Irving Harris Foundation: Grants for Mental Health

OVERVIEW: The Chicago-based Irving Harris Foundation’s mental health grants go to groups addressing social and emotional well-being of young children ages birth to three.

IP TAKE: While this isn’t the most approachable foundation, it does tend to give multiyear grants to groups with which it is already familiar. Harris also backs organizations that have a long-term impact in their respective fields of work.

PROFILE: The Irving Harris Foundation focuses on the mental health and well-being of infants and young children. Infant mental health refers to the social and emotional development of children ages birth to three. The foundation addresses racial and economic disparities as well as gender inequality with respect to the reproductive, maternal, and infant health outcomes of families.

Based in Chicago, Illinois, the Irving Harris Foundation does give preferential funding to organizations working in its hometown. However, this funder dedicates a hefty $13 million to $15 million each year and plenty of those grants to groups working outside the city of Chicago.

The majority of the foundation’s infant mental health grants are awarded to organizations operating programs concerned with the social and emotional development of young children in conjunction with maternal and family health programs.

Grant amounts run the gamut from $100 to over $1 million. But most tend to fall in the $10,000 to $100,000 range.

The Irving Harris Foundation does not accept unsolicited grant applications or requests for funding. Instead, it prefers to contribute to organizations with which it is already familiar.


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