benefit people, the environment and the economy. Grantmaking is organized into specific funds with distinct geographic, issue-based and size parameters. Most grants funds are advised by a volunteer funding board who donate their time and expertise to help us find and support strategic, innovative and effective organizations whose work closely fits the goals of the particular fund.

If you are a grant seeker, click here to learn how to apply for a grant. 

If you are a funder, click here to learn more about how we design our grantmaking programs.


Rose Foundation Roots and Philosophy

Rose Foundation was founded by Jill Ratner and Tim Little in 1992. The Foundation is dedicated to the memory of Rose Ratner, whose wit, wisdom and commitment were forged in the neighborhoods of Chicago over the course of 50 years of community activism.

Inspired by Rose, we believe that environmental stewardship, community regeneration, consumer protection, robust civic participation and a healthy economy are all inextricably linked. As a society, we cannot expect to achieve lasting economic progress at the expense of the environment, worker, or community rights. Similarly, lasting environmental, consumer, and community protections must also be grounded in economic reality. Civic participation, especially by traditionally disempowered communities, often serves as the necessary catalyst. Alliances between traditionally diverse interests provides a fundamental and lasting glue that binds long-term sustainable solutions.

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