In Youth We Trust Nonprofit Grant Cycle Opens Today. In Youth We Trust logo

CFNIL opens new, unique In Youth We Trust grant cycle

The Community Foundation of Northern Illinois is now accepting applications for the first of two In Youth We Trust (IYWT) grant program cycles. For the 2020-2021 school year, in recognition that COVID-19 may impact the feasibility of youth-led projects and events, IYWT will have two grant cycles: one for proposals written by nonprofit organizations (adults) for the purpose of serving youth, and one for proposals written by youth for youth-led, youth-benefiting projects. The first cycle, for proposals written by nonprofit organizations (adults), opens today and closes at 5:00 p.m. on January 5, 2021.

Applications in this cycle must be submitted by organizations providing COVID-19 related items, services, or programming to youth in Boone, Ogle, Stephenson, or Winnebago Counties; applicant must currently be providing before- or after-school programming. Applications must be submitted via CFNIL’s online grants application portal which may be accessed, along with full program details, at Applications will be reviewed by the In Youth We Trust Council, a group of local high school students who convene monthly with staff and advisors of the Community Foundation of Northern Illinois to learn about grantmaking, volunteerism, and community leadership. 

Applicants can request a maximum of $5,000. For this unique grant cycle, The IYWT Council will look for proposals that:
- Request support for unforeseen COVID-19 related expenses,
- Provide support for youth served during before- or after-school programming,
- Have a clear, practical plan for implementation, and
- Have a realistic budget. 

The IYWT Council is an opportunity for high school students from Boone, Ogle, Stephenson, and Winnebago Counties to learn about and practice philanthropy. The students help establish grant criteria, evaluate proposals, and recommend grant awards for youth led projects. IYWT empowers youth to expand their moral imagination and “see the good.” In Youth We Trust was established in 1994 and has surpassed $500,000 in grantmaking for youth-benefiting projects in our region.