new in 2017 — rolling grants

ECF is now 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.

Download the RFP. 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.

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

  • Proposals may be submitted at any time throughout the year through eGrant:
  • Download the Rolling Grants Proposal Template and Rolling Grants Budget Template. Upload the two completed documents on eGrant.
  • The grants committee will make funding decisions in March, June, September, and December of each year. Be sure to submit your request by the first of each month to be included in that quarter’s review.
  • If you need access to a computer or assistance submitting online, please contact our office: 847-492-0990.

rolling funds questions

Please download the Rolling Grants Proposal Template and limit your answers to two pages.

The following questions are provided in the RFP and the Rolling Grants Proposal Template.


1. What is your organization/group’s mission and scope of work in Evanston?
2. Project Description: For what are you seeking funding?
3. How will this project be implemented and what is the timetable?
4. What will indicate a successful outcome?


5. Why are you undertaking this specific program? What impact in Evanston do you hope to realize?
6. Who will be served by your program? How many are Evanston residents?
7. How will you reach your intended audience and/or recruit participants? How will you strive to ensure access and break down barriers of participation in Evanston?
8. If you are collaborating with other groups, please explain the collaboration and the responsibilities of each partner and attach a letter of support.


5. How will this grant help develop your organization?
6. Why is this project important at this time?
7. With this increase in capacity, how will your organization be positioned to better serve Evanston?
8. If this is a project that will be undertaken by a consultant or firm, what was/will be your selection process? If already selected, please give an overview of the provider. If not yet selected, please explain how you arrived at the proposal request amount.

project budget

Download the Rolling Grants Budget Template. A thoughtfully prepared budget demonstrates you have considered all the costs associated with the request, as well as the resources needed to ensure the project’s success. The second page of the RFP has a sample budget for reference in completing the budget document.

contact us

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