Community Grants Program
Since 1953, the Community Foundation of Northern Illinois has made more than $75,000,000 in grants and scholarships to nonprofits and students. This is possible through the generosity of CFNIL’s donors—individuals, families, and organizations committed to improving the region’s quality of life. Endowed gifts create reliable funding for current needs and future opportunities. That’s the power of endowment.
Some donors choose to support specific organizations, while others provide scholarship funding that helps students get to and through school. Some donors decide that they want their legacy gifts to address the challenges and opportunities of future generations. These endowed gifts support Community Grants, CFNIL’s largest and broadest grantmaking program.
CFNIL is pleased to continue its tradition of grantmaking with the Fall 2021 Community Grants cycle. This page, which reflects our 2021 Grant Guidelines document, describes who can apply for Community Grants, how they can apply, and what kind of charitable activities are eligible to receive funding. Community Grants are made in six Focus Areas: Arts & Humanities, Education, Health, Human Services, Sustainable Communities, and Youth & Families. Within Education, CFNIL’s strategy is to invest in complementary education and career pathways, and to support a regional education system that continually produces healthy and productive citizens. More information on Education Works is available here.
We rely on your feedback to guide our grantmaking process. Please do not hesitate to contact us with questions or comments. While we would be happy to clarify any aspect of our application, CFNIL does not offer specific guidance on the design or implementation of your proposed activity during the open application period.