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announced over $800,000 in grants at 2017 grants celebration

May 30, 2017 | ECF Press Release

The Evanston Community Foundation (ECF) announced competitive and strategic grants totaling over $800,000 on Tuesday, May 30 at the 2017 Grant Awards Celebration and Annual Meeting.

At this event, ECF informed the community on the state of the foundation as well as celebrated the missions and accomplishments of Evanston’s non-profits. Over 200 people attended the meeting held at The Merion in Evanston.

foundation remarks

President and CEO Monique B. Jones said in her state of the foundation remarks, “Across the board, the Evanston Community Foundation is in a very successful space and is ready to move forward. Thanks to our grantmaking partners, including Northwestern University Dance Marathon, for working alongside us to provide grants and important capacity building opportunities for Evanston nonprofits.”

record responsive grants awarded

A record of $333,435 in responsive grants was awarded to 26 organizations that serve Evanston residents. This marks a nearly 15% increase in responsive grantmaking over 2016. Vice President for Programs Marybeth Schroeder said, “In our 30th year, it’s very exciting that we are growing the grants that the Foundation has awarded since it began. The amount nonprofits are receiving is the highest ever, and we are also kicking off a rolling grants process that will invest an additional $45,000 over the next year, allowing us to be even more responsive to the needs and opportunities in Evanston.”

board recognition

Retiring former Board Chair Joan Gunzberg accepts the Jim Kogen Foundation Spirit Award from ECF Board Chair Diana Cohen.Before the grantees were recognized, board chair Diana Cohen presented the Jim Kogen Foundation Spirit Award which recognizes exemplary board leadership. The 2017 award was presented to retiring board member and past chair Joan Gunzberg. Cohen said, “Joan took the experience of a lifetime in the nonprofit sector, and has applied that knowledge and insights to ECF’s work.” ECF also announced the appointment of five new members to the board of directors to serve three-year terms effective May 1, 2017. The new members are Jabbar Bennett, Matthew Feldman, Michael Walker, Kelley Williams, and Simon Yohanan.

grant recipients

Responsive-Grantees-2017-JN197-700x412.jpg2017 Responsive Grant Award recipients include Alliance to End Homelessness in Suburban Cook County, Center for Independent Futures, Community Partners for Affordable Housing (CPAH), Connections for the Homeless, Erie Family Health Center, Evanston Public Library, Evanston Scholars, Evanston/Skokie School District 65, Farmworkers and Landscaper Advocacy Project (FLAP), Impact Behavioral Health Partners (formerly Housing Options for the Mentally Ill in Evanston), Interfaith Action of Evanston (IAE), James B. Moran Center for Youth Advocacy, Learning Bridge Early Education Center (formerly Child Care Center of Evanston), Metropolitan Family Services, Mudlark Theater, North Shore Senior Center, Northlight Theatre, Open Communities, Our House (a program of Connections for the Homeless), Piven Theatre Workshop, Services for Adults Staying in Their Homes (SASI), She Is Code, Trilogy Inc., Warren W. Cherry Preschool, Y.O.U. (Youth & Opportunity United), and the YWCA Evanston/North Shore.

The root2fruit grant program, a partnership with the Mammel Foundation, focuses on building capacity in small and mid-sized organizations, benefitting 48 organizations with over $1.5 million since its inception in 2003. The 2017 root2fruit participants recognized at the Grant Awards Celebration include Books & Breakfast, Chessmen Club of the North Shore, Evanston Work Ethic (WE) Program, Girls Play Sports, Institute for Therapy through the Arts, Meals at Home, Muse of Fire Theatre Company, National Alliance on Mental Illness Cook County North Suburban (NAMI CCNS), and Reba Early Learning Center (RELC).

The Foundation’s Communityworks initiative has a strategic focus on ensuring that every child is ready for kindergarten and every youth ready for work. Grants support family and home visiting for young families, literacy enhancements and expanded access to early education, and developmental screenings, as well as summer learning initiatives.  The 2017 Communityworks grantees include Evanston Public Library, Evanston/Skokie School District 65 Family Center, Infant Welfare Society of Evanston, Literacy Works, McGaw YMCA, Warren W. Cherry Preschool, and Youth Job Center (YJC).  

The Foundation also honored the James B. Moran Center for Youth Advocacy, the recipient of a Partners for the Future (PFF) matching challenge of $100,000. This program, funded by an anonymous donor, enables one Evanston-based nonprofit per year to build its base of financial support, and to increase its overall fundraising and organizational capacity. 

about the foundation

Founded in 1986, the Evanston Community Foundation helps Evanston thrive now and forever as a vibrant, inclusive, and just 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.