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$1 Million in Grants Available for Grassroots Organizations in 24 Chicago Neighborhoods Experiencing Most Violence

The Partnership for Safe and Peaceful Communities’ 2024 Chicago Fund will award at least $1 million in grants of up to $10,000 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) encourages grassroots organizations in 24 neighborhoods experiencing the most violence to apply for grants from its 2024 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 begin applying on Wednesday, February 7. All applications should be submitted by 11:59 pm on Wednesday, March 6, 2024, for $1,000 to $10,000 grants to support summer and fall activities. 

“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 Executive Director Esther Franco-Payne. “Beyond grant funding, PSPC’s Chicago Fund also gives grant recipients a real opportunity to connect with others doing similar work, to learn and grow together.” 

The 2024 PSPC Chicago Fund will award at least $1 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. 

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 significant spikes 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 $140 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 over $8 million toward 1,200 plus projects in 24 predominantly Black and Latino communities. This marks the ninth 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. 

“The Chicago Fund serves as an opportunity for community members to serve their communities, in ways that help to reimagine what it means to have safe spaces,” said Jai Jones, Partnership for Safe and Peaceful Communities project specialist at The Chicago Community Trust. “When speaking with grantees, I’m always struck by the hope they carry for their neighborhoods. The civic leadership and sacrifice they display each summer illuminates the best of what Chicago has to offer”. 

Organizations with annual operating budgets of no larger than $500,000, with 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 2024 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 Thursday, February 8 at 12pm and on Thursday, February 22 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 2024 PSPC Chicago Fund RFP

Applications for 2024 Chicago Fund grants are due by 11:59 pm on Wednesday, March 6, 2024, and grant recipients will be notified in April 2024 and awards will be distributed in May 2024. The application for funding is available at https://community-cct.force.com/grantcentral/s/.



Visit the PSPC Chicago Fund website to learn more.