Unlike many of its philanthropic counterparts, the Polk Brothers Foundation acknowledges that it has been affected by the economy. The result is that very few proposals are being accepted from organizations that haven't previously received Polk's financial support. Polk also advises up front that very few awards are made to organizations outside the city of Chicago. (See Polk Brothers Foundation: Chicago Area Grants).
Despite these grim circumstances, recession-resistant fields like healthcare are still seeing a steady flow of grant money coming in. The Polk Brothers Foundation recently gave $90,000 to the Advocate Illinois Masonic Medical Center to cover mental health services at Amundsen and Lake View Health Centers. This was one of over twenty-five healthcare grants Polk funded recently, ranging from $25,000 to $360,000 a piece.
Chicago's Advocate Illinois Masonic Medical Center is a 408-bed hospital that offers primary care, surgery, obstetrics, pediatrics, trauma care, and neonatal intensive care. This north side neighborhood hospital sees more than 20,000 inpatients, 149,000 outpatients, 35,000 emergency patients, and 142,000 primary care patients every year. The Polk Brothers' grant goes towards the hospital's Behavior Health Services Department, which aims to help Chicago children, teens, and adults with mental health issues in an affordable and accessible way. (See Fundraising for Hospitals and Health Centers).
Regardless of the state of the economy, our society will always need healthcare services, both physical and mental. If your healthcare organization is looking for grants this year, the Polk Brothers may be your golden ticket. Polk divides its healthcare giving into two categories: School-Based Services and Community-Based Services. If your organization is working to improve the health of low-income Chicago residents through primary care initiatives, you'll need to explain your accounting projections to Polk. Grant applicants must be able to accurately estimate the number of educational workshops the program will provide, percentage of people able to access care because of the program, and measurable decreases in wait times and emergency room visits.
If your nonprofit is working to improve the health of children in Chicago public schools, you'll also need a well-structured and detailed plan to satisfy Polk's grant requirements. Whether your school-based service aims to reduce health risks or improve student's access to care, Polk's evaluation criteria requires disclosure of the number of care visits, educational presentations, and measurable participant knowledge gain on reducing risky behaviors.
Although there are no deadlines to apply for a health grant with the Polk Brothers, grant applications are considered at quarterly board meetings in February, May, August, and November. Review Polk's Application Procedure page before submitting a pre-application form and direct inquiries to firstname.lastname@example.org.