Finding the Right Home for RIOC’s Public Purpose Funds

October 30, 2017

The Roosevelt Island Residents’ Association Common Council is honored to once again participate in the Roosevelt Island Operating Corporation’s process aimed at granting Public Purpose Funds (PPF) to qualified Roosevelt Island nonprofit applicants. 


Last year, the Common Council approved the PPF Committee recommendations to grant nine applicants varying amounts of funds, totaling $100,000. Those recommendations were submitted to, and approved by, the RIOC Board. This year, preliminary indications are that there will be about ten or so applicants vying for a portion of the $100,000 pot RIOC has again designated for this purpose. If prior year requests are an indication, we can expect that the total funds requested will far exceed the total funds available. This disparity creates perhaps the greatest challenge to the committee. 


The RIRA PPF committee takes a number of important considerations into account including: choosing committee members devoid of any conflicts of interest, ensuring a thorough and individual review of each application, agreeing upon schedules to conduct public interviews of applicants, ensuring independent scoring of applications, and reconciling different recommended grant amounts from committee members. 


Once the committee completes its process duties, it will submit its report for review and approval at a scheduled meeting of the Common Council. This meeting will be open to the public as are all meetings of the Common Council. The final report will then be submitted to responsible officials at RIOC for eventual presentation to the RIOC Board for final review and approval. 


The exact schedule for the RIOC review and approval process is not known to the Committee as of this writing, nor are the specific applicants along with the total amount of each request. That information will be available soon. What is known is that a lot of effort is required for a successful process to work. As Chairperson of the Committee, I am aware of the need for unbiased members with high integrity and a strong desire to help serve the community. The committee consists of Erin-Feely Nahem, Cindy Wilkinson, Shirley Coley, and Chris Gassman. In that regard, my confidence is at the highest.



Dave Evans 

Chair, RIRA Public Purpose Fund Committee


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