Loves Park Pulse, 2020 Neighborhood Grants Recipients

Neighborhood Grants

Grant Information Grant Status: Closed Applications Open: February 10, 2020 Applications Close: May 1, 2020 Awards Announced: Late May/early June 2020 Learn How to Register & Apply

**In response to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, CFNIL has joined other regional funders and partners to promote new and existing grant opportunities for nonprofit organizations. The 815 Community Response Team (815CRT) has established a website as a hub for funding and other resource info for nonprofits. Please visit to learn more and find out which programs your organization may be eligible for.**

The Neighborhood Grants Program exists to:

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

The Neighborhood Grants Program is a collaborative grant making effort of CFNIL and NW Homestart.

HomeStart Logo



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 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) 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).

Neighborhood Clean-ups

We do not fund garden tools. (Tools can be accessed through the Neighborhood Tool Bank, 917 South Main Street, 815-963-6236.)

PLEASE NOTE: If requesting funds for a project similar to previously funded projects, you will need to provide a sustainability plan for future years.

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

  • Landscaping private property
  • Refreshments for neighborhood meetings
  • Entertainment
  • Activities that primarily benefit non-resident organizations including nonprofit and for-profit organizations
  • 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:

Budget Template for Neighborhood Grants

Sample Budget Narrative

Grant recipients will be asked to complete an online Final Report by December 31st 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 will be made available soon after your grant is awarded. To access these reports, log into your CFNIL Web Portal account. Select “My Awards” from the “Grant Applicant” menu. If another person at your organization submitted the proposal, you may have to select “Show All” in the Search Criteria. Click the link to the proposal corresponding to the grant and then click the “Final Report”.

The Neighborhood Grants Program awards travel grants for individuals to attend the Community Leadership Institute, a three-day training event that aims to strengthen the voices and skills of community, resident, and volunteer leaders. To learn more, visit NW HomeStart’s website.

Question about the Neighborhood Grants program should be directed to Janessa Wilkins, HomeStart, at 815-962-2011 or

Questions about the Web Portal (online application) should be directed to CFNIL Program Director James Patterson.

James Patterson
James Patterson
Program Director
Phone: 779-210-8206
Email: James Patterson