In a difficult year, we witnessed Evanstonians coming together to support those in need and helping the community recover and rebuild. Read our 2020 Annual Report: A Year Like No Other

grants philosophy and process

We make investments in organizations and projects that advance the Foundation's strategic goals. Our mission: Helping Evanston thrive now and forever as a vibrant, just, and equitable community, the Evanston Community Foundation builds, connects, and distributes resources and knowledge through local organizations for the common good.

who can apply for grants?

All proposals must address issues, concerns, or opportunities in the Evanston community. 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(3)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code. 

E-Town Innovation Grant eligibility also includes for-profit organizations, 501(c)(6) organizations, or faith-based organizations doing charitable work benefitting the general Evanston community.

Nonprofit Growth and Sustainability and E-Town Innovation Grants are open to all organizations that serve Evanston. 

Building the Future and Partners for the Future are by invitation only.

communicating with ECF staff during application process

While not a formal, or required part of an application process, we invite you to reach out to ECF program staff to answer any questions prior to submitting an application. During an open application cycle, specific office hours will be offered for application related discussions.

Upon the close of the grant cycle declined applicants are invited to speak wtih ECF program staff to discuss the grant proposal and the review process.

grants review process

Each proposal submitted to the Evanston Community Foundation is carefully screened and reviewed by a committee specific to that grant cycle. Committees include both ECF board members and community representatives. In each cycle, committee members read and review grants proposals. Proposals are rated based on criteria specific to that cycle’s guidelines. The committee meets to discuss their assessment of proposals and determines through consensus the proposals that best meet the guidelines and are the best investments of the Foundation’s resources. Grant committee recommendations are then presented to the ECF Board for its approval.