Springboard Foundation

Helping After-School Programs Flourish in Chicago’s Most Challenged Neighborhoods

The Springboard Foundation supports small, underfunded grassroots after-school programs in Chicago’s most impoverished neighborhoods. Every dollar Springboard raises from outside donors goes directly to grant recipients and the children they serve. Since 1998, Springboard has helped numerous programs grow and become self-sustaining, to provide inner-city children with the education and personal growth critical to success. In addition to contributing their own funds, Springboard members commit many hours each year to the job of identifying high-quality neighborhood programs that might otherwise have difficulty obtaining financial support, and maintaining contact as they grow. The goal is to help advance these organizations to eventually become stable and self-sustaining community assets for Chicago’s neighborhoods and families.



The Springboard Foundation funds organizations providing after-school and summer-school programs to Chicago’s youth. A Springboard grant is often part of a multi-year, long-term investment intended to help an agency enhance its organizational stability, expand the reach of its programs, and provide bridges to long-term sources of funding. Springboard invites proposals from small, community-based programs working in disadvantaged communities. Members monitor the impact of each grant, and work on an ongoing basis to gauge further funding requirements.


  • Must be a qualified 501(c)(3), as defined by the Internal Revenue Service Code
  • Must serve the residents of Chicago
  • Must have a program budget less than $500,000
  • Must provide after-school programs

Grant Amounts

  • $5,000 to $20,000
  • Additional funding may be available, based on progress and impact

Grant Cycle and Deadlines

Springboard makes grants once each year, beginning with applications accepted in early spring. Grant seekers should begin by contacting Sejal Shah-Myers, Executive Director, at sejal@springboardfoundation.org. If your program qualifies for funding, full details of the proposal and application process will be provided.