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Serving DeKalb County, IL Since 1993

Grantmaking at a Glance

The DeKalb County Community Foundation is dedicated to enhancing the quality of life in DeKalb County, IL by investing in quality programs and initiatives that provide equal opportunities and serve our community.

There are a variety of grant programs offered through the Community Foundation. Each grant is unique in the requirements, intended audience, application process, and deadline. How do grants impact the community in which we live? Check out these inspiring Grants in Action stories!

For questions about grant programs, please contact Grants Director Tiffany McQueen Lewis at 815-748.5383 or grants@dekalbccf.org. Learn even more about the Foundation's grant programs in the Grant Seekers Workshop video, or further below.

Grant Programs

Community Needs Grants

Currently accepting grant applications through September 1, 2021 >

Community Needs Grants support the charitable needs and efforts of nonprofit and community organizations throughout DeKalb County. Application deadlines are March 1 and September 1 each year. Learn more about Community Needs Grants >


DeKalb County COVID-19 Response Grants

DeKalb County COVID-19 Response Grants provide support the needs of local eligible organizations during the COVID-19 pandemic. Grants distributed can address preparedness, response, recovery, and/or rebuilding efforts as the pandemic evolves. Applications open and close as determined by the DeKalb County COVID-19 Response Fund Advisory Committee. Learn more about DeKalb County COVID-19 Response Grants >


Economic Development Grants

Currently accepting applications for eligible communities >

Community Economic Development Grants provide an opportunity for communities in DeKalb County to apply for funding to support economic planning or to implement projects that support their economic plans. Learn more about Economic Development Grants >


Emergency Grants

Currently accepting grant applications >

Emergency Grants are available to assist local organizations in need of funding to meet emergency needs or for special time sensitive projects and can be applied for anytime throughout the year. Emergency Grants can be applied for anytime throughout the year. Learn more about Emergency Grants >


Essential Skills Enhancement Grants

Essential Skills Enhancement Grants are designed to enhance the development of soft skills or essential skills in middle school to high school aged youth. At this time, the Community Foundation is not accepting applications for Essential Skills Grants. Learn more about Essential Skills Enhancement Grants >


Farny R. Wurlitzer Foundation Fund Grants

Currently accepting grant applications through September 1, 2021 >

Farny R. Wurlitzer Foundation Fund Grants provide financial assistance to further music education, music appreciation, and performance in DeKalb County and the Chicago metropolitan area. Application deadlines are March 1 and September 1 each year. Learn more about Farny R. Wurlitzer Foundation Fund Grants >


Kindergarten Readiness Toolkit Grants

Kindergarten Readiness Toolkit Grants are intended to support kindergarten programs, both public and private, located in DeKalb County, Illinois, benefiting the entire kindergarten program of a public school district or of a private school. Applications are made available in the fall of each year. Application deadline is December 1 each year. Learn more about Kindergarten Readiness Toolkit Grants >


Promise Grants

Promise Grants support charitable community organizations that provide services to underserved and marginalized populations in DeKalb County. Promise Grants are supported by the Promise Fund and the Wiegele Family Early Childhood Literacy Fund. Application deadline is mid-November each year. Learn more about Promise Grants >


Watershed Implementation Grants

Watershed Implementation Grants are available for the east branch of the south branch of the Kishwaukee River in DeKalb County, Illinois. Learn more about Watershed Implementation Grants >


Youth Engaged in Philanthropy (YEP) Grants

Youth Engaged in Philanthropy Grants are typically awarded to community focused, youth lead initiatives, that show promotion of the 40 Developmental Assets™. Projects considered for funding must be dedicated to the community, directly involve youth, and promote youth empowerment and leadership. Application deadline is February 1 each year. Learn more about Youth Engaged in Philanthropy (YEP) Grants >

2020 Grants and Distributions

VIDEO - Grant Seekers Workshop

In this 60-minute presentation, learn more about the grant programs offered through the Community Foundation. Each grant program is unique in the requirements, intended audience, application process, and deadline.


Nondiscrimination Policy - Grantmaking

No person in the United States shall, on the basis of actual or perceived race, creed, color, ethnicity, national origin, religion, sex and gender identity, sexual orientation, gender expression, age, physical or mental ability, pregnancy, veteran status, military obligations, marital or parental status, political affiliation, or any other improper criterion be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any program or activity funded in whole or in part with funds made available by the Community Foundation, and any other program or activity funded in whole or in part with funds appropriated for grants, cooperative agreements, and other assistance administered by the Community Foundation.