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announcing 2017 root2fruit grants

January 11, 2017 | ECF Press Release

The Evanston Community Foundation (ECF) announced today the recipients of its root2fruit capacity-building grants for 2017. For 15 years, ECF has partnered with the Mammel Foundation to provide grants designed to build the capacity of small to mid-size nonprofits in Evanston.

This year’s new grantees continue ECF’s commitment to supporting the breadth and depth of Evanston’s nonprofit community.

new grantees

The three new root2fruit grantees are the Evanston Work Ethic (WE) Program, the Institute for Therapy through the Arts (ITA), and Reba Early Learning Center. Each will receive grants of $10,000 with the anticipation of renewed funding in 2018 and 2019. 

The WE Program was created by the Forrest E. Powell Foundation to assist ETHS students in improving career and technical employment outcomes, while meeting the needs of local employers in growing sectors and industries. The Institute for Therapy through the Arts empowers and energizes individuals, families, and communities to grow and heal by engaging in creative art therapies. Reba Early Learning Center is dedicated to providing high quality care, education, and support for children and families of diverse cultural, ethnic, and socioeconomic backgrounds.

continuing grantee recipients

Six additional organizations are continuing in the root2fruit program: Chessmen Club of the NorthShore, Girls Play Sports, and National Alliance on Mental Illness Cook County North Suburban (NAMI CCNS) (second year grantees) as well as Books & Breakfast, Meals at Home, and Muse of Fire Theatre (third year grantees). Five root2fruit alumni organizations received one year grants to support specific capacity building projects: Curt’s Café ($4250), Evanston Scholars ($3800), James B. Moran Center for Youth Advocacy ($4250), Mudlark Theatre ($4500), and Services for Adults Staying in Their Homes(SASI) ($4200). Two organizations, Community Partners in Affordable Housing and Evanston COPE, were awarded special one-year $1000 grants.

about ECF's root2fruit program

Since its inception in 2002, the root2fruit program has benefited 53 organizations with a total investment of $1,509,386. Designed to build the capacity of small to mid-size nonprofits in Evanston, root2fruit provides more than just grant money. This program builds a learning network of grantees and with the leadership of an advisory committee made up of experienced nonprofit staff and board leaders over a three year period. Over the years, root2fruit grantee organizations have seen significant improvement in their budgets, fundraising and development capacity, boards, and ability to build their services.

“Three years ago when Farmworker and Landscaper Advocacy Project applied to the Evanston Community Foundation, we didn’t have any visibility in the Evanston community. Today, people recognize FLAP’s name and send us potential cases,” says Alexandra Sossa, Executive Director of FLAP which “graduated” from root2fruit at the end of 2016. “Having the support of the ECF has been a big help to get the support of other foundations, too!”

about the foundation

The Evanston Community Foundation, celebrating its 30th Anniversary through 2017, 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.