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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Frequently Asked Questions
  • What are the Foundation's funding priorities?

    The Foundation focuses on three core program areas: Entrepreneurship Education, Cancer, and Developmental Disability Services. To view the Foundation's most recent impact plans, please click below.

    Entrepreneurship Impact Plan
    Cancer Impact Plan
    Developmental Disabilities Impact Plan

  • Do you give grants to organizations outside Chicago?

    The Foundation primarily maintains a regional focus with the exception of some programs, in particular entrepreneurship education, which may be outside the Midwest.

  • Do you sponsor events or dinners?

    The Foundation’s guidelines do not allow funding for advertising books and tickets. General solicitations and annual appeals will not be considered.

  • Do you make grants to individuals?

    The Foundation can not make grants directly to individuals for any purpose (e.g. to start a small business, pay school or college tuition, cover medical bills, pay off debts, buy or build a home). Applicants must be registered not-for-profit organizations.

  • Do you provide general operating support, or must we apply for specific project funds?

    We generally fund programs; in special cases general operating support is provided.

  • Does the Foundation have deadlines for letters of inquiry (LOI)?

    The Foundation accepts letters of inquiry throughout the calendar year.

  • When are grants approved?

    The Foundation Board meets four times a year, usually in February, May, August and November.

  • May I send an application by fax or email?

    Applications can be sent via fax to 312-902-7124 or via email to

  • What is the average size and duration of your grants?

    The average size and duration of grants varies by project and program area. Please view the grants listing pages for examples of grants awarded.

  • May I obtain a copy of your an annual report?

    The Foundation does not publish an annual report. The Foundation does make available yearly financial statements on its website at

  • Does your staff conduct site visits so we can present our project?

    If an applicant is invited to submit a proposal staff will likely conduct a site visit to gain additional information about the program or project.

  • Does the Foundation prefer a specific budget format?

    All proposals must include a budget in the Foundation supplied format along with a narrative which details budget and expense items.

  • Does the Foundation accept budget modifications after the start of a project?

    Budgets can be amended with prior written approval from the Foundation.

  • Does the Foundation require specific reports?

    Program reporting aids both the grantee and the Foundation evaluate program effectiveness. The Foundation requires periodic narrative and financial reports as described in grant agreements. Reports include a Grantee Report and an Budget Report (using the Foundation’s reporting templates). Grant reports should be concise reviews of what has occurred and must evaluate both strengths and areas for improvement. They must compare proposed to actual outcomes, placing particular focus on items identified in the proposal as “deliverables” for each program. Budget reports must reveal sources of income and expense related to the project. Any significant budgeted to actual variances must be explained in the budget recap of the Grantee Report or in a budget narrative.

  • What happens if the Grantee fails to submit the required narrative and financial reports?

    The Foundation will send delinquency/overdue notices to the grantee. If continued attempts by the Foundation to receive the required reports fail, the Foundation will close the grant for non compliance. All payments will be suspended and the organization will no longer be eligible to receive grants from the Foundation.

  • What happens if a progress report from the Grantee is late?

    If a progress report is late, the grantee should contact the Foundation and request an extension. The next scheduled payment on the grant, dependent on the report, will be delayed until the report has been received and approved.