background is a watercolor rainbow. at left the logo for in youth we trust. at right, text reads Adult/Nonprofit Grants Open Now. Awards up to $5,000 per project for youth-serving programs and services in northern illinois

In Youth We Trust Adult/Nonprofit Grants Application Open Now

The Community Foundation of Northern Illinois is now accepting applications for In Youth We Trust (IYWT) adult/nonprofit grants. The online application closes at 5:00 p.m. on April 3, 2023.

Applications in this cycle must be submitted by organizations providing services or programming to youth in Boone, Ogle, Stephenson, or Winnebago Counties. 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 may request up to $5,000. The IYWT Council will look for proposals that:

  • Provide solutions to community issues facing youth,
  • Help youth recognize the important role they play within their communities,
  • Have a clear, practical plan for implementation,
  • Have a realistic budget, and
  • Have measurable and meaningful results.

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. 


The mission of the Community Foundation of Northern Illinois (CFNIL) is to inspire endowment and promote philanthropy for the current and future needs of the people of Northern Illinois. Since its founding in 1953 CFNIL has granted more than $80 million for charitable purposes. CFNIL established In Youth We Trust in 1994 with a grant from the Ford Foundation. In Youth We Trust teaches grantmaking and volunteerism to today’s youth, preparing them to be the positive change of tomorrow. 2023 is CFNIL's 70th anniversary: learn more about CFNIL’s history, grantmaking, and commitment to endowment at Learn more about In Youth We Trust: