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.

The CHIditarod Foundation is currently inviting Letters of Intent for TWO funding opportunities:

  1. The 2021 CHIditarod Foundation Program Development Grant.
    Maximum award amount: $5,000. Estimated number of awards: 15-20
    Purpose of award: The purpose of the CHIditarod Program Development Grant is to support small, independent programs that directly tackle hunger or food insecurity.
    Eligibility Criteria: Non-profit organizations with 501(c)(3) status; organizations who work with the support of a fiscal sponsor with 501(c)(3) status. Full details below.
    View full Program Development Grant Details (PDF)
  2. The 2021 CHIditarod Foundation Infrastructure Investment Grant.
    Maximum award amount: $8,000. Estimated number of awards: 6-8
    Purpose of award: The purpose of the CHIditarod Infrastructure Investment Grant is to support the acquisition of equipment and/or necessary infrastructural improvements in order to increase the efficiency and extend the lifespan of programs that are already in operation. This grant is especially appropriate for urgent, emergent, and one-time expenses such as new shelving; refrigeration equipment; vehicles; irrigation equipment; building repairs for safety, accessibility, or code compliance, and so on. Funds from this award may not be used to pay for stipend/salary, food, travel, or participant incentives that are cash, cash-like, or vague; or to reimburse purchases.
    Eligibility Criteria: Non-profit organizations with 501(c)(3) status; organizations who work with the support of a fiscal sponsor with 501(c)(3) status. Full details below.
    View full Infrastructure Investment Grant details (PDF)

CLICK HERE to submit your Letter of Intent
(via Google Forms)

Applicants to the Program Development Grant and applicants to the Infrastructure Investment Grant should use the same form, above.

The deadline for Letters of Intent submissions is July 1, 2021, 11:59pm CDT.

What Have We Granted?

2021 Grant Timeline

  • July 1, 2021. 11:59pm CDT – Deadline for initial letters of intent (Click the link above to go to this form!)
  • July 15, 2021 – Finalists are notified and invited to submit a full application
  • August 15, 2021, 11:59pm CDT – Deadline for full applications from award finalists
  • September 2021 – Grant Awardees announced
  • October 2021 – Awards disbursed.

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.

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.

Questions?

Address all inquiries to jen@chiditarod.org.
Sign up for grant-related news.

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