Grand Victoria Foundation Grants

Grand Victoria Foundation

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Grant amount: Unspecified amount

Deadline: Rolling

Applicant type: Nonprofit

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

Location of project: Illinois

Location of residency: Illinois

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About this funder:

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Overview:

Grand Victoria Foundation is a private foundation whose mission is to empower communities to ensure Illinois is a great place to live and work. We envision a strong, livable, and equitable Illinois where every resident has an opportunity to thrive.

What We Fund

Our grantmaking encourages systems change. We define this as work that improves conditions that hold social and economic problems in place. Our work celebrates the role of nonprofits in pursuing ideas and solutions with communities to improve the quality of life in Illinois. 

Our Grant Programs

Our grantmaking is organized into five program areas – Economy, Education, Elgin, Engagement, and Environment. You can learn more about the key priorities for each program area on the pages linked above. 

We partner with organizations working to achieve equitable outcomes that reduce disparities. Results that partners might realize are:  

  • improved policies or practices
  • increased access to resources for people and communities of most need
  • relationships that include viewpoints of people with diverse perspectives
  • sharing and shifting of power to promote and achieve equity
  • improved capacity and effectiveness to carry out systems change  

Our Approaches

With input from grantees, we support organizations and efforts that:

  • develop and nurture individual leadership
  • design and implement new ideas to address long-standing, systemic challenges
  • offer opportunities for leaders and organizations to connect, share information and take collective action when necessary
  • encourage and uplift community and civic engagement  

While we appreciate the role of direct service programs to ease the effects of social problems, we focus our support on organizations and projects that work at a systems level.

How We Fund

General operating or project grants are available for organizations that meet eligibility requirements and are engaged in activities consistent with the Foundation’s priorities.

We encourage you to consider applying for general operating support when:

  • The mission and activities of your organization are already well-aligned with one or more of the Foundation’s approaches to systems change

We encourage you to consider applying for project support when:

  • Your proposed project or idea seems to be a very strong fit with one program area and approach
  • Your organization works or serves people outside of our geographic priorities but has a unique opportunity to have impact at a county, regional, or statewide scale

Economy

All Illinois residents should participate in the economy by pursuing work and opportunities that align with their interests and goals. This can lead to greater happiness and peace of mind. Advancing economic progress takes deliberate, creative solutions that put perspectives of adults seeking to work and learn at the center of change.

Our Vision: Participants in the economy, including workers, learners and communities, are supported to make economic opportunities, experiences, and outcomes stronger and more equitable.

Who Should Apply

This grantmaking program will support organizations that:

  • design solutions that create sensible protections for low and middle-income families working hard to make ends meet
  • support workers and communities who wish to pursue entrepreneurship as a means for securing their economic futures
  • pursue partnerships that allow communities and workers to benefit from economic growth in new and existing industries
  • significantly improve access to creative, high-quality adult education opportunities for adults with limited literacy and numeracy skills

Education

Illinois families and children should have educational opportunities and experiences they find meaningful. Those opportunities can be shaped with the expertise of those directly impacted: students, parents, and educators. The result can lead to stronger, more equitable outcomes that address the opportunity gap in the state.

Our Vision: Students, parents, and educators are shaping educational policy and practice into culturally relevant, high-quality experiences resulting in more equitable outcomes.

Who Should Apply

This grantmaking program will support organizations that:

  • prioritize parent and youth power and voice in education
  • nurture socio-emotional well-being
  • strengthen teacher pipeline, cultivate teacher leaders and support educator-led work
  • create high-quality school-day and out-of-school learning experiences
  • foster early learning and K-12 community-driven strategies and partnerships that advocate for equitable systems

Engagement

When Illinois residents have opportunities for meaningful civic engagement and participation, conditions improve for systems change. Through activities designed to listen, learn, and engage people in ongoing dialogue, residents can directly address issues of public concern. The result is influence on decision-making processes that lead to a greater ability to define and direct the resources of community institutions.

Our Vision: People are empowered to identify, design, and execute community-informed solutions that make Illinois a strong, livable, and equitable place where every resident has an opportunity to thrive.

Who Should Apply

This grantmaking program will support organizations that:

  • work to improve civil discourse, civic participation, community engagement, and a stronger democracy in Illinois
  • encourage efforts that increase residents’ agency and leadership and helps them use authority that enhances community well-being

Elgin

We believe Elgin is a great place to live and work where all residents should have the opportunity to contribute and thrive. To produce equitable outcomes, its social, education, and economic systems must be well-coordinated, responsive and inclusive. The result is a stronger community that represents the diverse voices and perspectives of its people.

Our Vision: Inclusive civic engagement and high functioning human services, education, and economic systems are supported so all Elgin residents can thrive.

Who Should Apply

This grantmaking program awards grants in the following categories:

  • Mission Grants: to organizations that effectively and inclusively meet the needs and wants of the community. We give priority to organizations located in Elgin, serve Elgin residents, and deliver high-quality programs
  • Partnership and Collaboration Grants: to organizations that partner with other local institutions to coordinate the building of high-functioning systems that bring about positive community change

Environment

The geography of Illinois requires conservation work to happen within and outside of natural areas. To accomplish this, it must include the perspectives of diverse individuals, sectors and places. The opportunity lies in increasing the number and range of voices that historically may not have been asked or included.

Our Vision: Our grantmaking embraces the unique and exciting ways that conservation gets done by many people in diverse places that include and extend beyond natural lands.

Who Should Apply

This grantmaking program will support organizations that:

  • protect land and advance innovations to conservation practices that extend to natural, rural and urban areas
  • focus on increasing racial and ethnic diversity of practitioners in the field
  • test new solutions at the intersection of conservation and economy
  • preserve and restore natural landscapes   

If you are seeking funding for land protection efforts, please refer to the Vital Lands Illinois guidelines to see if you are eligible for these grants.

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

Eligibility:

  • Eligibility
    • To be considered for funding, an organization must be registered with the IRS as a 501(c)(3) public charity or be partnered with a fiscal sponsor or fiscal agent that meets this requirement.
    • We support organizations in Illinois whose work is a strong fit with our program strategies.
    • We fund organizations that demonstrate high quality and high impact; good governance and management; and fiscal health.
  • Where We Fund
    • The Foundation funds organizations throughout the state of Illinois.
    • We look for efforts that have impact at county, regional or statewide levels.


Preferences:

  • We place high priority on efforts that advance our mission and strategic priorities and that are consistent with our values.
  • Our Core Program gives highest priority to efforts that focus on long-term solutions, are multidisciplinary and collaborative, effectively address barriers of race and class, promote civic engagement, and attract additional investment. 
  • We give top priority to work that engages others through partnerships and collaboration.

Ineligibility:

  • We do not support organizations that solely serve or impact the city of Chicago.
  • The Foundation does not provide funding for the following:
    • Individuals
    • Direct Service (with the exception of the Elgin Program)
    • Political campaigns
    • Religious purposes
    • Governmental entities