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Grants to Illinois Nonprofits in Eligible Locations for Youth-Led Activities that Benefit Local Young People


Geographic Focus

USA: Illinois: Oak Park, River Forest, and bordering communities including Austin, Berwyn, Cicero, Elmwood Park, Forest Park, Maywood, and Melrose Park

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Future Philanthropists Program (FPP)

Oak Park-River Forest Community Foundation (OPRFCF)

Grant Provider's 990

Agency: Foundation

GrantWatch ID #139373

Grant Description

Grants of up to $7,500 to Illinois nonprofit organizations in eligible locations for programs and projects that benefit local youth. Youth must be involved with project organization, planning, and/or execution. Funding is intended for projects that provide a first-hand learning experience in decision-making and allocation of funds to charitable organizations. Grants may be used to support new programs or to expand existing programs. Eligible organizations are located in Oak Park, River Forest, and bordering communities including Austin, Berwyn, Cicero, Elmwood Park, Forest Park, Maywood, and Melrose Park.

The Future Philanthropist Program (FPP) provides high school students with the opportunity to learn how to be philanthropists and grantmakers. The Program is comprised of a select group of high school juniors who are engaged directly in the important role of community philanthropy. The purpose of FPP is to provide an intensive, year-long, hands-on learning experience through which they are taught the art, science, and business of philanthropy. FPP teens are solely responsible for making funding recommendations which are submitted to the Board of Directors of the Oak Park-River Forest Community Foundation. The students also evaluate the impact of their decisions on youth issues as a result of the grants they distribute and learn to raise funds in an effort to maintain this grant-making effort.

To be considered, the proposal must demonstrate that the following requirements are met:

  1. Young people (under 21 years of age) directly benefit from the program or project.
  2. Young people are provided with leadership opportunities in planning, organizing, and/or delivering the proposed program or project. 
  3. A learning component exists, beyond the project itself, which provides young people with specific knowledge about the purpose and activities of the applying organization.

The Future Philanthropists Program has four goals:

  1. To instill knowledge and understanding of the important role of philanthropy in the community and in society.
  2. To give teens a leading role as primary decision-makers in the important process of allocating grants to charitable organizations.
  3. To teach teens the art and science of fundraising in order to plan and implement activities that result in charitable contributions.
  4. To provide opportunities for teens to express and demonstrate volunteer leadership activities in the community.

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  • Others (see text field entitled "Additional Eligibility Criteria" for clarification)

Additional Eligibility Criteria:

All applicant organizations must:
1. Be recognized by the IRS as a 501(c)(3) organization (or have a fiscal agent who is).
2. Affirm that the program or project will be completed prior to March 1, 2024.
3. Show evidence, if a past Community Foundation grant recipient, that all prior grant reporting requirements have been met.
4. An organization that has previously received two consecutive-year grants from FPP for the same program or project is ineligible. However, an organization that requests funding for a different program or project in the third year is eligible.

Pre-Application Information:

The application deadline is Friday, January 13, 2023, at 5:00 pm.

Grants will be announced in late April or early May, and awarded at the FPP Capstone event in late May.

Additional Funding Information:

Estimated Total Program Funding:


Estimated Size of Grant:

The maximum single grant award is $7,500.

Term of Contract:

The program or project must be completed prior to March 1, 2024.

Contact Information:

Submit applications and direct questions to Karen Tardy, Program Coordinator, at

Oak Park-River Forest Community Foundation
1049 Lake Street, Suite 204
Oak Park, IL 60301

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