The Chicago Community Trust Announces an Open Call for Ideas to Boost Neighborhood Investment

CHICAGO (February 10, 2020) The Chicago Community Trust has issued an Open Call for Ideas to boost neighborhood investment that aims to improve local and regional economies where conventional market activity does not fully meet community needs. 

Thousands of stakeholders from across the city, region and state collaborate every day to bring financial capital to under-invested communities using planning, catalytic assets, finance and policy interventions. The Neighborhood Investment Open Call is looking for ideas within and across these interventions. 

“The Open Call creates a virtual “open door” through which the Trust can hear new ideas, respond more quickly to time-sensitive opportunities and listen to new voices, “said Michael Davidson, senior director of community impact for The Chicago Community Trust. 

The Neighborhood Investment Open Call seeks ideas aimed at addressing one or more of the following Neighborhood Investment interventions:  

  • The creation and implementation of place-based and issue-area plans and initiatives that advance neighborhood investment goals. 
  • The creative use of community assets that serve as catalysts for neighborhood investment. 
  • Finance and development tools that facilitate neighborhood investment and ownership. 
  • Neighborhood investment policy solutions. 

Through the open call, the Trust seeks to equitably source innovation by not requiring full proposals but rather brief and carefully constructed concepts submitted through a user-friendly process. These concepts should define what the impact of the idea will be on constituents and communities to build community wealth. Organizations with ideas that align competitively with the requirements of the Open Call may receive an invitation to submit a full proposal. An invitation to submit a full proposal does not guarantee funding will be made available. 

In November 2019, the Trust announced its new strategic plan, which focuses its discretionary funds on addressing the region’s fundamental challenge: racial and ethnic wealth inequity. Over the next decade, we have committed to a three-part strategy aimed at closing the racial and ethnic wealth gap, which includes growing household wealth, catalyzing neighborhood investment and building collective power. 

This Open Call underscores our commitment to catalyzing neighborhood investment as we believe the conditions of a community affect a household’s ability to build wealth. Proximity to quality jobs, transportation options, goods and services, and lifestyle amenities influences property values and gives residents access to opportunities. The Trust’s catalyzing neighborhood investment strategy addresses these conditions as we work to make our blocks, our neighborhoods and our region more livable for everyone. 

To learn more about the Neighborhood Investment Open Call for Ideas, visit