Our 2018 Annual Report is online!

nearly $290,000 awarded in responsive grants

May 27, 2015 | ECF Press Release

The Grants Award Celebration showcased the nearly $800,000 total that is being awarded in competitive and strategic grants in 2015. 

The Wednesday, May 27 event was held at One Rotary Center, 1560 Sherman Ave, in the third floor auditorium.

celebrating Evanston's non-profit community

This special evening celebrated the missions and accomplishments of Evanston’s non-profit community. “We are thrilled to be able to donate a record amount in responsive grants to worthy Evanston organizations this year,” said ECF Vice President for Programs Marybeth Schroeder. “Thanks to our partnership with Northwestern University’s Dance Marathon, and the largest group of grantmaking partners we have ever had, we were able to make responsive grants to 29 organizations. With this support, we are able to say ‘yes’ to innovative approaches and partnerships addressing Evanston’s challenges.”

Schroeder added that a total of 77 organizations submitted proposals through the responsive grants program, requesting a total of $964,543, underlining the ongoing opportunity for our community to continue to build the ECF endowment so more good work can be funded. 

Lisa Altenbernd, Chair of the Foundation’s responsive grants committee, said, “The grants committee, comprised of Board members, community representatives and the Northwestern University Dance Marathon executive co-chairs, believes that this slate of grantee recipients demonstrates the broad range of creative and productive thinking on how we can all make Evanston a more vibrant, just and inclusive community.”

2015 responsive grant award recipient organizations


Center for Economic ProgressCenter for Independent FuturesWarren W. Cherry PreschoolCJE Senior LifeCommunity Partners for Affordable HousingConnections for the Homeless, Inc.Curt’s CaféEdible EvanstonErie Family Health CenterEvanston Art CenterEvanston Police Department, Youth ServicesEvanston Rebuilding WarehouseEvanston ScholarsEvanston Swims!Evanston Township High School Community Service DepartmentFamily FocusFarmworker and Landscaper Advocacy Project (FLAP)The Harbour, Inc.Interfaith Action of EvanstonJames B. Moran Center for Youth AdvocacyMcGaw YMCAMitchell Museum of the American IndianNorthlight TheatreOver the Rainbow AssociationPEER ServicesPiven Theatre WorkshopThe Chicago School of Professional PsychologyYouth Technology Corps NFP, Inc. YWCA Evanston/North Shore. Plus a special grant to the Midwest Child-Parent Center expansion (4th year).

showcasing other competitive and strategic grants in 2015

The root2fruit grants program, funded through a partnership with the Mammel Foundation, builds capacity and long-term sustainability in small and mid-size organizations. Nine organizations are currently part of the three year program, and five “alumni” of the grants and mentorship program also have 2015 one year grants for specific capacity building projects. Grantees include: Books and BreakfastCherry PreschoolCurt’s CaféFarmworker and Landscaper Advocacy ProjectFrances Willard Historical AssociationLiterature for All of UsMeals at HomeMuse of FirePiven Theatre Workshop.

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 support and home visiting for young families, literacy enhancements and expanded access to early education, and developmental screenings. Grantees include: Beyond the Baby Blues Cherry PreschoolChildcare Network of EvanstonEvanston Public LibraryEvanston/Skokie School District 65 Family CenterInfant Welfare Society of Evanston Literacy WorksYouth Job Center.

The Foundation also honored Center for Independent Futures with a Partners for the Future grant. This program enables one Evanston-based nonprofit per year to raise matching funds to help increase its overall fundraising and organizational capacity.

about the foundation

The EVANSTON COMMUNITY FOUNDATION, founded in 1986 with current assets of over $20 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.