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Grants to Illinois Nonprofits in Eligible Locations
for Programs Benefiting Local Youth

Youth Engaged in Philanthropy (YEP) Grant

Agency Type:

Foundation / Corporation

Funding Source:

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DeKalb County Community Foundation - Youth Grantmakers Fund

Deadline Date:

02/01/22 11:59 PM


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Grants of up to $2,500 to Illinois youth-serving nonprofit organizations in eligible locations for activities that benefit local youth. Funding is intended to support innovative projects and programs developed or implemented by youth in the areas of animal welfare, arts and culture, environment, community development, health and human services, and education. Funded projects must serve the residents of DeKalb County.

Youth Engaged in Philanthropy (YEP) is a DeKalb County Community Foundation initiative designed to stimulate and develop the spirit of philanthropy in young people and to inspire a lifelong interest and a commitment to serving others in its youth members.

As a youth led program of the DeKalb County Community Foundation, Youth Engaged in Philanthropy provides opportunities for youth from all across DeKalb County. Members attend monthly youth led meetings to build leadership skills, learn about nonprofits in DeKalb County, and become life-long philanthropists. Each year, the pinnacle of YEP is the grant allocation meeting in April. During this meeting, members are responsible for allocating approximately $12,000 to nonprofits with youth serving programs and projects in DeKalb County. Once recommendations have been made, the decisions are presented to the Community Foundation Board of Directors for final approval.

Through the YEP Grants program, the Community Foundation supports organizations and projects that improve the quality of life for youth in DeKalb County, IL. YEP Grants are typically awarded to community focused, youth lead initiatives, that show promotion of the 40 Developmental Assets™. The grants are project or program specific. Projects considered for funding must be dedicated to the community, directly involve youth, and promote youth empowerment and leadership.

YEP Grantmaking Priorities: 
  • Be a Youth Initiative:  Youth must be directly involved in the development and/or implementation of the project. 
    • Preference is given to innovative programs or projects.
    • Preference is given to applications submitted by youth applicant or that show strong youth involvement in the project planning process.
  • Respect Equal Opportunity: Projects must respect diversity, equity, and inclusion.
    • Preference is given to programs or projects that work to strengthen diversity, equity, and inclusion among youth in DeKalb County. 
  • Dedicated to Community: The project must be in response to a legitimate need in the community and benefit youth in DeKalb County. 
  • Have Accountability: 
    • Applicants must have a nonprofit fiscal sponsor and demonstrate a realistic plan with a clear set of goals.
    • Applicants need to report any alterations of their project plans after submission of the application and the changes need to be approved by the YEP committee.
    • Applicants should be willing to meet with YEP representatives either as part of the application process or for a site visit to evaluate the program or project.
    • Applicants who receive funding are expected to complete a grant report on the project's success by February 1 the following year.
  • Demonstrate Promotion of the 40 Developmental Assets™: The projects must be consistent with the YEP’s dedication to youth empowerment, promotion of youth leadership, and the strengthening of youth involvement in the DeKalb County community as reflected in the Search Institute’s Developmental Assets™ framework. The grant application requires knowledge of the 40 Developmental Assets™. (For more information, see the Assets List in Supporting Documents below.)

GrantWatch ID#:

GrantWatch ID#: 163056

Estimated Total Program Funding:


Estimated Size of Grant:

Grant awards are limited to a maximum of $2,500 per project.

Term of Contract:

YEP grants are expected to be completed within one year.

Additional Eligibility Criteria:

Nonprofit organizations with youth initiatives in DeKalb County are highly encouraged to apply.

It is the policy of the DeKalb County Community Foundation to operate without regard to race, creed, color, sex, religion, marital status, age, national origin, ancestry, political affiliation, sexual orientation, disability, or veteran status.

Generally not funded:
- Operational phases of established programs
- Personnel and/or administrative costs associated with programs or projects
- Religious purposes (however, grants can be given to religious organizations for non-religious purposes, or facilities such as day-care centers that have non-profit status independent from a sponsoring church or religious organization)
- Purchase of advertising
- Capital or operational debt reduction
- Any political campaign or to support attempts to influence legislative issues of any government body
- Specific individuals
- Consumable items (however, at times and under special circumstances, YEP will consider funding)/

Pre-Application Information:

Applications are due online by 11:59 p.m. on February 1.

Grant applications will be reviewed by members of the YEP committee. All requests must be submitted online.

A site visit or presentation is required for all applicants.

Grant programs:

Contact Information:

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

Online application portal:

For questions or more information please contact:
Noah Nordbrock, YEP Staff Advisor

Tiffany McQueen Lewis, Grants Director

DeKalb County Community Foundation
475 DeKalb Avenue
Sycamore, Illinois 60178

URL for Full Text (RFP):

Geographic Focus:

USA: Illinois: DeKalb County

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