Rapid Response


Grand Victoria Foundation’s rapid response grantmaking program is a direct response to feedback received from our grantees about the types of support needed. We know that many organizations, especially outside the Chicago metropolitan area, face immediate, urgent programmatic or operational needs and don’t often have access to immediate, flexible funding. Our rapid response grantmaking program provides grants up to $25,000 to fund emergency response, crisis management, new opportunities, and other urgent needs. This funding is intended to meet the immediate needs of nonprofit organizations, and reduce the burden on organizations to submit a long grant application by utilizing an accessible, streamlined process; and achieve a timely and specific outcome or impact as part of long-term systems change. Please read on to learn about grant guidelines and eligibility, how to apply, and reporting requirements.

General Information

  • The maximum grant award is $25,000
  • Grant applications are accepted on a rolling basis
  • Awarded grants will have a six-month grant term
  • If awarded, organizations cannot apply again until 12 months after award date
  • If grant application is approved, grant funds will be processed within 30 days of application receipt
  • Within 30 days after the end of the grant term, organizations will provide a verbal report by phone or video
  • Priority will be given to organizations with budgets under $1 million
  • Rapid response grants are not intended to provide general operating support

Grand Victoria Foundation will not provide rapid response funding for the following:

  • Individuals
  • Political Campaigns
  • Religious Purposes
  • Governmental Entities
  • Existing Programs
  • Ongoing organizational support
  • Capital Improvements
  • Fundraising Events
  • Budget Shortfalls

How To Apply

If you would like to apply for rapid response grant funding, please: 1.) review the guidelines, eligibility information, and funding priorities; 2.) read our Frequently Asked Questions about the grant program; and 3.) visit our Grant Portal to complete the application. Please create an account or login using your existing username and password. In the grant application, organizations will be asked to describe what it proposes to do with the funds and what challenges it is addressing, what it intends to accomplish if awarded funding, how the request or organization is advancing racial equity or justice, and how the request or organization is advancing systems change.

Guidelines and Eligibility


  • Timely and Urgent: The organization must be responding to an unanticipated event or urgent external or internal challenge. We define “urgent” as a need or challenge that requires critical support and that can be addressed by activities that start and end within a six-month timeframe.
  • Purpose and Scope: The request should demonstrate how funds will help address the challenge or need.
  • Geographic Focus: The request should support efforts that have impact at the county, regional or statewide level. We do not support organizations that solely serve or impact the city of Chicago unless the Foundation is uniquely able to support an effort other local funders cannot.


  • To be considered for funding, an organization must be registered with the IRS as a 501(c)(3) public charity or be partnered with a fiscal sponsor that meets this requirement.
  • We fund organizations throughout the state of Illinois. Funding requests should support Illinois-based organizations or an organization’s Illinois-based activities.
  • We will consider applications from both current grantees and new applicants. Priority will be given to organizations or requests that align with our commitment to a racial equity and justice lens, as outlined in Racial Equity and Racial Justice: Our Journey and/or that are advancing systems change, as defined in The Water of Systems Change
  • If the organization is a current grantee, please consult with your program officer before submitting a rapid response application. The request must also fall outside of the organization’s existing scope of work.