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 240,015 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?


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Current Status – Closed

CLICK HERE to nominate an organization or apply directly for a grant of up to $5000. The deadline for submissions is July 1, 2020.

2020 Grant Timeline

  • July 1, 2020 – Deadline for initial applications (Click the link above to go to this form!)
  • July 15, 2020 – Finalists are notified and continue to the second round of the application
  • August 15, 2020 – Deadline for full applications from award finalists
  • September 2020 – Grant Awardees announced

Eligibility Requirements

  • 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.

Finalist Requirements

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

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.

Applicants may directly submit their proposals or be nominated by a third party.

To Apply Directly

Deadline: July 1, 2020

CLICK THIS LINK to access the initial application for the 2020 grant cycle. Complete our application form, selecting “Applying Directly” for Question 1. Include contact details for the not-for-profit (mailing address, point of contact, phone number and email address).

To Nominate

Deadline: July 1, 2020

CLICK THIS LINK to access the initial application for the 2020 grant cycle. Complete our application form, selecting “Nomination” for Question 1, and provide the remaining information.

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