Community foundation awards $867,000 in grants

Participants gathered at the ECF awards ceremony Thursday evening.

The Evanston Community Foundation announced competitive and strategic grants totaling over $867,000 Thursday evening at its Grant Awards Celebration and Annual Meeting.

ECF President and CEO Monique B. Jones said the foundation invests financial and intellectual resources in "nonprofit and community organizations working on the front lines of Evanston’s greatest challenges."

Newly appointed Board Chair Lisa Altenbernd presented the Jim Kogen Foundation Spirit Award for exemplary board leadership to Gene Servillo, who has served on the Foundation Board of Directors since 2013.

Altenbernd said, “Gene has been an energetic and tireless leader within the Foundation. He is endlessly generous toward the Foundation with the gift of his time, inspiring fellow board members to work toward ECF’s vision of a vibrant, equitable, and inclusive community.”

A total of $372,600 in Responsive Grants was awarded to 25 organizations serving Evanston residents. Vice President for Programs Marybeth Schroeder said the grants "advance the Foundation’s strategic goals of equity, collaboration, and a thriving nonprofit community."

The 2019 Responsive Grant Award recipients include: Alliance to End Homelessness in Suburban Cook County, Art Encounter, Books and Breakfast, Center for Independent Futures, Children’s Advocacy Center of North and Northwest County, Children’s Home & Aid, Community Organizing and Family Issues, Connections for the Homeless, Erie Family Health Center, The Evanston Alliance, Evanston Public Library, Evanston Rebuilding Warehouse, Evanston Scholars in collaboration with The Chessmen Club of the North Shore, Evanston Symphony Orchestra Association, Girl Scouts of Greater Chicago & Northwest Indiana, Housing Opportunities for Women, Interfaith Action of Evanston, James B. Moran Center for Youth Advocacy, Learning Bridge Early Education Center, McGaw YMCA, Mudlark Theater, Piven Theater Workshop, Ridgeville Park District, Trilogy, Inc., and Youth & Opportunity United.

The Foundation also recognized the grantees from all of its grant programs, including Communityworks, Partners for the Future, Building the Future, root2fruit, Rolling, and Community Catalyst Grants. 

Additionally, Sheila Merry, Executive Director of Evanston Cradle to Career, highlighted grants to EC2C partners addressing systems change in Evanston. Advocates For Action, the community engagement council of EC2C, awarded the first grassroots community building grants this year. They were announced by Advocates coordinator Kimberly Holmes-Ross. ECF is the fiscal sponsor for EC2C and was designated by EC2C to coordinate grants strategy and processes for funds received from United Way of Metropolitan Chicago.

Northwestern University Dance Marathon 2020 Co-Chairs Rachel Cantor and Eliana Scobey announced the Evanston community NUDM’s 2020 primary beneficiary, Children’s Home & Aid. NUDM annually contributes 10% of their proceeds to secondary beneficiary ECF, supporting grants and programs, totaling nearly $1.3 million during their 22-year partnership with the Foundation.

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