Impact 100 Chicago: Grants for Chicago

OVERVIEW: Impact 100 Chicago supports nonprofits in the areas of culture, education, family, health, and sustainability. There are separate chapters for the city and suburbs, and a big goal is to empower women through philanthropy.

FUNDING AREAS: Culture, education, family, health, sustainability

IP TAKE: Pitch a program or project related to youth engagement, employment and economic advancement in poor Chicago neighborhoods, or to mental health. Bonus points if it advances women in the process.

PROFILE: Impact 100 is a women’s giving collective that has gained momentum in communities around the country. Established locally in 2010, Impact 100 Chicago has a chapter for both the city and the suburbs. The funder aims to “award membership funded transformational grants to local non-profit organizations while empowering women to improve lives through philanthropy.” Grantmaking interest areas are culture, education, family, health, and sustainability.

Culture grants focus on exploring and educating people about arts, cultural heritage, and diversity. Education grants focus on learning opportunities for children and adults. Family grants go to programs for families and children in the community. Health grants address both physical and mental wellbeing. Finally, sustainability grants support open and public spaces, healthy food systems, urban agriculture, and the environment.

The group’s signature grants are $100,000 each, but it also gives smaller grants to runners up from the residual funds. Grantseekers can view a list of recent grant recipients in the news section on the foundation’s website. Grantmaking is restricted to the city of Chicago and the suburbs. In the past, grants have trended toward youth engagement, employment and economic advancement in poor neighborhoods, and toward mental health programs.

This funder accepts unsolicited letters of inquiry that propose a new project or program or expand or continue a proven program. LOIs are typically accepted in August and September. Direct questions to You can also check the Upcoming Events page to see what the funder is up to in the Chicago area. The leadership team tends to change year by year, so you can view the current listing here.


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