Chicago Grants Make the Windy City My Kind of Town

| November 22, 2013 | 0 Comments

Chicago GrantsFor those that call the Windy City home, there are a large number of Chicago grants that help support a variety of causes that not only make Chicago a better place to live but truly my kind of town. These grants fund anything and everything from community development, the arts, humanities and a long list of efforts around the city. They also support education and women’s initiatives based in the city of Chicago. And while most of these grants are only available to non-profit organizations trying to make a difference, at least one of these grants is available to individuals or groups without 501c3 status that just want to do something awesome. Do you live in Chicago? Check out these cool sources for grants available only in the City of Chicago.

Awesome Foundation Chicago
The Awesome Foundation was started not so long ago in 2009 by a few folks in Boston with a pretty simple mission in mind. Come up with a cool project, or as they like to call it anything awesome, that you would like to accomplish in your local community and you could receive a $1,000 to take your idea and make it a reality. The Chicago chapter of the Awesome Foundation started awarding these grants in 2011 and has done so once a month ever since. To be considered for the monthly grant, your project should impact the Chicago area. You’ll need to provide as much information as possible about what it is you would like to do and show that it is realistically accomplished. Applications are accepted on a rolling basis with a monthly deadline on the last day of each month. So you want to do something awesome in Chicago? What are you waiting for? Apply today.

City of Chicago Grants
The city itself offers several grant programs that not only improve efforts in community development but also provide Chicago residents with arts and culture.

Community Development Grants
This grant program is intended to increase access to affordable housing for low to moderate income populations struggling with housing options within the City of Chicago. This funding is derived from the federal government’s Community Development Block Grant. This funding is distributed to non-profit organizations the city calls delegate agencies. These serve the needs of the homeless, seniors, disabled and other underserved populations around the city. For more information about how your non-profit can become a delegate agency or get involved in community development efforts, visit the city’s website.

Cultural Grants
The City of Chicago Cultural Grants Program offers two types of grants. These are individual artists grants and grants that fund programs called CityArts. Individual grant applications are accepted yearly between December 6 and January 13. CityArts funding is then considered from January 24 to March 3. For more information about what can be funded through either of these grants or to sign up for email updates on upcoming grant cycles, visit the City of Chicago website link provided above.

Chicago Foundation Grants
The rest of the grants listed here are offered by private foundations, trusts and councils to fund numerous initiatives around the City of Chicago.

Chicago Community Trust
This community trust is about to celebrate its 100th birthday. It provides over $150 million in grant funding each and every year to a ton of non-profit organizations working within its many areas of focus around the City of Chicago. These include improving education, fighting poverty, providing housing opportunity, ending hunger, supporting the arts and more. If you have a non-profit organization working to make a difference in the City of Chicago, check these eligibility requirements and visit the trust’s website to see how you can get your group involved. Or you can call 312-616-8000 for more information.

Chicago Foundation for Education
This foundation was founded with a singular purpose of improving education in Chicago and has been doing so for over 25 years. If offers five different grant programs for area teachers and several professional development opportunities and workshops. In the past year, it handed out almost 700 individual grants that supported well over 1,000 teachers in more than 300 schools with funding. Grants range in size from as little as $300 to as much as $10,000. If you are a teacher working in the Chicago area, check out the foundation’s site for more information about how this great group can help you make a difference inside your classroom. For more information, call 312-670-2323.

Chicago Foundation for Women
Another foundation with a singular purpose, the Chicago Foundation for Women targets all of its efforts to help area women and girls. The foundation has been around since 1985 and in that time has already issued over 3,000 grants totalling over $20 million in support. The areas of focus the foundation tends to support include increasing economic security, increasing access to health care and reducing violence. Grants usually range in size from $15,000 to $150,000. Prospective grantseekers are invited to attend regularly held orientation sessions to find out more about grants. If you want to get your women’s group involved, contact Program Officer Elizabeth Hartig by email at or by phone at 312-577-2819.

Illinois Humanities Council
This is a statewide opportunity that provides grant funding for public humanities programs. It is of course based out of Chicago. The yearly deadline to have your project considered is January 15. To find out if you are eligible and to see what the council will or will not fund, check out these eligibility and grant guidelines. For more information, contact the organization’s Program Officer by calling 312-422-5580 or send an email to

Robert R. McCormick Foundation
Residents of Chicago will recognize the name Robert R. McCormick as the former editor and publisher of the Chicago Tribune during the early 20th century. After his death in 1955, this foundation was created by his estate and continues to have a huge impact in the city where he lived and worked almost 60 years later. The foundation supports five different types of initiatives. They are civics, communities, education, journalism and veterans. The foundation only supports non-profit organizations and does not issue funding to individuals. Groups looking for support are asked to apply to each individual fund that the McCormick Foundation endows for direct support. To contact the foundation directly for more information, call 312-445-5000 or send an email to

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Category: Grants By City

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Are you seeking a grant? You've come to the right place. Carl Evangelista has been a leader on the topic of grants, scholarships and free services for over seven years. He has successfully built a bridge between grant seekers like you and the latest internet technology. As the Head Webmaster at Grants Guys it is his job to make sure you do not get lost in content and links but that you find the sources you are looking for. Got a question? Email him at Facebook Twitter

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