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RFP seeks safe, peaceful programming ideas from Chicago communities

RFP seeks safe, peaceful programming ideas from Chicago communities


Nonprofit organizations and engaged residents are invited to apply for grants of up to $10,000 to support summer and early fall violence prevention programs

The Chicago Fund for Safe and Peaceful Communities ("the Fund") opens its 2018 grant application period on Thursday, March 15, calling for proposals from organizations to develop programming in one or more of 19 prioritized Chicago communities. Nonprofit organizations, that are formally or informally organized, must have annual operating budgets of no more than $500,000.

Grant applicants can apply for awards ranging from $1,000 to $10,000, to fund programming such as educational events, youth activities, resident leader stipends, recreational activities, residential block parties, public performances and street festivals. The application process is straightforward and grants will be awarded before Memorial Day, reflecting a rapid-response process intended to support grassroots organizations that are working with keep communities safe. The total funding pool is $850,000.

The Fund will host free, in-person sessions to review the application process and answer questions. Sessions are scheduled starting the week of March 19 at Chicago Public Library sites. Visit for details. Applicants are not required to attend a review session. Accommodations for people with special needs will be provided upon request.

The application deadline is April 17, 2018. Grant awards will be announced in mid-May, and all activities related to the grants must be completed by October 31, 2018.

Applications must be submitted online via the Grants Central portal; go to to begin. Funded programs must be held in the 19 Chicago communities prioritized for support based on data compiled by the University of Chicago Crime Lab for the highest number and rate of homicides: 

Austin, Auburn Gresham, Chatham, Chicago Lawn, Englewood, West Englewood, Gage Park, East Garfield Park, West Garfield Park, Greater Grand Crossing, Humboldt Park, Lower West Side (Pilsen), New City (Back of the Yards), North Lawndale, Roseland, South Chicago, South Lawndale (Little Village), South Shore and Washington Park.

To qualify, organizations must have 501(c)3 nonprofit status or partner with an organization that has that status,and an annual operating budget of no more than $500,000.

The Fund was launched in 2016 by the Partnership for Safe and Peaceful Communities, a coalition of more than 30 Chicago funders and foundations aligning their funding to support proven and promising urgent responses to reducing violence in the next two to three years. The Fund supports grassroots organizations to sponsor events and projects in Chicago's neighborhoods that build community cohesion and promote safety and peace. In 2017, 120 organizations received funding.

Interviews are available with:
Deborah E. Bennett, Advisory Committee Chairperson and a Senior Program Officer at the Polk Bros. Foundation
Anna Lee, Program Officer at the Chicago Community Trust
Marsha Eaglin, 2017 grant recipient and Executive Director of the Impact Family Center in Chicago's Roseland community


Monday, March 19: Legler Branch
1:00 PM – 2:30 PM session time

Tuesday, March 20: Sherman Branch
12:00 PM – 1:30 PM session time

Wednesday, March 21: Thurgood Marshall Branch
12:30 PM – 2:00 PM session time

Saturday, March 24: Little Village Branch
10:00 AM – 11:30 AM session time

Wednesday, March 28: Woodson Regional Library
6 - 7:30pm session time

To attend a session, register by clicking here.

This is a story about the Promote Community Safety and Peace strategy of the Partnership for Safe and Peaceful Communities.

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Everyone who cares deeply about Chicago’s future can play a role.

If you are an employer, you can hire young people at risk. If you are a community leader, you can help improve police-community relations. If you are a health care provider, you can support trauma-informed care to gun violence victims. If you are a funder, you can support any one of these efforts. Whatever you do, your voice matters when you speak up in support of policies that can make our neighborhoods safer. Reach out to learn more.

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