The Lloyd A. Fry Foundation has four distinct grantmaking programs, and almost all grant dollars stay within in the Chicago city limits. Fry tends to give out about 300 grants a year, with the average grants in the $20,000 to $50,000 range (Read Fry Foundation: Chicago Grants). So what’s this local funder been up to so far in 2014?
Recently, the Fry Foundation awarded a two-year $120,000 grant to the Marwen Foundation to increase its enrollment of needy middle and high-school students in free visual arts programs. Marwen exclusively caters to underserved Chicago youth in grades 6-12, and one of the foundation’s four grant programs is Arts Learning. The Fry Foundation is particularly interested in arts education programs within Chicago Public Schools. Each year, Fry accepts arts learning grant requests for deadlines that fall on June 1, September 1, and March 1.
The Fry Foundation also recently awarded a $150,000 grant to Heartland Health Center to provide dental care services at three school-based health centers. Fry has a habit of funding non-traditional health causes (like dental and optical health) that don’t often get picked up by other local funders. For example, Fry gave $230,000 to the Illinois College of Optometry and $65,000 to the Infant Welfare Society of Chicago for eye care recently as well. Within Fry’s health program area, typical grantees also include mental health organizations, medical-home models of care, and policy advocacy efforts. Each year, Fry accepts health grant requests for deadlines that fall on September 1, December 1, and March 1.
A bit out of character, the Fry Foundation also awarded a $250,000 two-year grant last month to New Leaders, a New York City-based nonprofit, for its Aspiring Principals and Emerging Leaders Programs. Founded in 2000, New Leaders is a national nonprofit aimed at developing transformational school leaders and designing effective leadership policies across the nation. So although Fry’s education program is still focused on increasing the academic achievement of low-income students in Chicago, there is the occasional (and broader) exception to the rule.