grant opportunities

ECF has a wide variety of grant programs that advance the three key goals of our 2016 strategic plan: racial equity, collaboration, and a thriving nonprofit community. Some programs have an open application process and others are by invitation only. Our grantmaking decisions are made by committees comprised of board members and community representatives. Learn more about the Foundation's grant philosophy and processes.

open applications

These grants are open to eligible groups or organizations during the application cycles for each grant program. Learn about the eligibility requirements.

capacity building


opportunities are:
teal-6x6.png Responsive Grants
 Rolling Grants


opportunities are:
Responsive Grants
blue-6x6.png Rolling Grants

time-sensitive needs or opportunities

opportunities are:
Rolling Grants

red-6x6.png Climate Action

How does ECF define capacity building?

by invitation only

major gift challenges

early childhood and youth workforce

opportunities are:

teal-6x6.png Communityworks

capacity building

opportunities are:

blue-6x6.png root2fruit Alumni


opportunities are: 

red-6x6.png Evanston Cradle to Career

definitions and explanations

eligibility requirements
Any group or organization providing services to Evanston residents may apply for a grant. Applicants are either 501(c)(3) organizations, schools, or government entities or groups who have a fiscal sponsor that qualifies as a tax-exempt organization under Sec. 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code. All proposals must address issues, concerns, or opportunities in the Evanston community.

capacity building
Capacity building: organizational initiatives that focus on building infrastructure to support an organization’s long-term growth and development to better fulfill its mission (e.g. strategic plans, board development, software upgrades, revenue-generating staff positions).