Western Suburbs Giving Circle: Grants for Chicago

OVERVIEW: The Western Suburbs Giving Circle is a women’s philanthropy group affiliated with the Chicago Foundation for Women that supports local issues for women and girls.

FUNDING AREAS: Women and girls, economic security, freedom from violence

IP TAKE: Grants coming from this giving circle are sizable, but get on this funder’s radar quickly because it only awards one or two per year.

PROFILE: Established in the mid-2010s, the Western Suburbs Giving Circle (WSGC) is a women-focused collective fund affiliated with the Chicago Foundation for Women. WSGC is led by a small group of women who serve as current chairs. Members contribute $1,000 each year, meet four to five times per year, evaluate proposals, conduct site visits, and make grant decisions. It aims to combine local women’s funds to address the needs of local women and girls. WSGC funds economic security and freedom from violence efforts that benefit local women and girls.

The Western Suburbs Giving Circle leverages the power of collective gifts to have a meaningful impact on local lives. It exists to help create opportunities for local women and girls, as well as to boost female philanthropic leadership in the region. This is a place for hands-on and collaborative philanthropy that involves both direct service and advocacy grants.  

Grants range between about $10,000 and $15,000. In a recent year, the funder invested over $27,000 in just two groups. Learn more about this funder’s local giving in the grantee listings by year on the funder’s website. Grantmaking focuses on western suburbs of Chicago. Past local grantees include 360 Youth Services, Family Shelter Service, Mutual Ground, and the Alive Center.

This giving circle requests and accepts grant applications from local nonprofits. Grantseekers must use the Chicago Foundation for Women’s online grant application system to apply for grants. Direct general questions to Eli Marsh on the staff at emarsh@cfw.org or 312-577-2825.

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