Support the causes you care about the most.
Through the power of endowment, your gift makes a deep impact -- forever!
If you’re a nonprofit seeking a grant for your project
or a student looking for educational support,
you’re in the right place.
Whether you donate to an existing endowment or create your own, be assured that your passion is our purpose.
Support for charitable activities that benefit the people and places of northern Illinois. Over $1.4M is distributed each year through the Community Grants Program alone!
90+ Unique Scholarships, nearly $300K in awards, just ONE Application! Application open December 1 - February 1.
Check out what's new and coming soon at CFNIL!
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The Community Scholarship Fair provides an opportunity for parents and students to learn about more than $600,000 in local scholarship and financial aid. Participants may visit virtual "booths" to speak directly with local scholarship providers about their specific scholarships. Participants may also attend two seminars: one will provide a walk-through of CFNIL's application process, and the second will discuss the overall financial aid process, FAFSA, Rock Valley College Foundation scholarships, and resources provided by the Illinois Student Assistance Commission.

This event is FREE but participants must register to receive the virtual platform login details.
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In Youth We Trust (IYWT) is CFNIL's youth philanthropy program. This year, in recognition that COVID-19 may impact the feasibility of youth-led projects and events, IYWT will have two grant cycles: one for proposals written by nonprofit organizations (adults) for the purpose of serving youth, and one for proposals written by youth for youth-led, youth-benefiting projects. The cycle for proposals written by nonprofit organizations is open now and closes January 5, 2021.
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The Community Foundation of Northern Illinois has kept faith with its mission to serve as a catalyst for giving in order to attract, preserve, and grow an endowment for the current and future needs of the people of Northern Illinois for more than 65 years. This uneasy time facing a global pandemic is no different; in fact, it is the foresight and generosity of past generations that allows CFNIL to respond now with both targeted and general support for the challenges facing our local communities.

“We’re focused on endowment because we’re long term thinkers. Some of the seeds we plant are not going to come up for eight years, so it was not a struggle for us to imagine that we should start planning now for what the needs might be in ten or twenty years.” -- Bernie Buchholz, Friends of Nachusa Grasslands, which established an Agency Endowment Fund with CFNIL in 2014