Our Mission

The Community Foundation of Northern Illinois' mission is 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.

Founded in 1953, the Community Foundation of Northern Illinois (CFNIL) is a regional leader in philanthropy. With more than $105 million in assets and more than 400 individual funds, CFNIL makes grants to charitable organizations and scholarships to local students. CFNIL's grant and scholarship programs are made possible by the generosity of CFNIL's donors.

Our donors come from all walks of life, but are united in their commitment to the community and the recognition that their charitable intentions will be preserved for generations to come through the power of endowment. Endowments at CFNIL are prudently invested and preserved as a way to provide permanent funding for community needs. Nearly 90% of CFNIL's assets are permanently endowed, meaning that those assets will serve Boone, Ogle, Stephenson and Winnebago Counties in perpetuity.

“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