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Organizational Capacity Building (OCB) Grants - Flexible Fund and Standard Grants

Grants to Chicago Area, Illinois Nonprofits Serving the
Elderly to Improve Organizational Management

Agency Type:

Foundation / Corporation

Funding Source:

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The Retirement Research Foundation (RRF)

LOI Date:


Deadline Date:

08/01/17 - Standard Grant; Rolling Basis for Flexible Fund Grants


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Grants to Chicago Area, Illinois nonprofits that provide services for older adults in the region. Funding is intended to help such organizations make either immediate or long-term improvements in their management, governance, or organizational capacity.

For the purposes of these grants, the Chicago Area includes Kane, DuPage, Cook, Kendall, McHenry, and Lake Counties.

There are two funding opportunities: Standard OCB Grants and OCB Flexible Fund Grants.

Standard OCB Grants to help nonprofits make long-term improvements in their management, governance, or organizational capacity. These grants may be used to support capacity building activities that include, but are not limited to:

- Strategic planning
- Financial management, including cash flow, budget development, financial controls
- Program evaluation planning
- Communications and marketing, including website development, public relations, and use of social media
- Resource development and fundraising
- Human resources, including professional development, succession planning, staffing structure, assessment, and retention
- Information systems management, including technology enhancements
- Board development including assessment, recruitment, training, and structuring
- Restructuring and building relationships with other nonprofit organizations to strengthen service delivery, reduce costs, share resources, etc.

Standard OCB funds generally support consulting, training fees, information technology, staffing, and other costs directly related to capacity building activities. Additional funding is available to OCB grantees for technical assistance support for seminars, workshops, short-term courses, publications, or other training related to organizational capacity building.

OCB Flexible Fund Grants are up to $5,000 and are intended to respond to immediate capacity building needs for Chicago-area nonprofits. OCB Flexible Funds are available to help organizations identify their capacity building priorities or receive short-term technical assistance:

- Readiness Assessments – Funds may be used to engage a consultant who will work directly with your organization to identify and prioritize capacity building opportunities, and the steps needed for organizational improvement or growth.
- Targeted Consultations – Funds may be used to engage an expert in nonprofit management to provide short-term, focused technical assistance on an emerging issue related to legal, fiscal, human resources, or other areas.

Limited funds are also available to address unanticipated, short-term emergency needs.

GrantWatch ID#:

GrantWatch ID#: 175803

Estimated Size of Grant:

Flexible Fund Grants are for up to $5,000.

Term of Contract:

The length of time for an OCB Targeted Consultation generally ranges from two to six months. The length of time for an OCB Readiness Assessment generally ranges from three to six months.

Additional Eligibility Criteria:

OCB Grants are provided to nonprofit organizations that are:

- Tax exempt under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code
- In operation for at least three years and have annual revenue of at least $75,000
- Located in Cook, DuPage, Kane, Kendall, Lake, or McHenry counties in Illinois
- Placing a high priority on providing services to the elderly

Not funded:

- Renovations or capital improvements
- Financial deficits
- One-time events that do not build long-term capacity (such as fundraising events or conferences).

Pre-Application Information:

OCB Flexible Fund grant applications are accepted on a rolling basis throughout the year. Decisions on OCB Flexible Fund Grants are generally made within six to eight weeks.

Applications for Standard OCB Grants are considered three times per year. The deadlines for the submission of applications are February 1, May 1, and August 1. When a deadline falls on a weekend or federal holiday, the due date is moved to the following work day.

The Retirement Research Foundation invites interested applicants to submit a brief Letter of Inquiry (LOI). This step is optional, but may offer valuable feedback as you prepare a full proposal.

To allow enough time for feedback, please submit LOIs at least six to eight weeks prior to the proposal deadline. For example, submit LOIs by December 1 for the February 1 proposal deadline, March 15 for the May 1 deadline, and June 15 for the August 1 deadline.

Include the following information in your two-page Letter of Inquiry:

- The issue your capacity building project will address
- Brief description of the project
- Proposed activities
- Why this project is needed at this time and how it will impact the organization
- Timeframe
- Project consultant(s) and description of how they were selected
- Estimated cost of the project, the amount of funding already secured (if applicable), and the amount requested from RRF

Application Information for Standard Grants:

Application Information for Flexible Grants:

Contact Information:

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

An LOI may be emailed to as a Word or PDF attachment.

For questions:

Lee Parker, Grants and Technology Administrator
Phone: 773-714-8080
Fax: (773) 714-8089

The Retirement Research Foundation
8765 W. Higgins Road, Suite 430
Chicago, Ill. 60631-4170

URL for Full Text (RFP):

Geographic Focus:

USA: Illinois: Cook, DuPage, Kane, Kendall, Lake, or McHenry Counties.