The Community Foundation for McHenry County has redefined our grant opportunities to better serve our community. Please review the information below to learn more about the exciting ways we are supporting our county.
The purpose of The Community Foundation’s grant opportunities is to move forward in our mission of “connecting people who care with causes that matter” by supporting the charitable organizations that provide vital community resources to the residents of our McHenry County.
Community Grants are awarded from The Community Foundation’s Permanent Endowment Fund through a competitive process. There is a single cycle annually for each grant opportunity in which competitive applications can be submitted.
- Transformational Grants (Application process runs January through June 2020)
- Mission Grants (Application process runs June through September 2020)
What is a Transformational Grant?
- Transformational Grants are designed to support a charitable organization (or a group of organizations) through the expansion of an idea or assist with a work in progress that will lead to organizational advancement.
- Transformational Grantees must focus on the values of their mission and produce measurable results that positively impact the community as a whole.
Transformational Grant Details
- Up to three Transformational Grants will be awarded per year.
- Organizations must apply annually, and are eligible to receive up to $75,000 per year.
- Organizations are eligible to win up to three years in a row, for a possible total of $225,000.
- Collaboration among agencies is required and will be considered during the review process. Letters of support from collaborating organizations on their official letterhead will be required to apply.
- Transformational Grantees and The Community Foundation are partners and will work together on collaborative efforts. As such, there are additional requirements for the application, reporting, and publicity related to Transformational Grants. Details are listed below in the appropriate sections.
Transformational Grant Application Process:
Detailed instructions on applying for Community Grants will be posted at the opening of each RFP. The application process varies based on the grant opportunity for which an organization is applying.
- Applicants must attend a Transformational Grant Workshop to be eligible to apply.
- A Letter of Intent will be required, and select eligible applicants will be invited to submit a full proposal.
- Applicants invited to submit a full proposal must attend a second workshop outlining Logic Models pertaining to Transformational Grants, and should incorporate that information into their grant application.
- Finalists will be invited to give a brief presentation to The Community Foundation’s Board of Directors.
- Transformational Grant recipients will be notified and a site visit will be scheduled to present a check.
In preparation of RFPs opening, review the information on this page in its entirety. Print and save for your records.
UPDATE: In response to COVID-19, changes have been made to our 2020 Mission Grants. The information below applies to 2020 grants only, and will change for our 2021 cycle.
What is a Mission Grant?
- In 2020, The CFMC’s Mission Grants have been designed to help revitalize charitable organizations serving McHenry County by providing funds to be used for general operating support.
- Mission Grantees must identify success measures that positively impact the community and the amount of money needed to achieve their goals.
2020 Mission Grant Theme:
Resilience is the theme of The CFMC’s 2020 Mission Grants. According to Oxford, the definition of resilience is “the capacity to recover quickly from difficulties.” It implies a sense of strength, adaptability, and perseverance. We believe the incredible charitable organizations in our community have the resilience to help move McHenry County through these tough times and emerge even stronger in the future.
When developing your application, please focus on showcasing the resilience of your organization and its work in the community.
Mission Grant Details:
- The number of Mission Grant recipients will depend on the funds available for grants through The Community Foundation each year.
- Organizations must apply annually, and are eligible to receive up to $25,000 per year.
- Organizations are eligible to win up to three years in a row, for a possible total of $75,000.
- Collaboration among agencies is recommended.
- Mission Grantees will have a responsibility to complete reporting and publicity requirements.
Timeline for Mission Grants:
*Please note, dates on the timeline for the 2020 Mission Grants have been adjusted.
*Wednesday, June 3, 2020
Application Process Opens
*Wednesday, June 3 and Tuesday, June 9, 2020
Mission Grants Information Workshops (Must attend one session)
*Tuesday, June 23 and Wednesday, June 24, 2020
Brown Bag Sessions
*Friday, July 17, 2020
*Friday, August 21, 2020
Grant Recipients Notified
Grant Award Celebration
Mission Grant Eligibility:
The CFMC has adjusted the following eligibility requirements for the 2020 Mission Grant opportunity:
- Only 501(c)3 public charities in good standing in the state of Illinois are eligible to apply for or receive funding through the 2020 Mission Grants.
- Faith-based and religious organizations that are registered 501(c)3 public charities are eligible to apply, provided that the funds are used only for a program/project that does not promote or require religious doctrine.
- The CFMC will suspend the eligibility requirement that limits the number of consecutive years an organization may receive funds for the 2020 Mission Grants. This means any 501(c)3 organization serving McHenry County may apply for a 2020 Mission Grant, regardless of whether or not they have received funding from The CFMC’s competitive cycle for the last three consecutive years.
Please note, these changes have been made to accommodate the current COVID-19 circumstances and apply only to 2020 Mission Grants. The CFMC will return to the intended timeline and requirements for our 2021 grant cycle.
Mission Grant Application Process
Detailed instructions on applying for Community Grants will be posted at the opening of each cycle. The application process varies based on the grant opportunity for which an organization is applying.
The grant opportunity and application will open June 3, 2020. The application process will include the following:
- Applicants must attend a Mission Grant Workshop to be eligible to apply. Workshops may be held virtually.
- No LOI is required, all applicants should submit a full proposal.
- Brown Bag review sessions will be available, but are not required.
- Mission Grant recipients will be notified and asked to participate in a Grant Award Celebration event.
In preparation of grant opportunities opening, review the information on this page in its entirety. Print and save for your records.
