The root2fruit grants program invests in capacity-building for small and mid-size organizations that serve Evanston. 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. root2fruit is a three-year program for grantees, providing annual grants, mentoring, and a learning community.
Since its inception in 2002, the root2fruit program has benefited 53 small and mid-size organizations serving Evanston. It is exciting to announce the 15th year of our Evanston root2fruit initiative, funded by the Mammel Foundation which includes a combination of grants renewable for three years, one-time grants for root2fruit alumni organizations, and mentorship for grantees.
about more than money
A series of four meetings annually builds a learning community in which the organizations gain knowledge and ideas from the root2fruit advisory board and their peers. Advisory board members, all of whom have extensive experience in the nonprofit world, are available to help mentor grantee 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.
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.
Six 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).
for current grantees
Current root2fruit grantees can find the information they need to have a successful grant year through the links to reporting documents. Further information will be provided about the 2017-2018 grant year.
ECF is moving away from the language of goals and objectives that we have previously used in our grant agreements. Instead, we are asking you to consider the long term change in your organization you are aiming for (Impact); the short term changes that will happen first to get to that impact (outcomes); how you will you get to those outcomes (strategies); and how you will measure whether you have reached those outcomes (indicators).