The root2fruit grants program invested in capacity building for small and mid-size organizations that serve Evanston. root2fruit is a multi-year program for grantees, providing annual grants, mentoring, and a learning community.
The root2fruit program established in 2003 wrapped up in December 2021. New cohort learning opportunities are being planned.
The root2fruit program has been made possible through a partnership with the Mammel Foundation, which has since 2003 invested over $1.6 million in building the capacity of small and mid-size nonprofits in Evanston. Root2fruit ended in December 2021, having served 58 organizations since its inception. Applications for the program are no longer being accepted.
With the support of the Mammel Foundation, ECF is continuing to build the capacity of root2fruit alumni organizations. The first new offering for root2fruit alumni is Building Resilient Organizations, a program of training and coaching to help organizations navigate these uncertain times.
root2fruit provided both grant funds and a three-year learning cohort for small and mid-sized nonprofits from 2003 – 2021. In January 2020, the Evanston Community Foundation announced the recipients of the 2020 root2fruit capacity building grants. In this final round of the root2fruit program, two new organizations were selected for grants of up to $15,000 each, and each organization is eligible to receive grants for the following year, up to a maximum of $30,000.
The two final root2fruit grantees continue ECF’s commitment to supporting the breadth and depth of Evanston’s nonprofit community. Canal Shores and Young, Black & Lit. They are joined in the final year of the program with three organizations finishing their third year in the program: Actors Gymnasium, Puerta Abierta, and Reba Place Development Corporation. All participate in a learning cohort designed to help them build their long-term sustainability.
The root2fruit program included capacity building grants renewable for three years, a learning community, and mentorship for grantees. Capacity building initiatives focus on building infrastructure to support an organization's long-term growth and sustainability so it can better fulfill its mission. Examples of capacity building include board development, staff development, strategic plans, fundraising, and marketing and branding. Organizations who completed the three-year learning cohorts are considered root2fruit alumni organizations and have been eligible for grants and programming. Visit the grantmaking history page to view all prior root2fruit grant recipient organizations.
Participation in root2fruit has helped build their long-term sustainability through improved board effectiveness, fundraising capacity, and business practices. Because of this work, these strengthened organizations are able to have positive impact in our community.