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Apply for a Grant

A Springboard grant is often part of a multi-year, long-term relationship intended to help the grantee enhance its organizational stability and expand the reach of its.  We solicit proposals from outstanding, small, community-based programs working in under-resourced neighborhoods and our members visit each prospective grant recipient prior to making annual funding decisions.  Members individually monitor the impact of each grant, and work on an ongoing basis to gauge further funding requirements.  We have made grants primarily to organizations that provide afterschool programs to Chicago's youth. Our grants have been used to expand program capacity, staffing, transportation, and for general operations. Grants range in size from $5,000 to $20,000 and is largely dependent on the number of years a program has been a Springboard grantee.

Organizations that are interested in submitting a proposal for funding consideration should contact Sejal Shah-Myers at to schedule a time to discuss guidelines and fit, first. Initial emails should include three dates with the times available to discuss eligibility. As a starting point, an introduction email should include answers to the four eligibility requirements below. (This email address is being protected from spam bots, you need Javascript enabled to view it.)

  • To be eligible for a Springboard grant  the organization must:

    • Be a Chicago-based and/or serving 501(c)3 nonprofit organization

    • Be in operation for three years or less

    • Have an organization budget less than $500,000 (Note: first time applicants should have budgets less than $100,000)

    • Provide afterschool programs operating sometime Monday through Friday between the hours of 3:00pm to 7:00pm.

  • We will not fund:

    • Scholarships

    • Individuals

    • Religious proselytizing or programs that do not accept youth of other faiths

    • Weekend only programs

    • Chicago chapters of larger, national nonprofits

    • The sole purpose of writing, publishing, producing or distributing audio, visual or printed material

    • The sole purpose of conducting conferences, festivals, exhibitions or meetings

    • Reducing operating deficits or liquidating existing debt

Grant Calendar

  • Current cohort site visits late February through early April

  • Grant application available in early December

  • New and current grantee grant application due in mid January

  • New grantee site visits April through June

  • Grant decision letters in early July

  • Grant awards distributed at the end of September

NOTE: The current grant cycle is closed. Our next grant cycle opens in December 2018 and closes in January 2019. We welcome inquiries all year long.

Management Suite Grants

Springboard Management Suite grants are only for current Springboard grantees. Springboard provides funding for capacity building through Springboard's Management Suite of Services. Springboard will fund 70% of up to $3,500 worth of these services for your organization. Grantees are required to pay the remaining 30%.  Examples of capacity building projects are: professional development for key leaders, strategic planning, board development and core function improvements (accounting, fundraising etc.).