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ECF seeks proposals for the 2015/2016 responsive grants awards

December 2, 2014 | ECF Press Release

The Evanston Community Foundation (ECF) announced today that it is seeking proposals for capacity-building and program grants from nonprofit organizations serving the Evanston community.

Proposals will be accepted until February 2, 2015 and the awards will be announced in May 2015.


The Foundation’s 2015/2016 responsive grants make investments in organizations and projects that are poised to make a difference in the community by strengthening nonprofit organizations and their programs. Last year’s responsive grant cycle awarded $258,330 to 28 organizations and programs, setting a record for the largest amount awarded by ECF in a single grant cycle.

While the Foundation is known for its Every Child Ready for Kindergarten, Every Youth Ready for Work Initiative, it also holds funds dedicated to supporting projects that benefit women and girls, boys, the environment, literacy, affordable housing and the arts. ECF’s President and CEO Sara Schastok said, “Our board prioritizes investments that strengthen the capacity of organizations to achieve long-term results, encourages collaborative proposals that build and develop community resources and partnerships, and seeks to invest in work that will be self-sustaining after the funding period.”

application process

Applications must be filed electronically through eGrant.net by Monday, February 2, 2015 at midnight.The maximum grant size awarded is $20,000 and the average 2014 grant size awarded was $8,900. Responsive grants represent approximately 20% of the total funding the Foundation expects to distribute throughout the year through its competitive and strategic grants – including Communityworks, root2fruit, and community catalyst grants – as well as through grants from its endowments, donor advised and designated funds programs.

The Foundation offers ‘office hours’ when program officers are available to meet with grant seekers. Staff will be available on Thursday, December 18 from 9:30am to 12pm, Wednesday, January 6 from 1pm to 5 pm, Thursday, January 15 from 1pm to 5pm, Thursday, January 22 from 10am to 1pm, and Wednesday, January 28 from 10am to 1pm. Please contact grants(at)evanstonforever.org or call 847-492-0990 to schedule an appointment. 

2015/2016 responsive grant awardees will be announced in May of 2015 at the annual Grant Awards Celebration.  To qualify, organizations must be a 501(c)3, school or government entity, or have a fiscal sponsor that qualifies as a nonprofit 501(c)3, and provide services to the Evanston community and address issues, concerns or opportunities in the Evanston community. Proposals must be submitted online. To create an account and application, visit the website evanstoncf.egrant.net.

about the foundation

The EVANSTON COMMUNITY FOUNDATION, founded in 1986 with current assets of more than $19 million in 80-plus funds, 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.