Since its inception in 1972, the Community Foundation’s assets have grown from $1,300 to nearly $27 million. This growth in well-managed endowed funds and other assets, along with administering grant dollars on behalf of the Marajen Stevick Foundation and in cooperation with the Lumpkin Foundation, has enabled us to make $1 million distributions annually for several years to nonprofit organizations in east central Illinois.
As the size of our available granting dollars has grown, our granting strategy has evolved to reflect our commitment to using our donors’ dollars wisely to make sustainable differences in our area. We believe that the combination of grants we offer serve as tools that will yield measurable and lasting results from our investment in impact.
Endowed funds from donors who leave a legacy for the future are the source of ongoing funding for this annual grant application cycle. Applications and guidelines are available on August 1, and completed applications must be submitted by midnight, August 31. These grants fund durable goods and capital items. Staffing costs, general operations and endowments, for instance, do not fall within the grant guidelines. Click here for application and guidelines.
The Community Foundation of East Central Illinois is committed to raising the capacity of nonprofit organizations and their boards. By doing this, we believe that the organizations with which we work will be more effective, and they will also be able to provide better service to their clients. Additionally, donors are likely to have increased confidence in the operation and efficacy of these organizations. Over time, a large cadre of exceptional board members will benefit our area.
To do that, the Community Foundation developed a three-phase training program: Board Building, Unlocking the Inner Fundraiser and Planning for Sustainability. Executive Directors and their boards must apply and make a strong commitment to meeting the requirements of each phase of the formal process.
The Community Foundation of East Central Illinois is committed to making life better for the residents of our area. We understand that we can make it better through partnerships and by supporting collaborations and the resulting creativity those collaborations engender. The Collective Impact Grants are intended to use community resources more efficiently and to serve as a model for nonprofits working together to create greater good for the community.
Through funding provided by the Community Foundation’s W. Barclay and Frederick C. Brasch Endowment, the initial Collective Impact Grants will address the needs of senior citizens. To begin the application process, the Community Foundation will issue a call for Concept Papers to organizations providing services to seniors. The Concept Paper must have at least three partners to leverage strengths of Collective Impact.
Organizations that provide services in the areas of enhancing the lives of seniors, beautification of Champaign-Urbana and the surrounding area and promoting excellence in reading and writing will be invited to provide a Letter of Intent (LOI). Based on these program ideas, the Community Foundation will request a complete application. The call for LOIs is typically issued once a year.
Jointly funded by the Community Foundation of East Central Illinois and the Lumpkin Family Foundation, these grants provide a maximum of $1,500 for organizations to send staff or board members to conferences or to bring training opportunities in-house. The guidelines and application are posted on the website when open.
Intended to bridge the gap between state funding and organizational expenses and other exceptional expenses, nonprofit organizations in east central Illinois are encouraged to consider this option. Application materials are available below.