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The 2019 Neighborhood Grants Recipients have been announced! Learn More.

The Neighborhood Grants application will open again in early February 2020.

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.
Grant Guidelines
Application Questions

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:

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

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
  • 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:

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.

Online Application


The online application must be received on or before 5:00 p.m. on the deadline date.  Incomplete or late applications will not be accepted.


How to Register & Apply

Apply Now


Contact James Patterson

+1 (779) 210-8206

 Email James

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