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The LGBT Community Fund Request for Proposals Community Grants
From a press release
2016-09-01

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Vision: The Fund envisions a region where The LGBT Community lives responsibly in peace and harmony with all communities, enjoys the same freedoms and quality of life as others, and has the same opportunity to make the region a better and safer place for all to live.

Mission: To benefit greater Chicago's LGBT Community through: grantmaking that improves the quality of life for its members; and identifying and focusing resources for the Community and those institutions that support it.

Overview of the LGBT Community Fund

The LBGT Community Fund of The Chicago Community Trust ( "The Fund" ) was publicly launched in 2010 as a donor advised fund. The Chicago Community Trust provided $500,000 as a permanent endowment with the requirement that the LGBT Community Fund Steering Committee raise $1,000,000 in matching dollars to be used for grantmaking. The Elizabeth Morse Charitable Trust issued a $150,000 matching challenging to help encourage gifts. To date the fund has raised over $1 million in addition to The Chicago Community Trust's contribution. The Fund is not building an endowment beyond the initial Chicago Community Trust commitment. Rather, it is raising funds in order to make grants.

The LGBT Community Fund awarded $282,500 to fourteen organizations in August 2015. These IMPACT Grants provided funding for general operations, capacity building, and for seed money for new projects/organizations and/or those in their infancy.

The Fund awarded $350,000 in Transformation Grants to three collaborations involving six organizations in the spring of 2016. These grants were designed for projects seeking to move the broader LGBT Community significantly and profoundly towards a better quality of life.

One additional funding round, Community Grants, will be completed by the end of 2016.

This Request for Proposals specifies areas of focus and requirements for Community Grants proposals that will be submitted through Chicago Community Trust's Grant Central system. The Fund's Grants Committee will evaluate those proposals and will conduct site visits with a smaller number of selected applicants.

Grantmaking Focus

Community Grants proposals submitted in response to this Request for Proposals must demonstrate the applicant's commitment to the health and well being of the LGBT Community in Cook County, defined broadly to also include individuals who are questioning. Specifically, The Fund seeks to fund innovative initiatives that focus ONLY on the following four priority areas:

1. LGBTQ young adults, 24 and younger:

Healthcare, mental health services and drug/alcohol treatment

Employment training and placement

Homelessness

Age-appropriate cultural and social activities

Mentoring

2. Older adults, 55 and over:

Healthcare - including behavioral health ( mental health and addiction )

Employment re-training and placement

Housing

Cultural and social activities

Wellness, quality of life, and independent living

Information regarding rights and services

3. General Healthcare:

Equal access and treatment, regardless of orientation or gender identity

Mental health services

HIV-AIDS awareness and care

4. Community Safety:

Safety within lived community spaces and/or domestic partnerships/civil unions/marriage

Improved communication between the community and law enforcement

Violence prevention and promotion of safety within communities

The Fund welcomes Community Grants proposals addressing any of the four priority areas. Proposals dealing with older adults and community safety are encouraged.

Community Grants Funding Priorities

Community Grants are designed for a wide variety of projects that respond to identified community needs. Support may be provided for specific projects, general operating support, and for project seed money. Grants will range from $10,000 to $50,000, and the Fund will award up to $300,000 in grants. Applicants are encouraged to demonstrate collaboration as feasible: collaboration is encouraged but not required.

Proposals must demonstrate the following:

How the project addresses an identified community need

That there is a credible plan for goal measurement

How the project will impact the issue it addresses

How the project will reach traditionally underserved communities

How a communications strategy around the funded project will be implemented

Eligibility

In order to be eligible for funding from the LGBT Community Fund the applicant organization( s ) must demonstrate the following:

That it is a 501( c )( 3 ) public charity in good standing in the state of IL.

That it serves the LGBT Community of Cook County. LGBT is broadly defined as including questioning individuals.

Grants may not be used for capital campaigns or improvements, endowments, fundraising events, partisan political activities or to support individuals.

That grant funds will be used in one year. Multi-year funding is not supported.

Faith-based and religious organizations are eligible to apply for project-specific grants provided that the program supported does not promote or require religious doctrine and that the applicant otherwise complies with The Fund's requirements and grantmaking focus.

That the organization( s ) involved did not receive either an Impact Grant or a Transformation Grant from the Fund in 2015-6.

Proposal Requirements

Completed proposals must be received by 11:59PM CST on October 17 on the Chicago Community Trust Grant Central system.

An information session will be held at The Chicago Community Trust, 225 N. Michigan Ave, Suite 2200 on Friday September 16 from 8-9:30 AM.

Because of building security, those who plan to attend must register at rsvp@cct.org by Wednesday September 14.

Marcia Lipetz is the Fund's grantmaking consultant. She can be reached at cctlgbtfund@gmail.com or at 773-206-8696 ( mobile ).


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