Joyce Foundation: Grants for College Readiness

OVERVIEW: The Joyce Foundation funds a broad range of organizations and initiatives related to racial equality and economic mobility in the Great Lakes region. The foundation’s mission and focus areas are continually evolving to address critical social issues.

IP TAKE: The Joyce Foundation’s grant application process takes approximately four to six months from the receipt of a letter of inquiry. Grantseekers should be aware of this timeframe when considering their funding needs. The foundation only supports grantmaking to organizations located in Great Lakes Region, including the states of Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Ohio, and Wisconsin.

PROFILE: Beatrice Joyce Kean founded the Joyce Foundation in 1948 as “a vehicle for her personal charitable giving to hospitals, universities, and the Community Fund (now United Way).” When she passed in 1972, she left nearly $100 million of her estate to the foundation, which now works on “addressing major problems facing the Midwest region, including protecting the Great Lakes, improving educational and economic opportunities for disadvantaged residents, supporting cultural organizations, and improving public policies and public participation in government.” The foundation currently offers the following grantmaking programs: culture, democracy, environment, education & economic mobility, gun violence prevention & justice reform and a special opportunities program.

Joyce awards its college readiness grants through its education & economic mobility program, which seeks “to make sure young people are prepared for the future and well-positioned to improve their economic status” and to “ensure equitable access to high-quality education and jobs.” The foundation supports organizations that improve students’ access to college coursework opportunities, career readiness programs, and those that help students transition from high school to college. Joyce also funds state and federal policy development geared toward increasing postsecondary completion, transfer and post-graduate outcomes.

College readiness grants range from $100,000 to $400,000. Past grantees include Northern Illinois University, which received support for its Education Systems Center. The center advances college and career readiness programs in Illinois. To get a broader sense of the types of college readiness organizations Joyce supports, explore its grants database.

The Joyce Foundation accepts unsolicited letters of inquiry (LOI) throughout the year and recommends that applicants submit LOIs at least six to eight weeks before proposal deadlines.


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Grants Database

How to Apply