Grants Archive

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Recharge America

May 12, 2023

Amount Requested$90,000.00


100 Shoreline Hwy, Suite 100, Building B
Mill Valley, California 94941

Kirk Brown


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  • Carbon Reduction/Clean Energy
Proposal Information

Funds are Being Requested for:

Program Support

Mission Statement

Recharge America is a 501(c)3 non-profit whose goal is to promote local economic and community development by accelerating the pace of electric vehicle adoption in communities across the country and promote an equitable transition to vehicle electrification as a result. Recharge America supports joint action by key community figures including: local community foundations, local family foundations, business leaders, educational leaders, and local electric utilities to accelerate electric vehicle adoption by (1) spurring installation of publicly accessible, community-sponsored electric vehicle charging, (2) facilitating ongoing community educational events and activities related to electric vehicles and the emerging clean energy economy, and (3) promoting business and educational development pipelines in support of the process. Recharge America also supports community and statewide recognition campaigns aimed at recognizing leaders in the transition to electric transportation and conducts stand-alone consumer engagement fairs related to the emerging clean vehicle economy.

Amount Requested


Program Budget


Organizational Budget


Relationship to the Olseth Family Foundation


Summarize Your Request

The work we describe here touches on three aspects of the Olseth Family Foundation strategy:
• Benefiting the environment - In Minnesota, along with nearly every other state, transportation is the number one source of greenhouse gas emissions, the leading contributor to climate change. Reducing emissions from vehicles will help to address this devastating impact on the environment.
• Education - the burgeoning clean energy and clean transportation economy provides significant opportunity for workforce training and education. Recharge America engages higher education and technical training entities in each community to ensure that residents have access to the learning and training opportunities available.
• Supporting the underserved - The Recharge Minnesota program works with key towns and communities that have the most to gain and the most to lose by being left out of the EV conversation. As with rural electrification, the interstate highway system, and broadband connectivity, the decisions made today will have implications for clean air, climate, and equitable access to transportation for many years to come. Addressing the equity elements of vehicle electrification is a cornerstone principle for Recharge America.

Overview of the Grant Request

Population Served

Minnesota Residents and Businesses

Geographic Area Served

Greater Minnesota

List Three Measurable Goals That This Funding Will Help You Achieve.

Community Engagement Goal: Establish or maintain 3-5 active community campaigns, which include hosting a large-scale community event.

Leadership Recognition Goals:
Grow participation by 50%
Grow audience and potential reach by 200%
Expand opportunities for peer-to-peer learning through networking, workshops, and quarterly newsletters
Increasing Participant benefits with the ability to access white papers, grants they can apply for and the ability to post open jobs on our website
Deliver an impactful annual recognition event

How Will You Accomplish These Goals?

The Recharge Minnesota program works with key towns and communities that have the most to gain and the most to lose by being left out of the EV conversation. In each key community, we galvanize a group of local leaders to activate and steer an ongoing public education initiative. Each stakeholder group includes local leaders: civic, business, and local funders. The education program is coupled with a state-level recognition effort that spotlights entities that are working toward EV adoption and infrastructure goals, which serves to help others learn best practices and follow suit.

Using a well-honed playbook for mobilizing and organizing local business and civic leaders, each campaign engages community members in articulating a place-based plan to support EV adoption. We accomplish this by framing community-centric engagement within the context of the economic benefits that a community will gain as a result of the shift. This conversation entry point affords us the ability to motivate those who may not otherwise engage.

Recharge America’s funding formula blends national, state, and local resources, resulting in a durable and sustainable investment trajectory. This funding approach amplifies philanthropic investment and magnifies its impact.

Community Engagement
Throughout 2023, Recharge Minnesota will continue its community engagement efforts with Mankato, Albert Lea, Elk River, Winona and Faribault through ongoing counsel, stakeholder engagement, and large-scale community events. An electric vehicle expo is planned in Albert Lea on May 6, Elk River on August 5, Winona in fall 2023 (date TBD) and Faribault in fall 2023 (date TBD). Our conversations with Mankato will include a partnership with Xcel’s Partners in Energy. This year, Recharge Minnesota will engage in conversations with Austin for a spring 2024 event, as well as continue conversations with St. Cloud and Elk River for a regional event focused on workforce and certification opportunities. Each of the new communities has shown great interest in receiving support from Recharge Minnesota to get electrification goals in line with greater emission reduction objectives and climate action plans. By mobilizing and reinforcing EV leadership at the community level, we will fortify a successful path to carbon reduction for each community.

Leadership Recognition
In addition to impactful community engagement and public education, Recharge Minnesota provides an important platform to build awareness of adoption steps taken in support of EVs across Minnesota. Recognizing leaders who take steps to support EV adoption underscores that they are an essential component of a positive future in a way that resonates for Minnesota policymakers, community and business leaders, and consumers alike. Sharing and highlighting steps program participants have taken to support EVs can help make it easier for other Minnesotans to follow suit.

In 2023, Recharge Minnesota will encourage a broad-swath of Minnesota entities - businesses (large and small), higher education institutions, community-based organizations, cities, and others to take steps to integrate EVs into fleets, support EV charging infrastructure, and foster EV friendly policy. We will bring to the forefront positive EV steps being taken statewide with innovative charging and vehicle commitments that would otherwise remain invisible. The goal is to get EV commitments from at least 60 entities throughout the state and expand the peer-to-peer learning network that is so beneficial to state-wide fleet electrification and workplace charging. We will enhance the learning opportunities throughout the year by instituting a series of networking/learning workshops and launching a quarterly newsletter with valuable resources, incentives, and available programs.

