Community Grants Program 2020/2021 - announcing $1.3M in grants to nonprofits for the benefit of the people of northern Illinois. Photo of students viewing a large piece of artwork.

CFNIL Announces $1.3M in Community Grants Program Awards

The Community Foundation of Northern Illinois (CFNIL) is pleased to announce the recipients of Community Grants for the 2020 - 2021 program cycle. In total CFNIL committed over $1.3 million for 67 projects, programs, and events operated by nonprofit organizations in Boone, Ogle, Stephenson, and Winnebago Counties.
The grants were awarded in CFNIL’s Community Grants Program six focus areas: Arts & Humanities, Education, Health, Human Services, Sustainable Communities, and Youth & Families. From the stage to the classroom, from the doctor’s office to the riverfront, and at all points in between, the projects funded by Community Grants are helping build a more vibrant region.

The full report on 2020 - 2021 Community Grants Program grantmaking can be found online: This report details each of the 67 awards made this cycle and the work that will be undertaken by each grantee as a result. The report also provides an overview of CFNIL’s grantmaking done in response to COVID-19, including over $300,000 directly committed by CFNIL as well as partnerships with other local funders which resulted in over a million dollars distributed to organizations, individuals, and families across our region. 

“The communities of Northern Illinois are incredibly fortunate to have a strong network of nonprofit organizations which provide so many services that improve quality of life in our region,” said CFNIL President Dan Ross. “In a year characterized by uncertainty and challenges these organizations have shown flexibility, resilience, and fierce commitment to their missions and their clients; we are proud that the Community Grants Program remained a stable source of support for our local nonprofits and are deeply grateful to donors past and present who make this grantmaking possible.”

The 2020 - 2021 Community Grants Program cycle continues CFNIL’s 67-year commitment to investment in northern Illinois through grantmaking. This work and its growing, ongoing impact would not be possible without the generosity of thousands of donors, the commitment of hundreds of volunteers, and the exceptional efforts of grantees. Learn more about the work of the Community Grants and other grantmaking programs of the Community Foundation at