rolling grants overview

ECF is awarding Rolling Grants — grants up to $5,000 — on a quarterly basis, for projects that meet specific criteria furthering the mission to address the issues, concerns or opportunities in the Evanston community. APPLY

The Rolling Grants program began in 2017. Proposals may be submitted at any time throughout the year, and will be considered by the grants committee on a quarterly basis (March, June, September, December). Grants are awarded for one year.


Rolling grants are awarded for capacity building, collaborations, pilot program, or time-sensitive need or opportunity.

grantmaking philosophy

As described in grantmaking philosophy and process, we make investments in organizations and projects that are poised to make a difference in the community by strengthening nonprofit organizations and their programs.


  • Any group or organization providing services to Evanston residents may apply for a grant. All proposals must address issues, concerns or opportunities in the Evanston community.
  • Applicants must either be 501(c)(3) organizations, schools, government entities or they must have a fiscal sponsor that qualifies as a tax-exempt organization under Sec. 501(c)(3) of the IRS.
  • Applicants must be able to demonstrate inclusive practices leading to diversity of their boards, staff and constituents.

funding parameters

  • One year grants with a maximum request amount of $5,000.
  • New applicants, current, and former grantees, and/or previous applicants to any ECF grants program are eligible and encouraged to apply.
  • Groups may receive one rolling grant per calendar year.
  • We do not fund general operations, endowments, fundraising events or sponsorship of events, appeals for religious purposes (though faith-based organizations may apply for projects benefitting the general community), or individuals. ECF is unlikely to fund capital campaigns or one-time conferences, performances, or events.

funding areas

  • Capacity building: specific project to support an organization’s long-term growth and development to better fulfill its mission (e.g. strategic plans, racial equity audits and training, board and/or staff development, technology upgrades, program evaluation)
  • Collaboration (program): efforts that bring people, organizations, government, and/or businesses together to tackle a shared issue, reach a shared goal, or test a new idea. Planning grants for new strategic alliances are eligible.
  • Pilots (program): program design, plans or pilots. Particularly those that reach underserved Evanstonians.
  • Time-sensitive Needs or Opportunities (capacity or program): pressing and/or unforeseen needs, or requests that capitalize on a funding opportunity.


how and when to apply



contact us

Let us hear from you if you have questions — contact our Program Officer, Rebecca Cacayuran (email or 847-492-0990).