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root2fruit grants announced for 2018

January 22, 2018 | ECF Press Release

The Evanston Community Foundation (ECF) announced the recipients of its root2fruit capacity building grants for 2018. This year’s new grantees exemplify ECF’s commitment to supporting the breadth and depth of Evanston’s nonprofit resources.

In total, fourteen organizations are recipients of the Foundation's root2fruit grants program in 2018.

three new grantee organizations

Participants focus on health and wellness to cultivate personal strength at Hip Circle Empowerment Center, a 2018 ECF root2fruit grantee. Organizations selected to join the three year capacity building program are Art Encounter, Childcare Network of Evanston, and Hip Circle Empowerment Center. Each will receive grants of $10,000 with the anticipation of renewed funding in 2019 and 2020.

In its 40th year, Art Encounter’s mission is to educate, empower, and connect people of all ages and backgrounds through interactive explorations of visual art. Hip Circle Empowerment Center uses dance, fitness, and community activity to empower all women to believe they are strong, beautiful, and worthy of attention. Childcare Network of Evanston works to empower children and families through access to quality early childhood education, family supports, and a coordinated system of care.

continuing participation in root2fruit

These grantees join six organizations who are continuing in the root2fruit program: Evanston Work Ethic (WE) Program, the Institute for Therapy through the Arts (ITA), and Reba Early Learning Center for their second year and Chessmen Club of the NorthShore, Girls Play Sports, and National Alliance on Mental Illness Cook County North Suburban (NAMI CCNS) for their final year. All nine organizations participate in a learning cohort designed to help them build their long-term sustainability and impact.

Additionally, five organizations who were previously root2fruit grantees were selected for one year alumni grants to support specific capacity building projects: Books and Breakfast ($5000), Cherry Preschool ($1000), Frances Willard Historical Association ($5000), The Lilac Tree ($5000), and The Recyclery Collective ($5000).

about root2fruit and the mammel foundation

The root2fruit program is made possible through a partnership with the Mammel Foundation, which has invested over $1.6 million since 2003 in this program which builds the capacity of small to mid-size nonprofits in Evanston. This investment, along with the learning network of grantees and the leadership of an advisory committee made up of experienced nonprofit staff and board leaders, has had a significant impact on Evanston through the 51 organizations it has benefitted.

Over the years, root2fruit grantee organizations report significant improvement in their budgets, fundraising and development capacity, boards, and ability to build their services. For example, Meals at Home, which just completed its three year root2fruit experience, reports that their budget increased 38% and their meals served 65% during that time. Another recent graduate, Books & Breakfast, grew their budget by 150% and the number of elementary students served by 166%. “Because of this support, we have greater capacity to reach even more children in Evanston who serve equitable resources and outcomes in our schools,” says Kim Hammock, Books & Breakfast Executive Director.

Meet the current grantees to learn about the prior root2fruit cohorts, or contact EC vice president for Programs, Marybeth Schroeder, to learn more about root2fruit opportunities.

about the foundation

Founded in 1986, the Evanston Community Foundation helps Evanston thrive now and forever as a just, vibrant and inclusive community. It builds, connects, and distributes resources and knowledge to Evanston – not just one group, neighborhood or issue – all of Evanston. ECF stands ready to be a thought partner, a collaborator, an investor, a facilitator, and most of all a convener to grow impact. Follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.