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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 are 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 fill out this survey. 

The most successful partners meet each of the requirements listed below.

  • To be eligible for a Springboard grant, first-time applicants must:

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

    • Be in operation for three years or less

    • Have an organizational budget of less than $100,000

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


  • We are unable to support requests for:

    • Scholarships

    • Individuals

    • Religious proselytizing, programs that have prayers before, during, or after, and programs that do not accept youth of other faiths

    • Weekend/summer 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 an existing debt


Grant Calendar

  • Grant application available in early December

  • New and current grantee cohort grant application due in mid-January

  • Current cohort site visits late February through early April

  • New grantee site visits April through June

  • Grant decision letters in July

  • Grant awards distributed at the end of September

Note: The current grant cycle is open. The next cycle opens in December 2020 through February 1, 2021. We welcome email inquiries all year long. Please follow the instructions for the Introduction Email above. 


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.).