RFP: 2020 Coalitions for Equity in Wealth Policy

RFP release: March 9, 2020
Information session: March 23, 2020
LOI deadline: March 30, 2020
Full application deadline: May 11, 2020
Funding decision: June 2020
Announcement: June 2020


To flourish, the Chicago region must be a place where all current and future residents can thrive. The Chicago Community Trust is committed to closing the racial and ethnic wealth gap in the Chicago region and increasing the share of economic prosperity for Black and Latinx individuals and households. The Trust believes that only by addressing our significant wealth and economic disparities can we achieve our vision of a thriving, equitable and connected region.

Longstanding discriminatory policies and practices have propelled racial segregation, and both hindered the creation of wealth for and stripped wealth from people and communities of color.  While federal policies such as redlining were abolished decades ago, these systems fueled an insidious cycle of disinvestment and drove Chicago’s notable and entrenched racial and ethnic segregation. Our city has a troubling history of perfecting discriminatory practices enabled by federal policy. These range from contract buying– which stripped $4.4 billion from African American households excluded from traditional lending– to eminent domain, which allowed for aggressive approaches to slum clearance, removing Black homes and businesses. The national and local wealth gap is the result of structural policies and systems with both intentional and disparate impact on household wealth building for people and communities of color. As a result, growing household wealth requires solutions that address these structures and systems.

Need/Opportunity Statement

Economic opportunities for people of color remain inequitable. Nationally, White families have nearly 10 times the accumulated and inherited wealth to invest in their own and their children’s future. In Chicago, this gap is predicted to be larger given that Black, Asian and Latinx populations generally struggle more than their peers do nationally. Similarly, Chicago’s White population often has better economic outcomes than the White population nationally. Because solving an issue as complex and entrenched as the wealth gap cannot occur through any single solution, a wide variety of policy changes are necessary to address this growing divide.

This funding opportunity is intended to invest in strengthening existing coalitions that are creating the conditions to advance meaningful policy reforms. The Trust is interested in supporting coalitions engaging in three core policy areas: Assets and Income Policy, Lending and Consumer Protections Reform, and Equitable Public Sector Fines and Fees.  

Goals and Outcomes

The Coalitions for Equity in Wealth Policy Request for Proposals (RFP) is designed to advance three of The Chicago Community Trust’s 10-year goals:

  • Increased policies passed and systemic reforms aligned to achieving Trust strategic priorities
  • Increase median assets of both Black and Latinx households as compared to White households
  • Decrease median debt burden of both Black and Latinx households as compared to White households

Priority Strategies and Activities

Through its Growing Household Wealth strategy, the Trust aims to support efforts to advance and protect corrective policies and systems reforms that address inequities in wealth creation for African American, Latinx, and other racial and ethnic populations that have been negatively impacted by discriminatory and racist policies and practices.

As the Trust researched the most promising policy interventions, we also identified several illustrative local policy coalitions whose efforts advance the three core policy areas that the Trust aims to support. This list is intended to provide examples of aligned coalitions. Applicants involved in other coalitions that are aligned with the three policy goals above are welcome to apply.

  • Community Reinvestment Act (CRA) Coalition
  • Cost of Living Refund Coalition
  • Housing Policy Roundtable
  • Illinois Asset Builders Group
  • Payday Lending Coalition
  • Raise the Floor Alliance
  • The Transit Table Coalition

Grant Type

Through the Coalitions for Equity in Wealth Policy grant portfolio, the Trust is interested in making general operating grants to support organizational capacity to lead, participate in, and engage with coalitions working in one or more of the following issue areas: Assets and Income; Lending and Consumer Protections Reform; and, Equitable Public Sector Fines and Fees. The Trust will consider a program grant if requested by the applicant and mutually agreed upon between the applicant and the Trust. This request must be made in the Letter of Inquiry (LOI) before moving on to a full application.

Grant Amounts Available and Grant Term

Under this opportunity, the Trust plans to award approximately 10 to 15 grants between $35,000 and $150,000. Grant sizes will vary based on organizational size, need, and role in the coalition(s). This is a one-year grant with an opportunity to renew for a second year. Grant recipients are expected to meet the Trust’s requirements for the submission of financial and narrative reports at the end of the grant cycle, including a final report.

For more information about the criteria and application for this RFP, please visit GrantCentral, The Chicago Community Trust’s online grants management system.


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