Our 2018 Annual Report is online!

2017/18 responsive grant guidelines announced

December 2, 2016 | ECF Press Release

The Evanston Community Foundation (ECF) released its revised 2017 responsive grant guidelines and request for proposals. This year, ECF is making some improvements to the responsive grants process to streamline the application and to strengthen the Foundation’s focus on equity.

about responsive grants

Since 1986, ECF’s responsive grants invest broadly across the community and in both long-established and new organizations and community groups that seek to improve Evanston. Reflecting ECF’s principles from its new strategic plan, the grant guidelines emphasize a commitment to equity, explicitly building on the Foundation’s long commitment to making the community better for all.

application process

New this year, applicants will first submit a brief Letter of Inquiry (LOI) between December 9 and January 17, detailing their organization’s mission and the program or organizational improvement project for which they seek funding. Also beginning in 2017, this responsive grants process will be for grant proposals ranging from $5,000 to $20,000. After a review, selected organizations will be invited in early February to submit a full proposal by March 1. Letters of Inquiry and proposals must be submitted through eGrant: http://evanstoncf.egrant.net. If applicants need access to a computer or need assistance submitting online, they are invited to contact ECF’s office at 847-492-0990.

“Submitting a Letter of Inquiry should improve the process for nonprofit organizations,” says Marybeth Schroeder, Vice President of Programs at ECF. “It will require less time up front and will give organizations a faster response on whether their proposal is advancing.”

information sessions and office hours

Three one-hour information sessions are scheduled to discuss the revised proposal process with interested nonprofits, community groups or citizens. The first session will be held on December 8, at 6pm at the Fleetwood-Jourdain Community Center, 1655 Foster Street. The second session will be held on December 20, at 4pm at One Rotary Center, 1560 Sherman, Room 1A. A third session is scheduled for January 4, at 10:30am also at One Rotary Center. Sign-up.

As in previous years, prospective applicants are also invited to schedule a meeting with ECF program staff to discuss their ideas for proposals ahead of submission. This is not required for applicants, but offered to help with any specific questions. View dates and times to email or call ECF to schedule.

new for proposals under $5000

For proposals under $5,000, ECF is instituting a new process which will have a simpler application. The guidelines for these express grants will be released in spring 2017, and applications will be accepted on an ongoing basis, with grants released quarterly beginning in July 2017.

additional information

Additional questions may be directed to Rebecca Cacayuran, Program Officer.

about the foundation

The Evanston Community Foundation, celebrating its 30th Anniversary in 2016, helps Evanston thrive now and forever as a vibrant, inclusive, and just community. It builds, connects, and distributes resources and knowledge through local organizations for the common good. The Foundation builds endowments for current and future opportunities, fosters private philanthropy, focuses the impact of collective giving, finds solutions to community challenges, allocates grants, and provides leadership training. Follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.