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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:

05/28/19 - For Health and Human Services


Request a Grant Writer

Grants ranging from $1,000 to $25,000 to McHenry County, Illinois nonprofit organizations for programs that impact the local community. An LOI must be submitted prior to the full application. First-time applicants are required to attend a workshop. Program areas include health, human services, arts, culture, education, and the environment.

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.

Please note that you must select a category in which your grant application will be reviewed. You may select only one (1) category per submission. The categories are: Arts and Culture; Education; Environment; Health; and Human Services.

For more information regarding categories, see:

First Time Applicants:
If you’ve never received a grant from the McHenry County Community Foundation, 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.

First Time Applicants:
-This will be a grant for up to $5,000, regardless of budget.

Term of Contract:

Grants are typically made for one year only and funded projects must be completed one 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.

Same 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 Community Foundation for the same project for the past three years (2015/6, 2016/7 and 2017/8), you will not be eligible to receive a community grant for that project from us in 2018/19. You will, however, be eligible to apply again in the following cycle (2019/2020).

First Time Applicants:
-If you’ve never received a grant from the Community Foundation, please limit your request to up to $5,000. 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 next grants workshop scheduled for March 6, 2019 at 10:00 or 1:30 pm at the Community Foundation offices (630 N. Route 31, Suite 101, Crystal Lake, IL 60012).

Pre-Application Information:

Grant applications are available on the online application system, Grants Central.

The application is a two phase process. Grant Committees carefully review and consider first a Phase 1 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 Phase 2. 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.

Grants Timeline

Arts & Culture, Education, Environment:
- Wednesday, October 10, 2018 Grants workshop (10:00 am and 1:30 pm)
- Tuesday, October 23, 2018 Brown Bag Lunch
- Wednesday, November 7, 2018 Phase 1 due
- Tuesday, December 11, 2018 Invitations sent to complete Phase 2
- Monday, January 7, 2019 Phase 2/Complete Application Due
- Monday, February 4, 2019 Accept/declines sent to applicants
- Sunday, February 10, 2019 Electronic Grant Agreement Forms Due
- Wednesday, Feb 27 – Tuesday, March 19 Grant checks – presentations to agencies

Health and Human Services:
- Wednesday, March 6, 2019 Grants workshop (10:00 am and 1:30 pm)
- Tuesday, March 19, 2019 Brown Bag Lunch
- Wednesday, April 3, 2019 Phase 1 due
- Monday, May 6, 2019 Invitations sent to complete Phase 2
- Tuesday, May 28, 2019 Phase 2/Complete Application Due
- Tuesday, July 2, 2019 Accept/declines sent to applicants
- Wednesday, July 10, 2019 Electronic Grant Agreement Forms Due
- Wednesday, July 29 – Tuesday, Aug 13 Grant checks – presentations to agencies

In an effort to reach as many organizations in the County as possible, one eligible nonprofit entity may receive only two (2) competitive grants over the course of the Community Foundation’s fiscal year, October 1 – September 30.

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

The Community Foundation for McHenry County
630 N. Route 31, Suite 101
Crystal Lake, Illinois 60012

URL for Full Text (RFP):

Geographic Focus:

USA: Illinois: McHenry County