In addition, we will further build out the recognition campaign to be able to share stories, best practices, and lessons learned with a larger audience across the state by bolstering our efforts related to marketing communications on behalf of our participants. We will do this through co-branding efforts with state-wide partners, social media strategy, and media relations.

Looking Forward, How Will You Measure These Goals?

Desired outcomes for each community include increased installation of publicly accessible EV charging, increased adoption of EVs, and stronger community support for EV-friendly policies. Ultimately, we mobilize place-based community organizers who continue building the local case for vehicle electrification, with local community support, for years to come.

Specific metrics we use to gauge effectiveness include:
Number of residents served through educational programs
Number of active communities within the program
Number of local EV policies drafted and/or enacted within communities we serve
Growth in number of EV charging projects planned and/or underway within the communities we serve

Accelerating the adoption of electric vehicles requires impacting individual’s perceptions and addressing perceived barriers. In order to measure the effectiveness of our education programs, we measure those sentiments at the start of the program and continue to measure them long-term. By surveying attendees, we are able to set benchmarks for perceptions toward EVs, perceived barriers to adoption, and overall likelihood of adoption. Trailing surveys are periodically administered to those same residents for up to 24 months to identify trends and changes. This data, combined with data on EVs on the road and infrastructure, serves as one of our measures of effectiveness.

Specific metrics we use to gauge effectiveness include:
A decline in perceived barriers to adoption of an EV
Growth in overall support of electric vehicles
Growth in reported EV adoption and/or in the likelihood to switch

For the companion recognition program, the number of participants gained is the ultimate measure of effectiveness. However, in addition to the surface-level participation numbers, we collect fleet electrification and commercial/workplace charging data from participants so that we can track growth trends and identify areas of opportunity for needed support (e.g. connecting a fleet manager with the right fleet conversion calculator tools and/or available incentives to ease the burden of cost on operations). We’re also looking to start a Regional Participant Recognition Program showcasing Mankato and Albert Lea and the multiple organizations and entities supporting the growth of EV adoption in those communities.

Specific metrics we use to gauge effectiveness include:
Growth in number of participants
Growth in number of fleet vehicles transitioned to electric
Growth in number of commercial or workplace charging installations
Growth in public charging stations

Implementation Plan

Start Date


End Date


Describe Most Significant Collaborations With Other Organizations And Efforts.

We maintain strategic programming partnerships on the state and community level. Our primary state-level partner is Fresh Energy who provides us with updates on working policy that impacts the communities we serve and our stakeholders. Fresh Energy also provides the program with referrals and networking opportunities to secure the participation of organizations and businesses in the leadership recognition program. They additionally provide significant support in our planning efforts related to the annual recognition event. Beginning in 2023,, Fresh Energy will be working in tandem with us on the community engagement efforts in each community as well.

Xcel Energy partners with us on community engagement activities across the state. As an engagement partner, we strategize on the best outreach methods and messaging strategies to deploy for each community event. We’re working with the Xcel Partners in Energy on projects and communications in Mankato.

Our community level partners are deeply involved in engagement and event planning efforts. In Mankato, we work arm-and-arm with the Mankato Area Foundation, Minnesota State University Mankato, and South Central Community College. In St. Cloud, we have a strong partnership with the City of St. Cloud, the Greater St. Cloud Development Corporation, St. Cloud Technical Community College, VEX Robotics, the Initiative Foundation, and the two largest auto dealer groups in the area - Gilleland Motors and Eich Motors. In Albert Lea we have a great connection with ALEDA, Riverland and Freeborn Mower Coop. Our connections in Elk River include the Initiative Foundation, Cornerstone Ford, Transportation Center of Excellence, and First Technologies.
In each community, we establish durable partnerships with the entities and leaders that have influence on the community’s well being and economic landscape.

What Is The Projected Timeline For The Proposed Activities?

Projected timeline for proposed activities

Spring 2023

Community Engagement
In spring, we continue planning large-scale outreach events with current active communities. We will also continue facilitating stakeholder discussions with the communities of Winona, Elk River and Faribault.
Recharge Albert Lea 5/6/23

Leadership Recognition
Recruitment is ongoing throughout the year for new participants, but in late spring, there will be a significant effort to recruit new participants through a referral program. Planning for enhancing the peer-to-peer learning environment will also take place in the spring. The annual recognition event’s initial planning will begin in this same timeframe.
Mobilizing Minnesota Symopsium 3/22/23

Summer 2023

Community Engagement
We will continue our efforts in Winona and Faribault with the aim of getting a fall launch event calendared.
Elk River, 8/6/23

Leadership Recognition
Recruitment is ongoing throughout the year for new participants. We are beginning to look at the 2024 Symposium.

Fall 2023
Community Engagement
Continue planning large-scale outreach events with current active communities. We will aim to have an event calendared in both of the newer communities in the fall.
Winona- TBD
Faribault- TBD

Leadership Recognition
The fall 2024 Symposium will be set and planning happening in full force. Our focus will be on fleets and electric buses.

Winter 2023

Throughout the winter season, we will focus on research and reporting. This is also the period of the year when we gather feedback from our partners, participants, and communities on how to best support them moving forward.

At the end of each year, we survey our participants to record progress on EV goals and set the plan for supporting them in the following year.

Supplemental Information

Current Year Organizational Budget


Program Budget For Proposed Funding Period


Audited Financials (if applicable)
Other Entries
Approval Status