African American Legacy Grants

Chicago Community Trust

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Grant amount: US $5,000 - US $10,000

Anticipated deadline: May 9, 2019

Applicant type: Nonprofit

Funding uses: General Operating Expense, Education / Outreach, Applied Project / Program

Location of project: Counties in Illinois: Cook County, DuPage County, Lake County, McHenry County, Will County

Location of residency: Counties in Illinois: Cook County, DuPage County, Lake County, McHenry County, Will County

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About this funder:

View past grantees & full 990 summary


Strengthening African American Families and Communities

African American Legacy (AAL) is a philanthropic and educational initiative led by African American civic and community leaders who share the common goal of improving the quality of life among African Americans throughout metropolitan Chicago. AAL engages African Americans in philanthropy, collectively and individually, and provides support to grassroots and nonprofit organizations working on the ground to solve community problems. With a permanent endowment as its foundation, AAL uses the power of collective giving and the philosophy of community engagement to make a significant impact on organizations focused on community based services. AAL has granted nearly $1.8 million to more than 50 organizations with innovative ideas for impact. AAL is driven by its mission and committed to supporting innovation that influences real change in the community—innovation that influences a positive shift toward sustainability, longevity and prosperity of Chicago’s African American community.

Focus Areas

African American Legacy is now accepting applications for the 2018 grant cycle to support grassroots organizations with programmatic focus on the following areas:

  • Social Justice: Education and Training of Youth Activists
  • Immigration: Policy/Systems Change and Direct Service specific to those of the African Diaspora
  • Mental Health: Responding to Street, Gun and Police Violence


AAL will provide one year of support for grassroots organizations. Successful requests will demonstrate how the organization’s mission, strategies and activities contribute to and advance the three areas as defined in this request for proposals. Grants will range in size up to $5,000 - $10,000. Grant amount will not exceed more than 30% of an organization’s operating budget.

You can learn more about this opportunity by visiting the funder's website.


  • Applicants must be grassroots organizations (Annual budgets of $50,000 - $2.5M)
  • Organizations must serve the African American community and/or those of the African Diaspora as a core constituency
  • Organization leadership must be majority African-American and/or of the African Diaspora
  • Organizations that are considered Black led, Black serving and grassroots, whose work is focused on any one of the three programmatic areas are eligible to apply.
  • Please note that while organizations do not have to have 501c3 status, they MUST have a registered fiscal agent to apply. The fiscal agent will need to be identified on the application. 
  • Grants are intended to fund either Project or General Operating support.
  • Grants or grant requests made through The Chicago Community Trust are separate from those made through The African American Legacy.
    • Therefore, organizations can make grant requests to both AAL and the Trust at one time


  • No organization shall have more than one active grant or grant request with The African American Legacy at any one time.