The CHIditarod Grant Program
Our annual event has existed since 2006, when a friendship was formed to bring an urban shopping cart race to Chicago. While the idea was borrowed from San Francisco (and a few other cities), it was Chicago that pioneered the charitable aspect. First, we created a food drive (raising more than 100,000 pounds to date), then added fundraising, created our own 501(c)(3), and finally began an annual grant program to fund local non-profits fighting to end hunger. Our program has 1 cycle a year, opening in early summer and closing in late fall.
What Have We Done?
The 2018 grant cycle will open in late spring.
Sign up for grant-related news.
CHIditarod Grant Application Process
You are eligible to apply if your organization:
- Is recognized by the IRS as 501(c)(3) organization, or has a written agreement of fiscal sponsorship from a 501(c)(3) organization
- Operates in the metropolitan Chicagoland area
- Is in good standing with the Illinois Secretary of State
- Is registered with the Illinois Attorney General
- Operates programs focusing on:
- Innovative educational opportunities
- Building partnerships with other organizations and policy-relevant leaders engaged in local issues
- Health nutrition or creative work on some aspect of food
- Innovation to address challenges to food access and availability
We are particularly interested in organizations whose mission is related to alleviating hunger, addressing food insecurity, and/or improving the lives of the public through education, food or hunger relief in the metropolitan Chicago area. Smaller, community-led organizations are especially encouraged to apply.
Applicants may directly submit their proposals or be nominated by a third party.
To Apply Directly
First, sign up to be notified when the cycle opens. Complete our application form, selecting “Applying Directly” for Question 1. Include contact details for the NFP (mailing address, point of contact, phone number and email address).
First, sign up to be notified when the cycle opens. Complete our application form, selecting “Nomination” for Question 1, and provide the remaining information.
After initial applications close, we select and contact grant recipient finalists. Proposals will be evaluated by board members of the CHIditarod Foundation. Finalists will be required to submit a detailed proposal within several weeks of notification. The following materials are required if you are selected as a finalist:
- A project description of not more than 1500 words, that describes the aims, impacts, and practical details of your proposal.
- a budget of no more than $5,000 with a written budget justification
- Your c(3) determination letter (or fiscal agent’s determination letter and letter explaining the relationship)
- Your most recent annual report
- Your most recent financial statement
General Grant Timeline
July 15 – Deadline for initial nominations (remember, you can nominate yourself)
August 10 – Finalist are notified and continue to the second round of the application process
September 15 – Deadline for full applications from award finalists
October – Grant Recipients announced
November – Awards granted
The CHIditarod Foundation grant recipients must agree to (1) provide a narrative report on or before May 1, approximately 7 months after the awards are granted, and (2) provide joint press release and promotion regarding your organization’s receipt of funding from the CHIditarod Foundation.