What We Fund

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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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