Flexible Funding Program

The Flexible Funding Program supports and builds the capacity of organizations to engage with community partnerships, increase investment opportunities, and concentrate and coordinate community action to increase the amount and impact of investment that is more aligned to community priorities.

Pilsen.
Pilsen. Photo Credit: James Andrews.

Grant Amount: Dependent on flexible funding type
Full Application: Dependent on flexible funding type
Award Announcement: Approximately eight weeks after full application review
Grant Term: 12 months from time of approval
Grant Type: Dependent on flexible funding type

Background

The Chicago Community Trust is committed to the goal of closing the racial and ethnic wealth gap. Catalyzing Neighborhood Investment is one of the strategies helping to achieve this goal. The strategy focuses on the ecosystem that conditions how investment happens in underinvested majority Black and Latinx communities.

Equitable investment in neighborhoods cannot happen without the leadership of community-based organizations. That means these organizations need access to funding that is focused solely on the state of the organization rather than its programs and initiatives. The Flexible Funding Program provides three distinct types of “flexible” dollars to organizations in Black and Latinx neighborhoods.

To receive Flexible Funding support, the organization must be Black or Latinx-led, and its work must align with the Trust’s Catalyzing Neighborhood Investment strategy.  

Qualified Flexible Funding Types

General operating grants. Available for the general operations of community-based organizations with clear economic development or neighborhood investment missions. General operating grants are by invitation only. General operating funding is not available at this time. Maximum grant amount: $100,000. For information on current general operating grant recipients, click here.

Capacity-building grants. Qualifying activities include strategic planning, business planning, peer learning, leadership development, board development, and other priority needs at the organizational level. Maximum grant amount: $75,000. Capacity-building grants are by invitation only. To request consideration, please contact Michael Davidson at mdavidson@cct.org.

Collaboration grants. Qualifying activities include administrative costs associated with participation in external coalitions, alliances, networks, and working groups with clear economic development or neighborhood investment outcomes for Chicago or Cook County. Maximum grant amount: $15,000. Collaboration grants are available on a rolling basis through GrantCentral.

Supporting Organizations. The Flexible Funding Program also funds third-party nonprofit service providers, which work directly with place-based organizations in Black and Latinx neighborhoods to strengthen their impact. Qualifying services include technical assistance, consulting, training and skills building, back-office support, and other capacity-building needs. Grants to supporting organizations are by invitation only. To request consideration, please contact Michael Davidson at mdavidson@cct.org.

Contact

For technical questions about your GrantCentral application, please contact our grants management staff at grants@cct.org.

For questions about this funding opportunity, please contact Michael Davidson, Senior Director of Community Impact, at mdavidson@cct.org.

How to Apply

The Trust awards grants to organizations whose work is consistent with our mission and our current priorities. Learn about the application process and eligibility.

How to Apply

What We Fund

Our grants are not just checks, not just points on a map. Our grants are lifelines, connecting individual donors with people and families striving for a better life.

What We Fund