OVERVIEW: The Jewish Women's Foundation of Metropolitan Chicago supports various programs that promote positive change in the lives of Jewish women and girls. It largely provides grants in Chicago, but also in Israel and worldwide.
FUNDING AREAS: Economic security, legal reform, education, leadership development, health and well-being for Jewish women and girls
IP TAKE: There are many opportunities here for Chicago groups that serve women and girls. This is a funder that likes to work with long-term grantees, so consider the possibility of renewal grants with the initial approach.
PROFILE: Established in 1997, the Jewish Women's Foundation of Metropolitan Chicago (JWF) began as an independent project of the Jewish United Fund and has since grown to become the largest Jewish women’s foundation in the U.S. Today, it is an independent project of the Jewish United Fund/Jewish Federation of Metropolitan Chicago and is composed of more than 300 trustees that span generations of women dedicated to improving the lives of Jewish women and girls. The foundation aims to “expand and improve opportunities and choices in all aspects of Jewish women's and girls' lives through strategic and effective grantmaking.” Grantmaking areas of interest are economic security, legal reform, education, leadership development, and health and well-being for Jewish women and girls.
This is a funder that looks through both a Jewish and a gender lens in its grantmaking. JWF looks to support projects that promote shifting definitions, community behavior, critical mass, engagement, institutions, and policies. It also supports earlier progress and past gains, and funds both general operations and specific projects.
The minimum grant amount for Chicago groups is $7,500 and the typical maximum is around $25,000. View a list of past grantees on the funder’s website. Grantmaking is largely confined to the Chicago area, but the foundation also occasionally awards grants in Israel and worldwide.
JWF accepts unsolicited grant inquiries from local nonprofits. In the past, the open letter of intent period has run from April through May. The foundation makes final grant notifications by December 31. Each year in January, JWF typically has an annual meeting to review the progress from the previous year and set the agenda for the new year ahead. Direct general questions to the foundation staff at 312-357-4850 or via online form.
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