Lloyd A. Fry Foundation: Grants for Chicago

OVERVIEW: The Lloyd A. Fry Foundation has four well-defined focus areas: art education, general education, employment, and health. Fry limits its grantmaking to the city of Chicago.

FUNDING AREAS: Art education, education, employment, health

IP TAKE: All Fry funds stay in Chicago, so nonprofits will only be competing against their neighbors for grants.

PROFILE: The Lloyd A. Fry Foundation was established largely from the sale of Owens Corning Fiberglass Corp. in 1977. Lloyd A. Fry Sr. started a roofing business in 1932 and teamed up with the prominent Sears & Roebuck Company in Chicago shortly thereafter. Over the next decades, the company expanded to other cities and states and began making products such as road asphalt, asphalt cements, specialty asphalt for burial vaults, and automotive storage batteries. After Fry was sold to a fiberglass company, the Fry family shifted its focus to philanthropy. The funder aims to support “organizations with the strength and commitment to address persistent problems of urban Chicago resulting from poverty, violence, ignorance, and despair.” Grantmaking areas of interest are art education, education, employment, and health.

A lifelong resident of Chicago, Lloyd created a mission to address the problems of poverty, violence, ignorance, and despair in Chicago. That mission is still intact today. Within its four program areas, Fry focuses its giving on low-income and underserved communities in Chicago. It also supports policy advocacy efforts and innovation in these four areas.

Fry tends to give out about 300 grants a year, with the average grants in the $20,000 to $50,000 range. Grantseekers can review a past list of grants by program area on the funder’s website. Fry limits its grantmaking to the city of Chicago. Fry generally won't award grants for start-up organizations, individuals, emergency causes, renovation projects, medical research, religious purposes, or governmental bodies.

Fry accepts unsolicited letters of inquiries from nonprofits. Access the link to the LOI application on the funder’s website. Inquiries are accepted via online system or via email to applications@fryfoundation.org. Direct general questions to the staff via online form or at 312-580-0310.


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