Grant Overview

Our grants are not just checks, not just points on a map.

Our grants are lifelines, connecting individual donors with individual men, women, children, families striving for a better life. These connections stretch across history, so that a visionary donor of yesterday is providing food, shelter or health care for a Chicagoan today.

What We Fund

The Chicago Community Trust awards competitive grants three times each year to organizations making an impact within one of our issue areas. We also partner with supporting organizations that retain their unique identity through independent grant making. Our Fellowship program offers professional development opportunities for both emerging and experienced leaders.

Who is Eligible?

The Trust considers applications from organizations whose work is consistent with its program goals and outcomes.

  • Eligibility Requirements

    The Trust funds nonprofit agencies with evidence of tax-exempt status under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code that are not classified as private foundations. The Trust also accepts applications from agencies that have a nonprofit fiscal sponsor. Our grants management staff verifies the nonprofit status of all applicant nonprofits and fiscal sponsors using Guidestar.

    Each grant opportunity will have its own additional criteria for funding, which you will find in the Request for Proposals or application template.


Get started with the application process that meets your needs.

Working in Partnership

The Trust strives to provide outstanding service to grant recipients, working in collaboration throughout the duration of their funding, and beyond.

  • Reporting and Renewal

    Grant recipients are required to complete final reports that reflect on their progress towards the outcomes targeted in the grant proposal. Through these reports, both the Trust staff and the organization are able to gather valuable feedback and knowledge that can inform future work. We do not share this information with any other organization or funder.

    For all grants originating in GrantCentral, reports can be completed right in GrantCentral.

    If you were awarded a competitive Trust grant before September 2014, use this grant report template to complete your reporting.

    African American Legacy grants: use this AAL grant report template.

    Nuestro Futuro grants: use this NF grant report template.

  • Help and Contact

    For assistance with your grant proposal, please contact

    If you need help while working in GrantCentral, you’ll find resources in the Help section at the upper right of the screen, as well as a Contact Us button on every page to get your questions answered.

  • About Donor Advised Grants

    The Trust serves many generous individuals, families and corporations who manage their charitable giving through donor advised funds. Grants from these funds are made at the donors’ sole discretion, supporting their own philanthropic causes. There is no application process, and donor advised funds are not open to requests for funding.

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funded By:Chicago Community Trust Searle Funds at The Chicago Community Trust
funded By:Nuestro Futuro
funded By:Nuestro Futuro
funded By:Nuestro Futuro