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The Field Foundationís General Guidelines for prospective grantees apply to all of its grantmaking in its six program areas: Community Welfare, Culture, Education, Environment, Health and Urban & Community Affairs. Further information and specific program area requirements are below.


Community Welfare

The Foundation's grantmaking in Community Welfare supports a broad range of community-based social service programs addressing the needs of disadvantaged populations.Community Welfare Grants


Culture

As a general rule, grants in Culture focus on two areas: 1). Community-based outreach programs targeting economically disadvantaged individuals who would not otherwise have access to cultural programs and institutions, and 2). Limited capital and programmatic support of major cultural institutions, particularly where small grants can significantly address critical physical infrastructure needs or can play an important role in the development of creative, new programs whose efforts focus on economically disadvantaged individuals who otherwise would not have financial means to participate.

Requests for in-school arts education programming should be made in partnership with a Chicago public school.

Culture Grants


Education

The Field Foundation's program for primary and secondary school education is designed to encourage and support the efforts of individual public schools, clusters of schools or initiatives that promote collaboration amongst stakeholders within the Chicago Public School System to improve education and help educationally or economically disadvantaged children achieve academic success.

The Foundation is interested in supporting educational best practices that creatively address pressing issues of a particular school, be it the increasing rates of asthma among the student body, a change in the neighborhood demographics or providing cultural and/or arts activities where there are none. To this end, grant dollars will be awarded for a variety of purposes including, but not limited to, convening internal stakeholders, working in collaboration with other schools, programming with external partners, hiring a facilitator, consultant or other service contractor so as to advance or implement the work on an identified issue, concern or program.

The Foundation seeks to have its grant dollars foster the creation of communities of learning which may be sustained beyond the life of the grant. Therefore, the Foundation will give preference to those projects that:

  • Focus on a specific school or clusters of schools which have the full involvement and commitment of school leadership including staff, parents and students;
  • Include an evaluative component or dissemination strategy which illustrates how programmatic learning will be shared; and,
  • Demonstrates how the proposed program will positively impact students.

Generally, grants will not be awarded for citywide advocacy efforts, or efforts to assist the overall administration of the Board of Education. Grants will not be made to support the general on-going operating needs of schools or local school councils, scholarships, new building construction, repairs or improvements to public schools, endowment campaigns, or degree granting programs for teachers, or on-going teacher training.

 

From time to time, when the health and safety of children are jeopardized and when a grant from the Foundation would have an immediate impact on the problem, grants will be considered to private schools for capital improvements.

Note: The Local School Council is considered the same as the school's board of directors. Information (names, affiliations, ethnic and gender breakdown) about its members must be included. A specific project budget is required.

 

Education Grants


Environment

The Field Foundation will consider proposals from new and emerging environment organizations for general operating and organizational capacity-building support. Established organizations (those in existence longer than five years) will be considered for program support in public policy, advocacy, site-based projects and public engagement that:

  • prevent and reduce pollution of the natural environment;
  • protect, preserve and restore the natural environment; and,
  • promote growth management strategies to reduce or address urban sprawl.

Priority is placed on projects that:

  • address geographic areas with highly concentrated environment hazards;
  • extend work into communities historically neglected due to race and class;
  • employ a multi-disciplinary approach that recognizes the connection between environmental health, public health and economic health;
  • pursue long-term results; and,
  • involve collaboration and partnerships.

Environment Grants


Health

The Field Foundation of Illinois defines health broadly, recognizing the multiple factors (socio-economic, racial/ethnic, environmental, biological, and behavioral) that determine the health of individuals and communities. The Foundation also recognizes the diversity of organizations that provide health care and health-related services. The Foundation's health program focuses on three areas:

I. Strengthening primary care providers to the poor. Funding priority is given to efforts that improve the organizational capacity of community-based health care providers that offer high-quality healthcare services for low-income individuals. Support is intended to equip providers to make necessary changes that will ensure long-term sustainability.

II. Developing a systemic approach to health care. Support is intended to help providers align services across multiple disciplines to improve health outcomes. The Foundation recognizes the importance of disease specific based research and efforts but is limited in its ability to support these requests. Campaigns for disease specific causes are not accepted.

III. Supporting development and dissemination of new and creative best practices in service delivery. Support of direct services to the following: development of service innovations for hard-to-reach populations; and projects with demonstrated potential to act as an imprimatur for public policy and future funding.

Within these three priorities, the Foundation is particularly interested in supporting the efforts of providers to address changing demographic trends. The aging of the population and the growing proportion of racial/ethnic communities of color will create new demands on services for the elderly and for culturally appropriate health care. The Foundation believes these two trends necessitate the development of providers and policies that meet the needs of these groups.

Support for hospitals and other large health institutions will be considered for community- based activities that fall within the priorities stated above.

Health Grants


Urban & Community Affairs

Grantmaking in Urban & Community Affairs supports a variety of policy, advocacy, planning and research efforts that attempt to foster systemic changes in the Chicago metropolitan region. Issues of particular interest to the Foundation include but are not limited to fair and affordable housing, job creation/job loss, community violence, community and economic development, and immigrant rights.

Urban & Community Affairs Grants