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Community Grant

Grants to McHenry County, Illinois Nonprofits for Arts,
Environment, Education, Health, and Human Services

Agency Type:

Foundation / Corporation

Funding Source:

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McHenry County Community Foundation

Conf. Date:


LOI Date:


Deadline Date:

06/18/18 - Health and Human Services


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Grants ranging from $1,000 to $25,000 to McHenry County, Illinois nonprofit organizations for programs in the areas of health, human services, arts, culture, education, and environment. First-time applicants are required to attend the March 13 workshop. LOIs are due April 18.

The McHenry County Community Foundation looks for projects and programs where a moderate amount of grant money can produce a significant result. The Foundation looks for innovative, but practical approaches to solving community problems, especially those not currently being met by an existing organization.

Applicants should show a well-planned approach to address important community issues; a sound base of support (financial, participatory and voluntary); efficient use of community resources; involvement of underserved constituencies; and coordination, cooperation and sharing among nonprofit organizations and elimination of project duplication. Organizations should demonstrate present and future sustainability and provide clear and meaningful outcomes of the proposed project or program.

Eligible Requests:
-The Community Foundation encourages collaboration in both execution and funding of projects.
-The Community Foundation supports projects which have been planned in light of overall community needs and which do not duplicate existing services.
-Projects that demonstrate a capacity to be sustainable in the future are favorable.


Arts and Culture:
Grants will help enrich the county’s quality of life with participatory and/or audience-oriented artistic activities. Grants may include, but are not limited to: special projects, productions, activities, or supplies. Grants may also increase public understanding of the rich heritage of communities within the county. Projects may help the public develop a better sense of the past and broaden appreciation of local stories and history.

Grants are awarded to support opportunities both within and outside the formal education system to promote learning at any age, creating possibilities for self-sufficiency, personal growth and discovery, and to better prepare the workforce for the future.

Grants in this focus area will enhance, protect or increase appreciation for the quality of the environment, including beautification, renovation and access of a specific area or the whole county. This may include conservation or agriculture related projects.

Grants in the area of Health will support the mental, physical, social, emotion wellbeing of residents of the community. These grants may address the ability to access healthcare or provide services. Additionally, programs that increase the understanding of health issues or preventative services are eligible in this category.

Human Services:
Human Services applications serve basic human needs for populations underserved or underrepresented. Grants to this focus area provide for basic human needs (food, clothing and shelter), and opportunities for self-improvement for persons in need.

Animal Welfare - Donor-Advised Only
Animal welfare-related applications are not currently being accepted during the competitive grants cycle. Applications will be handled on a case by case basis.

Newcomer Grant:
If you’ve never received a grant from the McHenry County Community Foundation, you are asked to apply for a Newcomer Grant. This modest grant will allow the Foundation to become better acquainted with the organization and the mission.

GrantWatch ID#:

GrantWatch ID#: 163453

Estimated Size of Grant:

Organizations are invited to submit requests of $1,000 - $25,000, depending on your annual budget size:
-Annual budget under $100,000: You may apply for a grant up to $10,000 per submission
-Annual budget $100,000 - $500,000: You may apply for a grant up to $15,000 per submission
-Annual budget $500,000 - $1 million: You may apply for a grant up to $20,000 per submission
-Annual budget over $1 million: You may apply for a grant up to $25,000 per submission

Staff Positions:
-In the second year, if making the same request, requested funding must decrease by at least 50% of the amount approved for that position in the first year.

New Comer Grant:
-This will be a grant for up to $5,000, regardless of budget.

Term of Contract:

Grants are ordinarily made for one year only and must be completed a year from receipt of the check.

Staff Positions: Salaries for staff positions can and have been accepted for funding through the competitive grants cycle, but will be considered on a year by year basis, you need to apply each year.

Additional Eligibility Criteria:

The Foundation welcomes proposals from any nonprofit organization with an IRS tax exempt status that services McHenry County residents.

