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Excellent Emerging Organization Award

Award to an Illinois Nonprofit for Capacity Building
to Improve Services and Efficiency in the Chicago Area

Agency Type:

Foundation / Corporation

Funding Source:

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North Park University - Axelson Center for Nonprofit Management

Deadline Date:

12/04/19 11:59 PM CST


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Award valued at over $30,000 to an Illinois nonprofit organization for quality programs or services that benefit the residents of Chicago and the surrounding communities. Eligible regions include the following counties: Cook, DuPage, Kane, Lake, McHenry and Will. This award aims to strengthen the capacity of the winning organization to improve services and efficiency.

The Excellent Emerging Organization Award was created to honor up-and-coming organizations whose strength is apparent—even in the early stages of existence. We are looking for organizations that display sound management practices as well as innovation in programming and leadership capabilities. We respect that, as an emerging organization, you may not have all the policies and procedures in place, but demonstrating a commitment to excellence and learning is critical.

The quality and completeness of the application is essential as it will serve as the primary basis for assessment. The quality of how the organization expresses its story is critical in the Foundation's decision.

GrantWatch ID#:

GrantWatch ID#: 132119

Number of Grants:


Estimated Size of Grant:

The selected nonprofit will receive a capacity-building package valued at over $25,000 and a $5,000 cash award. After an initial in-depth organizational assessment by the Executive Service Corps, a capacity building package will be customized to best meet the winning organization’s needs.

Additional Eligibility Criteria:

In order to be considered for the award, an applicant organization:
- Must be a 501(c)3 organization
- Must have a primary mission focus that benefits Chicago and/or its surrounding communities (includes Cook, DuPage, Kane, Lake, McHenry and Will County)
- Must be in existence for 10 years or less
- Must have an annual budget that does not exceed $750,000
- Must have 10 or fewer full-time staff members

Ineligible organizations include grant making foundations, professional associations, hospitals, houses of worship, and K-12 schools.

Pre-Application Information:

Complete and submit the application by 11:59 PM CST on Wednesday, December 4, 2019.

Please note, if you applied for the 2019 Excellent Emerging Organization Award, but did not seek feedback on your application, your 2020 Excellent Emerging Organization Award application will not be accepted.

Staff, board members, and volunteers may nominate their own organizations by completing an application. Anyone may nominate a deserving nonprofit organization.

Initial applications will be reviewed by the award committee and up to 3 organizations will be chosen as finalists for an in-person presentation with the committee. Qualifying finalist organizations will be notified in late January 2020.

Finalist organizations will have scheduled interviews with the awards committee on February 21, 2020.

All finalist organizations and the award winner will be announced at the Axelson Center’s conference on May 14, 2020. The winner will not be notified in advance.

Eligible organizations are selected on an annual basis by an award committee comprised of Chicago-area nonprofit and community leaders. The winning organization is recognized at the Axelson Center’s conference.

For questions about the application or process, please email or call the Axelson Center. The Axelson Center will respond to the inquiry within two business days.

Contact Information:

Before starting your grant application, please review the funding source's website listed below for updates/changes/addendums/conferences/LOIs.

Online application:

Phone: 773-244-6284

North Park University
3225 West Foster Ave
Chicago, IL 60625-4895

URL for Full Text (RFP):

Geographic Focus:

USA: Illinois: Chicago area including Cook, DuPage, Kane, Lake, McHenry and Will Counties

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