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 ApplyGrant Guidelines     January 31, 2015  
Grant Guidelines Minimize


Through the Community Needs Grant Program, The DuPage Community Foundation supports programs and projects which impact, improve, enhance and enrich the quality of life for DuPage County residents.  Through two grant cycles each year, the Foundation accepts applications from local not-for-profit organizations serving the community in the following areas:

Arts and Culture
Health and Human Services

First-time applicants are strongly encouraged to call or email Barb Szczepaniak, Director of Programs, to determine eligibility before beginning the application process.

Grant Application Options
Applicants may apply for a Community Needs grant by submitting one of the following applications through our online grant application process:

                     Community Needs Mini-Grant Application - for requests up to $2,500
                     Community Needs Grant Application - for requests up to $20,000

Guidelines, eligibility, restrictions, and published deadlines are the same for both application options.

Grant Application Due Dates
Organizations may submit one application (Community Needs Grant Application or Community Needs Mini-Grant Application) for the Community Needs Grant Program per calendar year.  Applications must be submitted online by 5:00 p.m. on the dates listed below.  Applications submitted after the specified deadlines will not be accepted.

2015 Spring Cycle
Friday, March 6, 2015 - Deadline for Health and Human Services applications

2015 Fall Cycle
Friday, September 4, 2015 - Deadline for Arts and Culture, Education and Environment applications


Online Grant Application Process

Proposals must be submitted via the online grant application process.

To begin the online grant application process, applicants will need to create an account by providing basic information (email, password, name, organization, EIN #, address, etc.).   Once you have initially created your account, you will be able to access current and future grant applications.  

The following are tutorials which have been provided by our vendor, Foundant, to help you create an account and begin completing  your application.

Applicant Tutorial  

Video Tutorial

Here is a preview of the grant applications:

2015 Spring Community Needs Grant Application

2015 Spring Community Needs Mini-Grant Application


Applications to the Community Needs Grant Program will be accepted from not-for-profit charitable organizations that:

  • Are public charities classified as exempt from federal income taxes under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code (Please note that the Foundation does not generally award grants to organizations which have operated as a 501(c)(3) for less than three years)
  • Primarily serve DuPage County residents

Previous grantees must have complied with all reporting requirements and be in good standing before submitting another grant request. Prior grantees who have outstanding final reports at the time of application submission must include a final report (if project/program has been completed) and Outcome Measures Table--final report or an interim report (if project/program has not yet been completed) and Outcome Measures Table--interim report.  If an interim report is included with the application, a final report from the grant will be due no later than May 1, 2015 for Health and Human Services grants or November 1, 2015 for Arts & Culture, Education and Environment grants.

The Foundation does not generally award grants from the Community Needs Grant Program to:

  • Organizations which have received grants through the Community Needs or General Grant Program for the past three consecutive years
  • Organizations which have operated as a 501(c)(3) for less than three years
  • Individuals
  • Support religious activities (secular activities provided by religious organizations may be eligible for grant funds)
  • Endowments
  • Disease-specific organizations
  • Private foundations and private operating foundations
  • Hospitals, including supporting foundations
  • Historical societies and foundations for projects that do not have a broad reach beyond a specific community
  • Food pantries for the purchase of food (equipment and other programs provided by food pantries are eligible for grant funds)
  • Governmental agencies, including supporting foundations
  • Public, parochial, private or charter schools (pre-k through 12th grade), including supporting foundations

Application Review Process
The Foundation Grant Committee consists of Foundation Trustees and community volunteers.  The Committee meets several times to review and evaluate all applications received and to conduct site visits when appropriate.  The Committee then makes grant recommendations to the full Board of Trustees for approval.

All applicants will be notified via email whether or not a grant has been awarded.  Notification will be sent out mid-May for Health and Human Services grant requests and mid-November for Arts & Culture, Education and Environment grant requests.

Application Questions
Please contact Barb Szczepaniak, Director of Programs, at (630) 665-5556 or with questions concerning the grant program, the application process and program category selection.