Eligible Applicants:
-Nonprofit agencies located in McHenry County or to those which are able to demonstrate significant impact within McHenry County.
-Nonprofit agencies with evidence of tax-exempt status under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code or those using a 501(c)(3) fiscal agent.

The Foundation will NOT Fund:
-Organizations supported by a Foundation with an asset base greater than $10 million
-Endowment campaigns
-Programs that require adherence to a particular religious belief or practice to receive
services (faith-based organizations serving the community-at-large will be considered)
-Political campaigns or endeavors
-Operating deficits or liquidation of existing debt

Please do not include these items in your request:
-Executive Salaries
-Mileage Reimbursement
-Snacks or t-shirts
-Conferences, festivals, exhibitions, events, fundraisers, or meetings (one time events that meet for 3 days or less). The Foundation will consider a sponsorship if the event will benefit multiple organizations and/or areas. Please contact the Foundation for more information.

National/Large Organizations:
If applying as a large organization (region extends beyond just McHenry County): Please focus your application on the McHenry County portion of your program and include a budget that is specific to McHenry County.

Sam Project, Different year:
If applying for a grant for a program/project which has been funded in the past: If your organization received a community grant from The McHenry County Community Foundation for the same project for the past three years (2013/4, 2014/5 and 2015/6), you will not be eligible to receive a community grant for that project from us in 2016/17. You WILL, however, be eligible to apply again for the next cycle.

Newcomer Grant:
If you’ve never received a grant from the McHenry County Community Foundation: You are asked to apply for a Newcomer Grant. To be eligible for this grant, you must be a current 501(c)3 organization with at least three years of demonstrable activity (you do not have to have been a 501(c)3 for the full three years of activity, however).

Pre-proposal Conference:

The Foundation hosts two grants workshops at the beginning of each cycle. It is required for organizations that have never received funding from the Foundation to attend a workshop.

Please complete the online form to register for the grants workshop on Tuesday, March 13, 2018 at the Community Foundation offices (620 Dakota Street, Crystal Lake, IL 60012).

Pre-Application Information:

The Board of Directors of the McHenry County Community Foundation has developed a procedure for submission and evaluation of grant proposals in a two-step process via online application. Applicants must create and re-certify an Organization Profile annually. This can be completed any time in the year, but must be completed before an application is submitted.

Grant Committees carefully review and consider first a Letter of Intent application as submitted through the website by prospective grant seekers, and subsequently invites those organizations demonstrating the greatest need/community benefit for that given cycle to submit Full Proposals. The Grant Committees make their recommendations for funding to the Board of Directors which must give final approval.

Applications for Arts and Culture, Education, and Environment will become available in October with funding awarded in March. Health and Human Services applications will be available in March with funding awarded in August. Funding should be spent within one year of receipt.

Arts, Education, Environment Grants:
-Tuesday, October 17, 2017: Grants workshop/RFP open
-Wednesday, November 1, 2017: Brown Bag lunch (11:30 – 1:30@Foundation Office)
-Wednesday, November 15, 2017: Application due
-Wednesday, December 20, 2017: Full Proposal invitations sent
-Monday, January 15, 2018: Full Proposal due
-Tuesday, February 20, 2018: Accept/declines sent
-March 10, 2018: Grant Agreement forms due
-Late March 2018: Grants award Event

Health, Human Services Grants:
-Tuesday, March 13, 2018: Grants workshop/RFP open
-Wednesday, April 4, 2018: Brown Bag lunch (11:30 – 1:30@Foundation Office)
-Wednesday, April 18, 2018: Application due
-Wednesday, May 23, 2018: Full Proposal invitations sent
-Monday, June 18, 2018: Full Proposal due
-Tuesday, July 17, 2018: Accept/declines sent
-August 10, 2018: Grant Agreement forms due
-Late August 2018: Grants award Event

Contact Information:

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

Access application via Grants Central:

Margaret Miller

URL for Full Text (RFP):

Geographic Focus:

USA: Illinois: McHenry County