$1.3 Million in Grants Available for Grassroots Organizations in 24 Chicago Neighborhoods Experiencing Most Violence
The Partnership for Safe and Peaceful Communities’ 2023 Chicago Fund will award $1,000 to $10,000 grants to support community-led efforts that make neighborhoods safer
CHICAGO — A Chicago-based coalition of funders called the Partnership for Safe and Peaceful Communities (PSPC) is encouraging grassroots organizations in 24 neighborhoods experiencing the most violence to apply for grants from its 2023 PSPC Chicago Fund for Safe and Peaceful Communities. Organizations focused on taking care of their neighbors, keeping neighborhoods safe and helping people feel more connected to each other can apply by 11:59 pm on Monday, March 6, 2023 for $1,000 to $10,000 grants to support summer and fall activities.
“There is a powerful desire among Chicago’s communities to increase safety and reduce violence,” said Deborah Bennett, senior program officer for Polk Bros. Foundation and Co-Chair of the Chicago Fund. “The residents and leaders who are most impacted by violence in Chicago know how to create safe spaces and affirming, asset-based activities to help their communities thrive. They just need more resources.”
The 2023 PSPC Chicago Fund will award up to $1.3 million in rapid-response grants ranging from $1,000 to $10,000 for summer and early fall activities in 24 Chicago neighborhoods experiencing high levels of gun violence. Grants can be used to support a range of community-led programs and events that help create conditions necessary for the prevention and reduction of violence, including block parties, digital media initiatives, community garden events, peer mentoring projects, back-to-school supply giveaways and more.
“If you’re planning community activities for a neighborhood on Chicago’s South or West side this summer, you could be eligible for a PSPC Chicago Fund grant,” said Partnership for Safe and Peaceful Communities’s new Executive Director Esther Franco-Payne. “Beyond grant funding, the PSPC Chicago Fund also gives grant recipients a real opportunity to connect with others doing similar work, to learn and to grow together.”
The Chicago Fund is one of four anchor strategies supported by PSPC, a coalition of funders launched in 2016 by several Chicago-area foundations in direct response to a significant spike in gun violence. Since its founding, the collaborative has grown to over 50 members — including many Chicago-area foundations and funders — and has committed more than $115 million in grantmaking to support community-led, evidence-based solutions to address gun violence. As a supplement to the larger, longer-term efforts PSPC supports to reduce violence and ensure community safety, PSPC’s Chicago Fund takes a unique approach by addressing the significant funding shortfall for small community-based organizations.
Since 2016, PSPC’s Chicago Fund has awarded $6.7 million toward 1,025 projects in 24 predominantly Black and Latino/a/x communities. This marks the eighth year PSPC’s Chicago Fund will support and amplify the efforts of people in neighborhoods most impacted by gun violence to bring residents together, provide secure spaces and create the sense of connectedness needed to make communities safe.
“I have spent hours listening as Chicago Fund awardees shared their visions, plans, ideas, and dreams for their neighbors. Most want the same things we all want — a safe place to call home. A place where families strengthen their roots, imaginations run free, the air is clean, and the streets are clear of litter,” said Jai Jones, Partnership for Safe and Peaceful Communities project specialist at The Chicago Community Trust. “What struck me the most in my conversations was that they never spoke about the violence. Their focus is not on the worst parts of the neighborhood but rather illuminating the best parts of it.”
Organizations with annual operating budgets no larger than $500,000, a valid 501(c)3 designation or a fiscal sponsor with a 501(c)3 designation, and which are working in the following communities are invited to apply: Auburn Gresham, Austin, Burnside, Chatham, Chicago Lawn, Englewood, West Englewood, Fuller Park, 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, South Lawndale (Little Village), Riverdale, Roseland, South Chicago, South Shore, Washington Park, West Pullman and/or Woodlawn.
Applicants to the 2023 Chicago Fund are strongly encouraged, but not required, to propose activities that adhere to the late Dr. Carl Bell’s Seven Field Principles model, an evidence-based framework that has been successful in fostering strong communities and reducing violence.
Virtual sessions to help guide organizations through the application process will be held on Friday, February 3, 2023 at 12pm and on Wednesday, February 15 at 6pm. Attending these sessions is not a requirement to apply for funding. Anyone interested in attending should register in advance.
More details about this grant opportunity and how to apply are included in the full 2023 PSPC Chicago Fund RFP.
Applications for 2023 Chicago Fund grants are due by 11:59 pm on Monday, March 6, 2023, and grant recipients will be notified in April 2023 and awards will be distributed in May 2023. The application for funding is available at https://community-cct.force.com/grantcentral/s/.