How to apply

Interested in applying? Complete the Prospective Applicant Eligibility Quiz to help you determine if your organization and/or project meets the basic funding requirements. If yes, please click here to access our online application system and pick the funding opportunity that best fits your program/organization's needs.


To access our online application system please click here.

Next Primary Cycle Fall 2017
Focus: Economic Security
Due Date for Letter of Inquiry: Wednesday, July 19

Current Funding is available for our small grants.
Due Date: On-going

Enterprise Fund 

Based on our commitment to nurturing innovative efforts and to supporting smart collaborations, we have established The Enterprise Fund. The Enterprise Fund is specifically designed to meet the next wave of economic, social and educational challenges facing women and girls by recognizing that not all programs and ideas need to be housed in separate, unique organizations. Through the Fund, applicant organizations have the support to consider a range of organizational structures and pathways to collaborative programming. From combining complementary ideas to co-locating services to formally joining with a nonprofit partner, the Enterprise Fund allows organizations the flexibility to consider new iterations of their work.

To access our online application system please click here.

CFW offers grantmaking orientations to prospective applicants. If your organization would like to learn more about the grantmaking process at CFW, please attend:

Fall Cycle 2017 Sessions: 
    Friday, June 16 at 10 a.m. at CFW Offices, 140 South Dearborn, Suite 400
    Thursday, June 22 at 3 p.m. - Webinar

To attend, please RSVP to Lora York at


The Foundation considers most grants proposals during one of two grantmaking cycles, in spring and fall. These cycles are called "primary" grant cycles. Submissions to the Foundation's three issue areas-economic security, freedom from violence, and health-are accepted as follows:

Spring Cycle

Freedom from Violence

Fall Cycle

Economic Security

Ongoing Small Grant Opportunities

Enterprise Fund - currently not accepting applications


Chicago Foundation for Women uses a community-led grantmaking process to review and recommend grants awarded during the primary fall and spring grant cycles.

The Foundation Board of Directors reviews all recommendations and approves all grant awards.

Final decisions on applications for the Fall Cycle will be made at the December Board of Directors’ meeting. Final decisions on applications for the Spring Cycle will be made at June Board of Directors' meeting.

Grants are made from the Strategic Response Fund, the Eva Janzen Powell and Smith T. Powell Health Series and the Enterprise Fund throughout the year.

Chicago Foundation for Women welcomes questions from applicants at any point before, during, and after the application process. Please contact Lora York, program officer, at or (312)577-2814.