Picture of three men outdoors on a sunny day, smiling at the camera. the man in the foreground is holding a red box with plant seedlings in it. A red bridk building can be seen in the background. A garden hoop house is seen at left.

Neighborhood Grants

Grant Information Grant Status: Closed Applications Open: March 1, 2024 Applications Close: April 1, 2024 Awards Announced: May 2024 Learn How to Register & Apply

The Neighborhood Grants Program exists to:

  • Promote resident participation and leadership in neighborhood-based groups/organizations;
  • Encourage and support the work of neighborhood-based groups and organizations trying to preserve and/or improve the quality of life in their neighborhoods;
  • Invest in and build on the existing strengths and assets of the region’s neighborhoods; and
  • Promote civic pride in our community.

Meet the 2024 Neighborhood Grant Recipients!

View the Neighborhood Grants Info Webinar

Want to learn more about Neighborhood Grants? View this virtual webinar to hear from CFNIL staff about the program guidelines and process, how to apply, and more.  Check out the presentation slides HERE.

Applications for the Neighborhood Grants Program will be accepted from March 1 to April 1, 2024. Applications must be submitted through CFNIL’s Online Application Portal. View the application questions and work on your submission offline using the PDF version of the application:

Application Questions

This webpage reflects the 2024 Neighborhood Grants Program guidelines, which may be found condensed into one document here:

Grant Guidelines

To be eligible for funding, an applicant must:

  • Be a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt, not-for-profit agency and/or an organized group carrying out a charitable purpose for the common good (e.g., neighborhood organizations);
  • Have a minimum of three active leaders (e.g., President, Treasurer, Secretary, etc.);
  • Have an established process to manage grant funds, including a current checking account in the name of the organization/group;
  • Be operated and organized so that there is no discrimination on the basis of race, color, sex, sexual orientation, religion, age, national or ethnic origin, political beliefs, veteran’s status, disability, or any other factor prohibited by applicable law;
  • Be a neighborhood or neighborhood-based organization that is located within Boone, Ogle, Stephenson or Winnebago County;
  • Have a plan to implement a project that will benefit residents of a defined geographic area;
  • Have the capacity to complete the proposed project by the end of the year; and
  • Be current on all final reports for previously awarded grants from the Neighborhood Grants Program.

Projects that:

  • Are generated, led, and executed by residents of the neighborhood to the extent possible;
  • Build on the assets existing in the neighborhood, including using the skills of residents, involving youth or working with an existing neighborhood group; and
  • Encourage partnerships between residents, businesses, non-profits and institutions (e.g., schools or churches) within the neighborhood.

The maximum amount granted by the Neighborhood Grants Program is $2,500.

  • Resident-Focused Seminars
  • Community Gardens
  • Organizing & Newsletters
  • Reforestation Projects**
  • Neighborhood Clean Ups
  • Neighborhood Activities & Surveys
  • Crime Prevention
  • Beautification Projects*

*Beautification Projects

  • Permanent fixtures (i.e., trash receptacles, planters) must be installed on public property or common areas.
  • Landscape projects must be permanent improvements to the area (i.e., shrubs, trees, perennials).
  • Landscape projects must have a maintenance plan (i.e., watering, weeding).

**Reforesting Neighborhoods: Trees can only be planted on public or common areas (not on private property).

Grants are not made from the Neighborhood Grants Program for the following:

  • Landscaping private property;
  • Activities that primarily benefit non-resident organizations including nonprofit and for-profit organizations; and/or
  • Projects and programs that promote a religion or require participation in a religious activity as a condition for receiving services. However, grants may be made to faith-based organizations for other purposes.

Neighborhood Grant applicants should use this budget template when submitting their application:

Sample Proposal Budget

Sample Budget Narrative

Grant recipients will be asked to complete an online Final Report by December 2nd of the funded year. Past grant recipients will be excluded from future grant consideration if the final report has not been submitted for prior funding.

The online Final Report form is available soon after award notification and submitted via CFNIL’s online grants portal. You can access the Final Report Form from the Applicant Dashboard within your portal account. Contact Lisa DeLang with any questions, edelang@cfnil.org or (779) 210-8210.


Screenshot of the grant applicant's Applicant Dashboard with red circle around blue link "Edit"

Applications for the Neighborhood Grants Program will be accepted from March 1 to April 1, 2024. Applications must be submitted through CFNIL’s Online Application Portal.

If you have not already created a portal account, please follow the instructions on the portal login page to create your account. If you need more help creating your account or utilizing the portal, visit our Grant Resources page or contact Lisa DeLang at 779-210-8210 or edelang@cfnil.org.

Applicants will be notified as to their proposal status in early May. A reception honoring the 2024 recipients will be held at CFNIL on Thursday, May 30, at 5:30 PM.

Questions? Contact Lisa!

Lisa DeLang headshot
Lisa DeLang
Program and Administrative Associate
Phone: 779-210-8210
Email: Lisa DeLang