Grand Victoria Foundation

OVERVIEW: The Grand Victoria Foundation is supported with voluntary contributions from the Grand Victoria Casino in Elgin, Illinois, just outside the city of Chicago. The foundation is a statewide grantmaker that focuses on improving systems affecting early childhood education, employment, and natural resources conservation. 

FUNDING AREAS: Early childhood education, employment, and natural resources conservation

IP TAKE: Nonprofits will enjoy a straightforward, yet competitive, application process if they have an environment or education program to pitch.

PROFILE: Established in 1996, the Grand Victoria Foundation carries out the Grand Victoria Casino’s commitment to voluntarily donate 20 percent of annual net operating income to local programs. The Grand Victoria Casino in the Chicago suburb of Elgin, Illinois. The foundation invests its resources to “strengthen early education opportunities for young children, protect natural lands and waterways, and promote economic vitality through robust employment development.”

In all three of these funding areas, the foundation focuses on four elements to create the right conditions for change: high-functioning systems, strong public policies, engaged communities, and effective organizations. The funder gives core grants twice per year to Illinois nonprofits working at a systemic level. Since the casino is located in Elgin, it awards additional general operating grants to Elgin-based organizations two times per year through the Elgin Grantworks program. Although the arts aren't a priority area for the foundation, some Elgin-based children's arts and theater groups do receive support through Elgin Grantworks. The foundation also awards land acquisition grants in Illinois on a rolling basis.

Foundation grants tend to range from $50,000 to $300,000. Nonprofits can view a list of past grantees on the funder’s website. Grantmaking is generally restricted to the Elgin, Chicagoland area, and throughout Illinois. Grand Victoria will not typically fund capital projects, fundraising events, religious causes, or political campaigns.  

The foundation accepts unsolicited grant applications by an annual deadline for its core program, twice per year for Elgin Grantworks, and throughout the year for vital lands. The application process begins with an eligibility quiz. Direct general questions to the funder at 213-609-0200 or to individual staff members via email.

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