Please note, all applications must be completed and submitted to The Community Foundation for McHenry County by 11:59 p.m. on the day of the deadline. Late or incomplete submissions will not be considered.
Important Information for Applicants:
- Please attend one of our Mission Grant Informational Workshops in June to learn more.
Please review the following criteria for The Community Foundation’s grant opportunities. If you have questions, please contact us at email@example.com or 815-338-4483.
2020 Transformational Grant opportunities are available to charitable organizations that fit the following criteria:
- 501(c)(3) public charities in good standing in the state of Illinois.
- Units of local government.
- Not-for-profit educational institutions.
- Faith-based and religious organizations are eligible to apply, provided that the funded program/project does not promote or require religious doctrine.
- Nonprofits without 501(c)(3) status must use a 501(c)(3) fiscal sponsor and must identify their fiscal sponsor prior to submission of their application.
2020 Mission Grant opportunities are available to charitable organizations that fit the following criteria:
- 501(c)(3) public charities in good standing in the state of Illinois.
- Faith-based and religious organizations that are registered 501(c)(3) public charities are eligible to apply, provided that the funds are used only for a program/project that does not promote or require religious doctrine.
Any organization that applies to any of The CFMC’s grant opportunities should be located in McHenry County or able to demonstrate significant impact within McHenry County.
Please note, changes in general eligibility requirements have been made to accommodate the current COVID-19 circumstances and apply only to our 2020 Mission Grants. We will return to our intended requirements for our 2021 grant cycle.
- Grants are made for one year only and funded projects must be completed one year from receipt of the check. Reporting is required for all funded projects.
- The Community Foundation encourages collaboration in both execution and funding of projects.
- The Community Foundation supports projects which have been planned in light of overall community needs and which do not duplicate existing services.
- Applications that demonstrate a capacity to be sustainable in the future are favorable.
- Organizations are eligible to receive funding up to three consecutive years through our competitive grant process. After three consecutive years of funding, organizations will not be eligible to apply to receive grant funding for one year. If you have questions about your organization’s eligibility, please contact Kelsey Podgorski, Program Manager, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- *Please note: Due to COVID-19, The CFMC is suspending this eligibility requirement for 2020 Mission Grants. This means, any charitable organization that meets all other eligibility requirements may apply for a Mission Grant in 2020 regardless of whether or not they have received funding from The CFMC’s competitive cycle for the last three consecutive years. This change applies only to 2020 Mission Grants.
All organizations must be compliant with appropriate government agencies. The Community Foundation staff will verify through the websites listed below. If there is a discrepancy, The CFMC may reach out to organizations to provide proof of compliance.
- Exempt organizations must be recognized as tax-exempt and in good standing with the IRS, with timely filed information returns (federal form 990).
- All organizations must be corporations in good standing with the Illinois Secretary of State.
- All 501(c)(3) organizations must be registered as a charitable organization with the Illinois Attorney General with timely filed annual reports (form AG990-IL).
Your status can be verified electronically, as follows:
Number of Submissions:
In an effort to reach as many organizations in the county as possible, one eligible nonprofit entity may receive only one (1) grant over the course of The Community Foundation’s fiscal year, October 1 – September 30.
An organization may only submit one application for a Transformational Grant per year. Organizations that apply for a Transformational Grant that are not selected as a recipient may also submit an application for a Mission Grant within the same fiscal year.
An organization may only submit one application for a Mission Grant per year.
Not to Be Considered:
The Community Foundation for McHenry County does not fund:
- Endowment campaigns.
- Programs that require adherence to a particular religious belief or practice to receive services (faith-based organizations serving the community-at-large will be considered).
- Political campaigns or endeavors.
Applications are reviewed using a standard rubric and scoring system for each type of grant opportunity. The grant scoring systems for Transformational Grants and Mission Grants will be discussed at the associated grant workshops.
Things to Consider:
- Funding in previous years does not imply continued support. Each application is reviewed in the context of current policies and applications.
- Previous reporting will be taken into consideration when determining the eligibility of an organization to apply for a grant, and may impact a grant application’s overall score.
- Important factors that will be reviewed include proposed outcomes (impact) and evaluation strategy, a budget specific to McHenry County, collaboration among charitable organizations, and more.
Accurate and complete reporting is required for all grant opportunities. Report forms and reminders will be sent out prior to reporting deadlines for all Community Grants.
Two reports are required for all Community Grants:
- A midterm report will be due six months from the receipt of funding.
- A final report is due one year from the receipt of funding.
In addition to these reports, Transformational Grantees will be required to schedule three site visits throughout the year for (but not limited to) staff of The CFMC.
As part of the reporting process, all grantees must provide stories of impact and photos to be used by The CFMC to share your missions and activities with the community.
- Please note: All people included in photos must sign a Media Release Form. For individuals under the age of 18, a parent or legal guardian must sign a Media Release Form.
- The CFMC will not accept photos without a signed release form. Reports including photos submitted without signed release forms will not be accepted.
- Click here to download The Community Foundation’s Media Release Form.
Please note: grants funded through Donor Advised Funds may have the same reporting requirements. Please plan to send a thank you note to The Community Foundation for McHenry County, which will be forwarded to the Fund Advisor(s). Additionally, any updates provided to The CFMC will be shared with the Fund Advisor(s).
Grant Writing and Capacity Building Resources:
For information on how to prepare for and properly develop a grant application, The Community Foundation recommends attending classes offered at Volunteer Center McHenry County.