Small Grants

The Foundation provides annual small grants (generally ranging in size from $3,000 – $8,000) through a competitive process primarily among existing grantees. There are two types of funds for small grants: a “Capacity Building Fund” grant, and an “Opportunity Fund” grant.

The Capacity Building Fund

The Capacity Building Fund aims to strengthening the organizational capacity of our grantees. Grants are generally awarded during one funding cycle per year, and are typically in the amount of $8,000. The following are two examples of Capacity Building Fund grants that have been awarded in the past:

HANA Center

$8,000 – 2018. HANA Center was awarded a grant from the Capacity Building Fund to acquire a CRM database system and train all staff to use the new tool. As one of the final steps in a merger process, HANA Center recognized the need for a more robust system to build their capacity to access and share information management across the much larger organization. The new system allowed the organization to integrate the data management of the organization’s service and organizing programs, increase their case management capacity, and further in-house research projects. Visit website »

Little Village Environmental Justice Organization

Little Village Environmental Justice Organization (LVEJO)$8,000 – 2016. LVEJO received support to hire a grassroots communications consultant to train youth leaders in strategic media and communications. This training is a component of LVEJOs previously developed Integrating Youth Voices: Youth Media Training for Long-Term Sustainability plan which focuses on the incorporation of youth voices and strategic communications skill development for organizational development and long-term sustainability. Visit website »

The Opportunity Fund

The Opportunity Fund provides funding for unanticipated needs or opportunities that arise between funding cycles. Typical Opportunity Fund grants are in the amount of $3,000 and may go support needs such as the repair/purchase of critical equipment, legal consultation, website upgrades or professional development including conference or workshop registration, travel, and accommodations. The following are examples of prior Opportunity Fund grants that the Foundation has awarded:

CAAAV AYACAAAV Organizing Asian Communities

$3,000 – 2018. CAAAV received an Opportunity Fund grant to replace computer equipment that was damaged when their office was flooded by a pipe burst. As designed, the fund acted as a rapid response relief during a unexpected emergency and allowed CAAAV staff to continue to organize campaign support for community allies and tenants. Visit website »

Inner-City Muslim Action Network (IMAN)

Inner-City Muslim Action Network

$3,000 – 2016. IMAN received an Opportunity Fund grant to replace outdated recording equipment and video editing software for its Youth Media Lab. The lab is a key part of furthering IMANs mission of cultivating the arts among youth groups on Chicago’s Southwest side. Visit website »