What We Fund


A Year of Transformation

This is a year of transition and transformation for Grand Victoria Foundation. We completed our first ever strategic plan, which outlines our theory of action and strategic priorities that are rooted in racial justice. Our strategic plan is an important milestone on our journey towards centering racial equity and racial justice that began in 2017, when we surveyed our grantees and they articulated they would like to see the Foundation be more explicit about race. We look forward to sharing our strategic plan with current and future foundation and grantee partners next year. 

In preparation for the launch of our strategic plan later this year, the Foundation is prioritizing aligning our grantmaking and operations to fully support our new strategic direction. For us to approach this work thoughtfully and with intention, we are not accepting unsolicited requests for funding, including letters of inquiry. Renewal grant requests from current grantees will be reviewed during our quarterly grant cycles. For current grantees, if you have questions, please contact your program officer. For non-grantees, if you have questions about our funding priorities and/or eligibility, we encourage you to sign up for our newsletter to learn about our new strategic direction next year. 

Our grantmaking encourages systems change. We define this as work that improves conditions that hold social and economic problems in place. Our work celebrates the role of nonprofits in pursuing ideas and solutions with communities to improve the quality of life in Illinois.

Our Grant Programs

Our grantmaking is organized into five program areas – Economy, Education, Elgin, Engagement, and Environment. You can learn more about the key priorities for each program area on the pages linked above.

We partner with organizations working to achieve equitable outcomes that reduce disparities. Results that partners might realize are:  

  • improved policies or practices
  • increased access to resources for people and communities of most need
  • relationships that include viewpoints of people with diverse perspectives
  • sharing and shifting of power to promote and achieve equity
  • improved capacity and effectiveness to carry out systems change  

Our Approaches

With input from grantees, we support organizations and efforts that:

  • develop and nurture individual leadership
  • design and implement new ideas to address long-standing, systemic challenges
  • offer opportunities for leaders and organizations to connect, share information and take collective action when necessary
  • encourage and uplift community and civic engagement  

While we appreciate the role of direct service programs to ease the effects of social problems, we focus our support on organizations and projects that work at a systems level.

Learn More

We encourage organizations to learn more about the application process or contact one of our team members before they start their application.

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