Here’s How CCT’s Inaugural Awards Played Out for Its Most Interesting New Venture

Just a couple months ago, we were talking about Chicago Community Trust’s On the Table initiative, which is an interesting venture. It shows how CCT is thinking out of the box in its approach to community giving, tuning into ideas like participatory grantmaking and collective impact.

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Now, we've learned who came out on top from this effort and what kind of causes this CCT money is going towards. Almost 400 videos were submitted and more than 55,000 people participated in CCT’s On the Table 2016 initiative. Then community members in both the city and suburbs were tasked with picking the winners.

In the end, there were 64 recipients of these very first Acting Up awards. The topics addressed in these awards essentially include some of everything: healthcare, gun violence, open spaces, mental health, education, employment, and arts and culture.

“The Acting Up awards allow us to invest in actionable, grassroots ideas that will make a significant difference in communities across the city and suburbs,” explained Terry Mazany, president and CEO of CCT, in a press release.

It’s interesting to see the distribution of where this funding played out, but not surprising that the bulk of winning groups came from the city’s South Side. Fifteen of the winners came from the South Side, followed by 12 on the West Side and 10 on the North Side. You can see a full list of the award recipients on CCT’s On the Table site.

CCT seems to have really got what it was looking for in this grant program: a little bit of everyone chipping in and addressing a little bit of everything. On the Table participants ran the gamut from old to young, rich to poor, and everything in between. Each of the winning teams are receiving $1,000 to implement their creative, actionable ideas. And we’re very curious to see how many of these 64 groups continue to work with CCT in the future and how successful they’ll be because of this initial boost from the foundation.

Aside from this one interesting venture, remember that CCT, in general, has a new strategic plan that stresses getting behind "anchor" organizations with general operating support, along with other goals. However, CCT's new grant programs are still works in progress, and we’re still waiting to learn more about eligibility, application information, and deadlines.

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