Young Leaders Fund

Paving the way for start-up nonprofits and the next generation of philanthropists.

  • Over $1.2 Million

    Dollars Granted

  • Over 260

    Organizations Impacted

Grantmaking in Chicago

The 2023-24 YLF cycle will begin in October. If you are interested in getting involved, please fill out this form.

About the Fund

Over the past 25 years, the Young Leaders Fund (YLF) has awarded more than $1 million in grants to more than 260 small, start-up nonprofits serving neighborhoods across the city. From band classes for students in East Garfield Park, to launching a women’s culinary workforce development program at the Cook County Correctional Center, to upgrading computers for an after-school program in West Woodlawn, YLF has paved the way for small nonprofits to take their work to the next level. 

YLF focuses its grants on small, start-up nonprofits with operating budgets of less than $250,000. Our three focus areas are Arts & Culture, Child Development & Education, and Community & Economic Development. 

YLF grants are invite-only, and we’re always looking for organizations to invite to our next grant application cycle. If you have recommendations of small local nonprofits doing incredible work for us to connect with, please complete the form linked below.

2022 Grant Recipients

Leadership Team

Morgan Olenski, Co-ChairLiz Miller, Co-Chair
Romir Argawal Jack Kim 
Michael Blakeslee Mateo Koster 
Meg Boucher Jacque Stefanic 
Lauren ClarkAswini Velivela 
Sanchi Gupta Alexandria Walker 
Shivani Jindal Caroline Wegener 


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Affinity funds are groups of donors united by a shared heritage, identity, or common interest. They offer an efficient way to support a specific group of people and the nonprofits that aid them by leveraging contributions through collective giving.