RFP: Building Pathways to Stability

RFP release: February 3, 2020
LOI deadline: February 24, 2020
Full application deadline: March 24, 2020, by invitation only
Funding decision: April 2020
Announcement: May 2020

Opportunity Statement

The Chicago Community Trust’s new strategy to close the racial and ethnic wealth gap is focusing its resources and influence on disrupting public policies and systems that undergird the economic inequity in the region. Segregation and economic inequity not only impacts Black and Latinx communities but weakens the entire region. Chicago families face unstable living situations—insecurity in housing, barriers accessing health services and nutritious food—or are living in unsafe circumstances. This is why the Trust will continue to support human service organizations that are addressing the critical needs of individuals and families.

In Chicago, 65 percent of Black and Latinx households live on the financial edge, where a loss of three months’ income would push them below the poverty line, compared to 28 percent of White Chicagoans. Too many of our residents are experiencing economic hardship, which harms the overall health of the entire region.

The Chicago Community Trust recognizes that potential is everywhere; yet, opportunity is not. The Trust has and will continue to invest in the region’s most important asset: the residents. We will support organizations that address the region’s most critical needs. By building pathways to stability and improving the well-being of residents, our investments in organizations will enable the pre-conditions that allow residents to participate in and contribute to the region’s prosperity more fully. The Trust is committed to working with community-based organizations that support residents throughout their lifespan at critical moments toward well-being. The Trust aims to partner with organizations that build social cohesion and work to increase the number of residents with opportunities to thrive. The approaches listed below provide details on the types of activities to be funded with the estimated timelines.

The approach of Building Pathways to Stability will support organizations whose core work is to provide essential services in preventing and ending homelessness, decreasing food insecurity, increasing access to health care and providing emergency clothing and supplies. These quality services will promote the well-being of residents across their lifespan during critical times to meet immediate needs.

Information Session: February 14, 2020

Goals and Outcomes

Building Pathways to Stability grant recipients can expect to gain the following:

  • Cohort support: A network of human service providers working across sectors and domains and actively participating in a learning journey on national best practices to increase more Chicago residents moving toward stability. As part of the cohort, an organization will help co-design short and long-term measures of progress and outcome metrics.
  • Organizational support: Strengthened organization capacity with general operating funds. General operating support is an unrestricted grant to advance an organization’s core mission rather than specific projects or programs.

Phase I – Submitting Letter of Interest

The Chicago Community Trust is accepting Letters of Interest (LOI) for three-year general operating grants to 501(c)(3) organizations addressing the critical needs of the region’s residents by building pathways to stability. Organizations to be invited must have their core mission in one or more of the following domains:

  • Addressing housing insecurity or homelessness
  • Decreasing food insecurity
  • Increasing access to health care to residents encountering barriers
  • Responding to residents in need of emergency clothing and supplies

The Chicago Community Trust seeks to fund organizations providing human services that are intersectional and based on proven models of improving access to stability. Evidence-based services must predominantly benefit residents of the Chicago metropolitan area (City of Chicago and six collar counties). The general operating grants are designed to support organizations for a three-year period (one year plus two one-year renewals). Annual grant amounts will range between $25,000 and $75,000. Total awards for the three-year grant terms will be between $75,000 and $225,000. LOIs should be submitted via GrantCentral by February 24, 2020.

Note to Previous Grant Recipients of Unity and Restricted Funds for Basic Needs
The Addressing Critical Needs strategy closely aligns with the Trust’s Unity Fund and restricted funds in basic human needs. Therefore, previous grant recipients of Unity Fund and the Earling, Buggie & Jones Restricted Funds will now apply under the Addressing Critical Needs strategy. Past grant recipients of the Unity Fund and Earling, Buggie & Jones will submit Letters of Inquiry and may be invited through the Addressing Critical Needs RFP process.


For technical questions regarding GrantCentral, email grants@cct.org. For programmatic questions email Anna Lee at alee@cct.org or Laura Gutierrez at lgutierrez@cct.org.

Quick Links

Building Pathways to Stability Request for Proposal Process

Upcoming Addressing Critical Needs Requests for Proposals