How to Apply

Interested in applying? Check out our Guiding Principles and Frequently Asked Questions to help you determine if your organization and/or project aligns with the core values of Chicago Foundation for Women. If yes, please click here to access our online application system, and pick the funding opportunity that best fits your program/organization's needs.

Grant Opportunities

CFW's COVID-19 Community Response Grants - CLOSED

Grants will provide modest short term funding to organizations that are community-based and are in the position to rapidly move resources into the communities that have been disproportionately impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. CFW believes that these organizations will understand the needs of women, girls, transgender, and gender non-binary people of color and their families because they have deep relationships within the community. Community organizations, particularly those that include leadership from the community or are women of color-led are best positioned to identify current needs but also to shift as needs change during this fast-moving crisis.

Grants will fall into two categories, 1) Relief/services to address immediate or on-going needs or short-term emergency advocacy activities due to the COVID-19 pandemic, or 2) capacity-building support to stabilize organizations that directly serve communities. These grants are time-limited and flexible to support organizations as circumstances change and new needs and challenges are identified.

You can find a pdf version of the full guidelines here.
Grants will be up to $7,500.

Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis.

August - October due dates:

  • Wednesday, August 26
  • Wednesday, October 7


Primary Cycle: Spring 2021

Due Date: February 17

To access our online application system, please click here.

Click here for the full 2021 Spring Primary Cycle Guideline

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

Spring 2021 Sessions:

  • Tuesday, January 12, 11am-noon
  • Wednesday, January 20, 3pm-4pm

*Sessions will be offered virtually.

To RSVP to attend an orientation session, click here.

Chicago Foundation for Women uses a community-led grantmaking process to review and recommend grants awarded.

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

Final decisions on applications for the Spring Cycles will be made at the June Board of Directors' meeting. Final decisions on applications for the Fall Cycles will be made at the December Board of Directors' meeting. The COVID-19 Community Response Grant decisions are made on a rolling basis.

Chicago Foundation for Women welcomes questions from applicants at any point before, during, and after the application process. Please contact Lora York, Senior Program Officer, at or 312.577.2814.