meet the current root2fruit organizations

Building the capacity of Evanston's local organizations.

Since its beginning in 2002, the Foundation's root2fruit program has benefited forty-eight organizations, most of whom received capacity building grants for three years. These organizations are stronger. They have stronger boards. They've built their services. They've improved fundraising and development capacity. root2fruit made this possible.

building capacity and changing organizations

The Foundation staff works with all the root2fruit grantee organizations on an on-going basis. As organizations build capacity specific goals evolve. Designed to build the capacity of small to mid-size nonprofits in Evanston, root2fruit is more than the grant money, building a learning network of grantees and work with an advisory committee made up of experienced nonprofit staff and board leaders over a three year period. Over the years, root2fruit grantee organizations have seen significant improvement in their budgets, fundraising and development capacity, boards, and ability to build their services.

the current root2fruit cohort —2017 grants

In January, 2017 the Evanston Community Foundation announced the recipients of the 2017 root2fruit capacity-building grants. Three new organizations were selected for grants of up to $10,000 each, and each organization that receives a grant is eligible to receive grants for the following two years, up to a maximum of $30,000.

This year’s new grantees continue ECF’s commitment to supporting the breadth and depth of Evanston’s nonprofit community — The WE Program was created by the Forrest E. Powell Foundation to assist ETHS students in improving career and technical employment outcomes, while meeting the needs of local employers in growing sectors and industries. The Institute for Therapy through the Arts empowers and energizes individuals, families, and communities to grow and heal by engaging in creative art therapies. Reba Early Learning Center is dedicated to providing high quality care, education, and support for children and families of diverse cultural, ethnic, and socioeconomic backgrounds.

Girls Play Sports root2fruit granteeSix organizations are continuing in the root2fruit program: Chessmen Club of the NorthShore, Girls Play Sports, and National Alliance on Mental Illness, Cook County North Suburban (NAMI CCNS) (second year grantees), as well as Books & Breakfast, Meals at Home, and Muse of Fire Theatre (third year grantees). Two organizations, Community Partners in Affordable Housing and Evanston COPE, were awarded special one-year $1000 grants.

One year capacity-building grants were also awarded to five root2fruit alumni organizations — Curt’s Café, Evanston Scholars, James B. Moran Center for Youth Advocacy, Mudlark Theatre, and Services for Adults Staying in Their Homes (SASI).

After receiving root2fruit grants for up to three years, these current grantee organizations will become members of the root2fruit alumni cohort.

Class XIII: 2015-2017
Books & Breakfast
Meals at Home
Muse of Fire

Class XIV: 2016-2018
Chessmen Club of the NorthShore
Girls Play Sports
National Alliance on Mental Illness, Cook County North Suburban (NAMI CCNS)

Class XV: 2017-2019
Evanston Work Ethic (WE) Program
Institue for Therapy through the Arts (ITA)
Reba Early Learning Center

meet the prior root2fruit recipients

“Three years ago when Farmworker and Landscaper Advocacy Project applied to the Evanston Community Foundation, we didn’t have any visibility in the Evanston’s community. Today people recognize FLAP’s name and send us potential cases,” says Alexandra Sossa, Executive Director of FLAP which “graduated” from root2fruit at the end of 2016. “Having the support of the ECF has been a BIG help to get the support of other foundations too!”

For a complete list of the root2fruit organizations since 2003, explore our grantmaking history.