Colonel Stanley R. McNeil Foundation: Grants for Chicago

OVERVIEW: The Colonel Stanley R. McNeil Foundation supports arts, culture, humanities, education, health, and human services in the Chicago metropolitan area.

FUNDING AREAS: Arts, culture, humanities, education, health, human services

IP TAKE: Contact this funder for programs that address Chicago-area children or start-up needs for a new art program.

PROFILE: Established in 1993, the Colonel Stanley R. McNeil Foundation is a private foundation in Illinois. McNeil was an army colonel, alumnus of the Northwestern University School of Commerce, and director of the bond house A.C. Allyn and Co. He passed away in 1986 at the age of 93. He and his wife, Merna McNeil, created this foundation as a perpetual charitable grantmaking trust. During their lifetimes, the couple was very involved with their local community and church, and Colonel McNeil served on several charitable boards. Managed by Bank of America’s Illinois office, the foundation’s grantmaking supports the arts, culture, humanities, education, health, and human services.

This funder aims to support underserved population. While the founding couple did not have children of their own, their foundation largely focuses on the needs of local children. The Lake Bluff Children’s Home and the Ravenswood Hospital were important organizations to the founders. In addition to children’s causes, the foundation is mostly interested in healthcare needs and start-up initiatives in the arenas of arts, culture, and human services. Past local grantees include City Year Chicago, the Museum of Science and Industry, Casa of Cook County, and Girls in the Game.

Foundation grants often range between $5,000 and $25,000. Learn more about this funder’s local giving by examining its recent tax records. Grantmaking focuses on Chicago and the Greater Chicago area. The foundation strongly encourages grant requests that include naming opportunities for the donors. It considers multi-year grant requests and provides general operating support for groups that have budgets less than $1 million.

This foundation accepts unsolicited grant applications from nonprofits. The annual application deadlines are February 1 and June 1. Then applicants can expect to hear back with a funding decision by June 30 or November 30 following those deadlines. Grantseekers must use the Bank of America online system to apply for a grant. Because of limited resources, nonprofits may only submit an application to one of the following foundations in a calendar year: Alfred Bersted Foundation, Grace Bersted Foundation, Henrietta Lange Burke Fund, Carl R. Hendrickson Family Foundation, and the Colonel R. Stanley McNeil Foundation. Direct general questions to the staff at or 312-828-2055.


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