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Field Foundation Program Grants

The Field Foundation Of Illinois

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Grant amount: US $5,000 - US $25,000

Deadline: The deadline for this grant has passed

Applicant type: Government Entity Nonprofit

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

Location of project: Cook County, Illinois

Location of residency: Cook County, Illinois

About this funder:

View past grantees & full 990 summary


The Field Foundation makes grants in the following six program areas: Community Welfare, Culture, Education, Environment, Health, and Urban and Community Affairs. 

Community Welfare

 The Foundation's grantmaking in Community Welfare supports a broad range of community-based social service programs addressing the needs of disadvantaged populations.


 As a general rule, grants in Culture focus on two areas:

  • Community-based outreach programs targeting economically disadvantaged individuals who would not otherwise have access to cultural programs and institutions; and,
  • Limited capital and programmatic support of major cultural institutions, particularly where small grants can significantly address critical physical infrastructure needs or can play an important role in the development of creative, new programs whose efforts focus on economically disadvantaged individuals who otherwise would not have financial means to participate.
    • Requests for in-school arts education programming should be made in partnership with a Chicago public school.


The Field Foundation's program for primary and secondary school education is designed to encourage and support the efforts of individual public schools, clusters of schools or initiatives that promote collaboration amongst stakeholders within the Chicago Public School System to improve education and help educationally or economically disadvantaged children achieve academic success.

The Foundation is interested in supporting educational best practices that creatively address pressing issues of a particular school, be it the increasing rates of asthma among the student body, a change in the neighborhood demographics or providing cultural and/or arts activities where there are none. To this end, grant dollars will be awarded for a variety of purposes including, but not limited to, convening internal stakeholders, working in collaboration with other schools, programming with external partners, hiring a facilitator, consultant or other service contractor so as to advance or implement the work on an identified issue, concern or program.


 The Field Foundation will consider proposals from new and emerging environment organizations for general operating and organizational capacity-building support. Established organizations (those in existence longer than five years) will be considered for program support in public policy, advocacy, site-based projects and public engagement that:

  • Prevent and reduce pollution of the natural environment;
  • Protect, preserve and restore the natural environment; and,
  • Promote growth management strategies to reduce or address urban sprawl.


The Field Foundation of Illinois defines health broadly, recognizing the multiple factors (socio-economic, racial/ethnic, environmental, biological, and behavioral) that determine the health of individuals and communities. The Foundation also recognizes the diversity of organizations that provide health care and health-related services. The Foundation's health program focuses on three areas

  • Strengthening primary care providers to the poor. Funding priority is given to efforts that improve the organizational capacity of community-based health care providers that offer high-quality healthcare services for low-income individuals. Support is intended to equip providers to make necessary changes that will ensure long-term sustainability;
  • Developing a systemic approach to health care. Support is intended to help providers align services across multiple disciplines to improve health outcomes and,
  • Supporting development and dissemination of new and creative best practices in service delivery. Support of direct services to the following: development of service innovations for hard-to-reach populations; and projects with demonstrated potential to act as an imprimatur for public policy and future funding.

Within these three priorities, the Foundation is particularly interested in supporting the efforts of providers to address changing demographic trends. The aging of the population and the growing proportion of racial/ethnic communities of color will create new demands on services for the elderly and for culturally appropriate health care. The Foundation believes these two trends necessitate the development of providers and policies that meet the needs of these groups.

Support for hospitals and other large health institutions will be considered for community- based activities that fall within the priorities stated above.

Urban and Community Affairs

Grantmaking in Urban & Community Affairs supports a variety of policy, advocacy, planning and research efforts that attempt to foster systemic changes in the Chicago metropolitan region. Issues of particular interest to the Foundation include but are not limited to fair and affordable housing, job creation/job loss, community violence, community and economic development, and immigrant rights.

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


  • The Field Foundation awards grants only to institutions and agencies operating in the fields of urban and community affairs, culture, education, community welfare, health, and environment, primarily serving the people of the Chicago and suburban Cook County with a particular focus on socioeconomically disadvantaged populations
  • While a 501(c)(3) designation is preferred, organizations may on occasion partner with a 501(c)(3) as its fiscal agent
  • The Foundation supports institutions and agencies primarily serving the people of Chicago.
    • On occasion, the Foundation will support organizations in suburban Cook County
  • The Foundation is interested in supporting both new as well as established organizations. 
    • Established organizations (more than five years old) may receive funding, but only for new projects/programs that demonstrate innovative approaches to problems
  • An entity will be eligible to receive no more than one (1) grant from the Foundation during a fiscal year of the Foundation. 
    • Grant requests from separate entities of the same institution/organization/agency or affiliated entities will be treated as having been submitted by a single entity, except that a university's medical unit will be treated as an entity separate from the university;


  • Preference will be given to funding innovative approaches for addressing problem areas.
  • Education:  The Foundation seeks to have its grant dollars foster the creation of communities of learning which may be sustained beyond the life of the grant. Therefore, the Foundation will give preference to those projects that:
    • Focus on a specific school or clusters of schools which have the full involvement and commitment of school leadership including staff, parents and students;
    • Include an evaluative component or dissemination strategy which illustrates how programmatic learning will be shared; and,
    • Demonstrates how the proposed program will positively impact students.
  • Environment: Priority is placed on projects that:
    • Address geographic areas with highly concentrated environmental hazards;
    • Extend work into communities historically neglected due to race and class;
    • Employ a multi-disciplinary approach that recognizes the connection between environmental health, public health and economic health;
    • Pursue long-term results; and,
    • Involve collaboration and partnerships.


  • Grant requests for the replacement of lost government support for any reason are deemed a low priority;
  • As a general rule, general operating funds will not be provided for established organizations.
  • For the most part, project or operating support beyond a period of three years will not be considered.
  • No grants will be made to support:
    • Endowments
    • Organizations with Interim Executive Directors
    • Individuals (requests for stipends should be discussed with Field Foundation staff)
    • Medical research or national health agency appeals
    • Propaganda organizations or committees whose efforts are aimed at influencing legislation
    • Printed materials, video or computer equipment
    • Fund-raising events or advertising
    • Appeals for religious purposes
    • Other granting agencies or foundations for ultimate distribution to agencies or programs of its own choosing
    • Custodian afterschool programs or tutoring
    • Organizations with a limited Chicago presence
    • Most disease specific programs, research or activities
  • Education:
    • Generally, grants will not be awarded for citywide advocacy efforts, or efforts to assist the overall administration of the Board of Education.
    • Grants will not be made to support the general on-going operating needs of schools or local school councils, scholarships, new building construction, repairs or improvements to public schools, endowment campaigns, or degree granting programs for teachers, or on-going teacher training.
  • Health:
    • The Foundation recognizes the importance of disease specific based research and efforts but is limited in its ability to support these requests. Campaigns for disease specific causes are not accepted;