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CHIditarod Grant Program

While a few urban shopping cart races existed before CHIditarod began in 2006, it was Chicago that pioneered the philanthropic aspects of such an event. First, we created a food drive (raising more than 266,919 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 one cycle a year, opening in early summer and closing in late fall.

What Have We Granted?

Eligibility Requirements

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.

  • 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

  • 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

2023 Grant Timeline

  • Mon May 15, 2023 – Grant Program Now Open for Applications
  • Thurs Jun 22, 2023 – Letters of Intent due. First round evaluation of responses begins
  • Fri Aug 04, 2023 – Round 2 Finalists notified
  • Thurs Aug 31, 2023 – Final Grant proposals due
  • End of September – Grant Review Day

Grantee Expectations

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.


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Learn more about the CHIditarod Foundation’s history and mission.