Eligibility Requirements

To apply for an Impact 100 Chicago grant, an organization must:

  • Be classified as a “Public Charity” with tax-exempt status under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code.
  • Be in operation as a 501(c)(3) public charity for a minimum of 36 months prior to applying for the grant.
  • Submit a Letter of Inquiry, which proposes a new project or program or expansion or continued support of an existing, proven project or program that will have a high impact and transformative effect on the organization and the community it serves.
  • Operate in the greater Chicagoland area, which includes: Cook, DuPage, Grundy, Kane, Kendall, Lake, McHenry, or Will County in the State of Illinois. All grant monies must be used for the proposed project or program that provides services to people who live in these geographic areas.
  • Report total operating revenues for the last full fiscal year, including in-kind donations, between $500,000 and $8 million.
  • Independently file an IRS Form 990 and/or be independently audited. In regards to this requirement, please note:
  1. For an organization filing an IRS Form 990 annually, the most recently filed IRS Form 990 must be included in the Letter of Inquiry to verify operating revenues are in the required range.
  2. For an organization not filing an IRS Form 990 or for a local applicant consolidated with other entities on a Form 990 (i.e. local chapter of a national organization), the applicant’s last full fiscal year audit report documenting revenues must be included in the Letter of Inquiry to verify operating revenues are in the required range.
  • In projects involving capital expenditures or improvements, own the property involved or have a long-term lease in effect as of the Letter of Inquiry due date with a minimum of five years remaining on the lease as of July 1 of the Impact Award year.
  • Use the full amount of the grant within 24 months.
  • For local organizations operating in the defined Chicagoland area and under the “Public Charity” status of a large national organization, the local organization must meet all of the eligibility requirements.
  • Previous Impact 100 Chicago $100,000 Impact Grant recipients may not apply for another Impact 100 Chicago grant for a period of three years after receiving the grant.

What Impact 100 Chicago funds:

  • Projects or programs that address an identifiable need within your organization or served population.
  • Projects or programs having a high impact on the organization and the community it serves.  These may include new, existing or expansions of existing projects or programs.
  • Projects may include capital expenditures or improvements, funding of program expenses, or a combination thereof.
  • What Impact 100 Chicago does not fund:

    • Capital projects to property that are:
    1. not owned by the applicant as of the Letter of Inquiry due date; or
    2. leased under a lease not in effect as of the Letter of Inquiry due date; or
    3. leased under a lease with less than five years remaining on the lease as of July 1 of the Impact Award year.
    • Projects involving acquisition of real estate.
    • Debt reduction.
    • Interim or bridge funding.
    • Fundraising activities or events.
    • Endowments.
    • Private Foundations.
    • Partisan, legislative, or political activities.
    • Fraternal, sectarian, religious and other organizations where the grant is intended for the principal benefit of the organization’s own members or adherents or where the grant is intended for inherently religious activities.

    Questions? E-mail: grants@impact100chicago.org