Pursue educational parity for students from infancy through college
We support activities that promote equal access to a high quality education that leads to excellent student outcomes. Our focus is on strengthening public policies; improving training, effectiveness and continuous development of teachers/staff/administrators; and implementing effective education and management practices.
Promote economically healthy regions
Our focus is on policies and practices that stimulate state and regional economies by linking education to employment preparedness; moving low-wage earners along career pathways to jobs with higher responsibilities, better wages and good benefits; expanding housing options available near public transportation and jobs; implementing regional growth and transportation strategies that promote economic vitality and environmental health.
Protect and preserve natural resources
We support land use policies and practices that enhance economic vitality and promote land and water health; the development and implementation of conservation and stewardship plans to enhance ecosystem services; policies and practices that result in clean air. See Vital Lands Illinois to learn about grants to support acquisition of vitally important, irreplaceable natural areas.
To be considered for funding, an organization must be registered with the IRS as a 501(c)(3) public charity. We support organizations in Illinois whose work is a strong fit with our guidelines and strategies. We only fund organizations that demonstrate high quality and high impact; good governance and management; and fiscal health.
We fund exclusively in Illinois and will consider requests to support work on either:
Organizations that meet the eligibility requirements and are engaged in activities consistent with the strategies described in these guidelines may apply for the following kinds of support:
Core grants are not available for:
If you’ve read the guidelines and think there is a good fit, send a letter of inquiry that summarizes what you plan to accomplish. This is an important first step. It is your opportunity to let us know that what you will undertake is well planned; that your organization has the experience to succeed; and that there is some support from other sources for the effort you plan to propose.
Once our team has reviewed your letter of inquiry, we will send a response to let you know whether we would like to see a full proposal. Organizations that are invited to submit proposals receive an application packet and instructions.
The Foundation only considers proposals that have been invited in response to a letter of inquiry.
Letters of inquiry must be on your organization’s letterhead and signed by a member of your staff who has the authority to accept and manage a grant.
In two pages, describe your organization and the work you plan to propose.
Please restate and respond to the following points:
In addition to your two-page summary, please attach an itemized income and expense budget for the effort.
Letters are due on the first Friday of October and May.
If you plan to request general operating support, we will look at whether your mission and overall activities are a good fit with ours and the extent to which you are leading in your field. Therefore, your responses to the points above should focus on plans to strengthen your organization within the context of your mission. Please attach an organizational budget and year-to-date income and expense report.
If you are seeking renewed funding, we suggest you say less about your organization and instead include a brief update on the funded effort. Frame your responses to the points listed under “Preparing Your Letter of Inquiry” from the perspective of what you have already accomplished with your current Grand Victoria Foundation grant and discuss your plans for building on those accomplishments. In addition to an itemized income and expense budget for renewed support, please also include a year-to-date grant expense report and information about other funding you secured for the work you are doing with a current Grand Victoria Foundation grant.