about our grant

Impact Grants Chicago recognizes the valuable work of the many local nonprofit organizations addressing the critical needs and social issues facing Chicago. To support this work, Impact Grants Chicago annually awards $100,000 grants to Chicago nonprofits, providing them the funds to support high-impact projects and programs. We fund new programs or projects as well as the expansion or continuation of successful programs or projects.

The number of $100,000 grants to be awarded is announced in January of each year based on Impact Grant Chicago’s membership numbers. Each member joins with a $1,000 donation and 100% of these funds are pooled to create $100,000 grants. For every 100 members, one Impact Grant is awarded. Residual funds are awarded as Merit Grants to the remaining finalists for general operating support.

Grant finalists are determined through a detailed process of review and evaluation by member committees and grant recipients are selected by a vote of the entire membership at the Grant Awards Celebration in May. Every member has an equal vote in deciding which nonprofits receive the grants each year.

Impact Grants Chicago conducts one grant cycle each year beginning in September with the submission of Letters of Inquiry and ending in May with the awarding of the grants at our Grant Awards Celebration. We recommend that you carefully read through the Eligibility Requirements, the Grant Process and Schedule (including the Nonprofit Important Dates) and Grant FAQs sections of the website prior to submitting your Letter of Inquiry.

Impact Grants Chicago hosted an Applicant Information Session for new and returning Impact Grants Chicago applicants on September 13, 2023. The session offered an overview of the Impact Grants Chicago funding model and grant application process, strategies to prepare a strong application, and a Q&A session.

Materials from the 2023 session are available:

2023 Session Presentation

Recording of the 2023 Session