responsive grants overview

Responsive grants span a broad range of community opportunities and needs across Evanston. Through the responsive grants program, ECF makes capacity building investments that strengthen nonprofit organizations, as well as grants that improve or expand programs in order to make a difference in Evanston.

strategic goals

The Evanston Community Foundation makes investments in organizations and projects that advance the following strategic goals:
• An Evanston that is inclusive and equitable for all
• An empowered and engaged community that collaborates across sectors to define problems and work on solutions
• A thriving nonprofit sector
• Realizing the long-term sustainability of organizations and community efforts

2018-2019 grants recipient organizations

The grant period begins on July 1, 2018. The grant year calendar and other reporting materials are available for viewing and download in the document library.


We request proposals that address one or more of the Foundation’s four strategic goals, as listed above, representing any aspect of the Evanston community including, but not limited to: arts and culture, basic human needs, community development, early childhood education/early learning, education, environment, family support/counseling, health, housing, seniors, workforce development, or youth. We have particular interest in work that furthers: the goals of Evanston 150, and Evanston Cradle to Career goals.

Applicants may request amounts between $5,000-$20,000; grants may be awarded for partial or full funding of proposal request. For proposals under $5,000 organizations can consider applying for Rolling Grants.


Organizations or groups must serve the Evanston population and either meet the specific 501(c)(3) qualifications or have a qualified fiscal sponsor. The applicant will also meet the additional eligibility requirements specified in the Guidelines.

grant process

The 2018 process was completed in May with the announcement of the grant awards. The application cycle will open again in late 2018. For illustration, the diagram shows the timeline from the 2018-2019 application cycle.


Letters of Inquiry and proposals must be submitted through eGrant:

contact us

For further questions or inquiries contact Rebecca Cacayuran, Program Officer. While not part of the formal application process, potential grantees are encouraged to meet with ECF Program staff to discuss proposal ideas.