Application Process

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Our application process starts with the submission of a Letter of Inquiry (LOI). All new applicants or previous applicants with new ideas should submit an LOI. Returning grantees seeking renewal funding will be contacted by a member of our team prior to their grant term end date to discuss proposal submission.

Letters of Inquiry for all program areas are accepted on a rolling basis and may be submitted throughout the year.

Prior to submitting an LOI, we recommend that you visit the What We Fund page for an overview of our program areas. If you believe your work aligns with our funding priorities and your organization meets our eligibility requirements, please visit our Grant Portal to complete our online application, beginning with an LOI that summarizes your request and what you plan to accomplish.

Preparing your Letter of Inquiry

The LOI narrative should be two pages or less, in 12-point type on your organization’s letterhead, and signed by a member of your staff who has the authority to accept and manage a grant. When preparing your LOI, please address the following points:

For General Operating Requests:

  • Provide a brief description of your organization
  • State the amount you plan to request from Grand Victoria Foundation
  • Describe how you envision your work fitting with the Foundation’s program areas and priority approaches
  • Describe how your organization understands and works toward systems change, equity, and improving conditions for Illinois residents
  • Describe how you plan to strengthen your organization as a result of funding

For Project Requests:

  • Provide a brief description of your organization
  • State the amount you plan to request from Grand Victoria Foundation
  • Describe how you envision the project fitting with the Foundation’s program areas and priority approaches
  • Describe how this project will influence systems change, equity, and improve conditions for Illinois residents
  • Highlight the high-level goals and timing of the project

Supplemental Financial Information

In addition to your LOI narrative, you will be asked to submit the following financial information:

  • Organizations applying for general operating support should submit an organizational budget for the current year that reflects both revenues and expenses
  • Organizations applying for project support should submit a project-specific budget detailing expected revenues and expenses for the entire project as well as a breakdown of how Grand Victoria Foundation funds will be spent. They should also submit an organizational budget for the current year that reflects both revenues and expenses

Once submitted, please allow our staff up to 30 days to respond to your LOI request. If you do not receive a response within that time, please contact Jeanna Rathell, Manager of Grants & Program Administration at (312) 609-0200 to confirm that your application was received.

Grant Proposal

Upon review of your LOI, staff will determine if a full proposal will be invited. Please note that the Foundation does not accept unsolicited proposals. Organizations that are invited to submit a full proposal will receive a formal invitation via email with instructions.

Upon submission of a proposal, the Foundation undertakes a thorough review process that may take up to 90 days or longer.

After Grant Approval

If an invited proposal is approved for a grant, grantees will be required to submit a report after each year of the funding cycle. Reporting deadlines and details will be indicated in the grant agreement. Reports must be submitted online by logging into the Foundation’s Grant Portal.

Final reports must be received and approved by the Foundation prior to the review of any subsequent requests for funding. When submitting a request for renewal funding, organizations will be required to submit their final report at the time of proposal submission. The report should detail all activities that have occurred in the grant period to date and provide a description of the projected activities for the remaining months covered by the grant.

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