Priority Strategies and Activities
For an Open Call idea to progress to the full proposal stage, the response must competitively advance one or more of the priorities in this section. If invited to submit a full proposal, please refer to this section often. An invitation to submit a full proposal does not guarantee funding.
- Increasing financial investment in under-invested, majority Black and Latinx communities. While government and philanthropic resources typically come first, the most competitive ideas will demonstrate longer-term pathways to attracting private capital without displacing residents.
- Leveraging collaborations across communities, issue areas or sectors in order to stack capital, forge new partnerships, integrate disciplines and share resources. Ideas without collaborations that achieve these aims will not be competitive.
- Having a clear and realistic implementation strategy that accounts for market context, demonstrates committed leadership, tracks performance and has a strong fundraising plan.
- Transitioning to sustainable, future-oriented jobs, industries and land uses that equitably shape the economy locally and regionally.
- Advancing the goals and building on the resources of existing place-based initiatives such as:
• ONTO 2050 regional plan
• Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning’s Local Technical Assistance Program
• South Suburban Economic Growth Initiative
• Opportunity Zones
• Chicago’s Industrial Corridor Modernization Initiative
• Neighborhood Opportunity Fund corridors
• Chicago Prize initiatives
• Invest South/West initiative
• Great Rivers Chicago
and others. This list is illustrative, not exhaustive.
- Creating systemic change through market development, outcome-oriented engagement with public officials and agency leaders, impactful partnerships with the private sector or the creation of innovative and replicable process, approach or structural solutions for neighborhood investment.
Most grant awards will be under $200,000. Larger grant awards and multi-year grant awards are possible at the discretion of Catalyzing Neighborhood Investment staff.
The Open Call is an ongoing solicitation for innovative ideas. Ideas submitted through the Open Call are not full proposals. Rather, they are brief and carefully constructed concepts submitted through a user-friendly letter of inquiry process.
Please submit letters of inquiry through GrantCentral, the Trust’s online grants management system. Returning users can log in and begin an application. If you are new to GrantCentral, your first step will be to create an account for your organization. Once you receive your password by email, you can log into your new account and create an organization profile, then create your letter of inquiry.
Letters are accepted at any time and a confirmation of submission email will be sent within 72 hours.
Organizations with ideas that align competitively with the requirements of the Open Call may be invited to submit a full proposal. An invitation to submit a full proposal does not guarantee funding.
For technical questions about your GrantCentral application, please contact our grants management staff at email@example.com.
For questions about the funding opportunity, please contact Michael Davidson, senior director of community impact, at firstname.lastname@example.org or Cora Marquez, impact coordinator, at email@example.com.