grant process and schedule

Welcome to our 2021/22 grant cycle. Please check the 2021/22 Nonprofit Timeline and Important Dates for other information.

The Impact Grants Chicago grant cycle is a four-step grant application process including a Letter of Inquiry, Full Grant Application, Site Visit and a Final Decision Process. The Nonprofit Timeline and Important Dates chart identifies the important dates included in each step. A more detailed summary of the requirements of each step are outlined below.


  • Applicants must submit a Letter of Inquiry (LOI) through our online grant application system before the deadline set annually by Impact Grants Chicago. Our application portal opens on September 20, 2021 and the deadline for submitting an LOI for the 2020/21 grant cycle is October 29, 2021.
  • Organizations are allowed to submit only one application per year and must select a Focus Area when completing the LOI to verify compliance with our funding criteria. Please review the Focus Area Descriptions on this page for more information.
  • Organizations should review the Eligibility Requirements carefully before completing the LOI.
  • Impact Grants Chicago will acknowledge each LOI received.
  • Members join Grant and Financial Review Committees (“member committees”) to analyze all submitted LOI’s.
  • Following the review of the LOIs, Impact Grants Chicago will select certain applicants to submit a Full Grant Application.

In order to assist applicants in considering submission of an LOI, we have prepared a list of questions for consideration. Click here to see the list:
Letter of Inquiry Questions 

Submit Letter of Inquiry


  • Applicants will be notified on February 4, 2022 as to whether or not they have been selected to complete the Full Grant Application. Impact Grants Chicago will provide the form to complete this application, which will be due on February 18, 2022.
  • Impact Grants Chicago will acknowledge each Full Grant Application received. The member committees will review the Full Grant Applications and, following the review, semi-finalists will be notified that they have been selected for site visits.

In order to assist applicants, we have prepared a list of questions to consider in completing the Full Grant Application. Click here to see the list:
Full Grant Application Questions


  • Applicants will be notified on March 18, 2022 whether or not they have been selected for a site visit. Impact Grants Chicago will contact applicants to schedule site visits, which will take place between April 18 and April 29, 2022.
  • The objective of the site visit is to complete a general due diligence review and to investigate and resolve any final questions. Site visits require approximately one and a half hours of dedicated time and should include participation of the Executive Director, Project or Program Manager, Financial Officer or Treasurer and a Board Member.
  • Following the completion of the site visits, the member committees of Impact Grants Chicago will select the finalists.


  • Finalists will be notified on May 16, 2022.
  • Finalists will receive guidelines for making presentations at the annual Grant Awards Celebration.
  • Impact Grants Chicago members will vote to select the $100,000 Impact Grant recipients at the Grant Awards Celebration on June 1, 2022. The voting results will be tabulated and the grant award recipients will be announced at the event.
  • Terms and conditions of the distribution of the Impact Grants will be set forth in Grant Agreement Letters. Click here to view a template of the Impact Grants Chicago 2022 Grant Agreement Letter.