Grant Guidelines
When applying for a grant, please note the following:

  • Only one application per organization may be submitted within any calendar year
  • Applications may be submitted for existing or new projects, programs or operating purposes
  • In the health & human services, arts & culture, and education categories, importance will be placed on organizations which deliver effective existing programs to assist underserved populations, offer new approaches to solving problems, or create opportunities for organizations to collaborate
  • In the environment category, importance will be placed on organizations that effectively address current and future environmental needs/issues in DuPage County through improvement of existing or development of new programs, educational outreach, and collaborative efforts
  • Grants are awarded for a one-year period
  • Applications that do not contain all the requested information in the specified format may be denied
  • Applications will be accepted into the program category that best fits the specific program for which funds are being requested
  • Once submitted, applications may be moved into a different category at the discretion of the director of programs

The chart below provides broad program descriptions as a guideline to the applicant.  When applying, category selection should be based on the program's content, not necessarily on the type of organization.  For example, if a human services organization is providing after-school tutoring to at-risk children, funding for this program would be in the education category.

Application Deadline
Program Category     Program Description
3/6/15  Health and Human Services     Supports a wide range of programs that improve the quality of life of DuPage County residents in need by:
  • strengthening, assisting and advocating for at-risk and low-income populations and providing basic human needs to children, youth, adults, and senior citizens, and/or 
  • promoting physical and mental health 
 9/4/15 Arts and Culture     Supports programs that provide opportunities for participation, education, awareness, and appreciation for the arts and cultural heritage.
 9/4/15 Education     Supports community education programs (outside of school pre-k through 12th grades) to enhance and promote learning from early childhood to adulthood.
 9/4/15 Environment     Supports environmental education; programs that promote conservation and restoration of natural areas, habitats, and green spaces; efforts to reduce pollution and waste; and programs that protect wildlife and endangered species.

Grants are made from the earnings of permanent endowment funds established by corporations, foundations, individuals and organizations wishing to make a lasting contribution to the people of DuPage County.

Community Needs grants will be funded from earnings on the following funds:

Unrestricted Funds

  • Shirley and Howard Benson Fund
  • Cleve E. Carney Fund
  • Lois L. and Edwin F. Deicke Fund
  • Elizabeth D. Eben Memorial Fund
  • General Endowment Fund
  • Alan D. and Jane M. Hoffmann Fund
  • Joseph and Bess Kindlon Fund
  • Jack and Virginia Knuepfer Fund
  • John W. Squire Fund

Field-of-Interest Funds

  • Access to Recreation Fund
Founding donor:  Midwest Community Foundations Ventures (2007)
For accessible recreation programs/projects
  • Arts Fund
Founding donor:  WPWR-TV Channel 50 Foundation (1994)
For artistic endeavors including, but not limited to, performing and visual arts, art exhibits, and arts education
  • Basic Human Needs Fund
Founding donors:  First Annual Benefit Attendees (1993)
For agencies responding to emergency housing, food, clothing and health care needs of low-income residents
  • The Alben F. Bates and Clara G. Bates Foundation Fund
Founding donors:  The Alben F. Bates and Clara G. Bates Foundation (2005)
To support the residents of Elmhurst
  • Children and Youth Fund
Founding donors:  Richard and Carole Cline (1988)
For physical, emotional, educational and intellectual needs of children and youth
  • Ruth and Hugh Christ Fund
Founding donors:  Ruth and Hugh Christ (2000)
For disadvantaged children and youth
  • Environmental Fund
Founding donor:  Molex Incorporated (1991)
For efforts to improve and/or preserve the quality of the the natural environment
  • Health Fund
Founding donor:  Central DuPage Health System (1995)
For broad health needs in the community
  • Martha McCormick Hunt Fund
Founding donors:  Brooks and Hope B. McCormick Fund (1988)
Primarily for conservation and protection of the natural environment
  • John and Elsie, Mary and Arthur Kolar Fund

Founding donors:  Mary and Arthur Kolar (1998)
In support of the environment and wildlife

  • Wesley E. Luehring Foundation Fund
Founding donor:  The Wesley E. Luehring Foundation (1999)
For charities located in or serving the Itasca area
  • Sindelar Family Fund
Founding donor:  Peg Sindelar (2002)
For education and health
  • Donald and Dianne Skeet Fund

Founding donor:  Dianne Skeet (2014)
To benefit children 


Grant Applications and Attachments
Online Grant Application
Outcome Measures Table
Financial Analysis Form 




104 E. Roosevelt Rd., Suite 204
Wheaton, IL 60187-5200
Phone:  630-665-5556
Fax:  630-665-9571


Confirmed in Compliance
with National Standards for
U.S. Community Foundations