West Side Giving Circle
Who We Are
The West Side Giving Circle (The Circle) envisions a Chicago where all Black women and girls, and their families can thrive. The Circle seeks to support the development and well-being of Black women and girls who live in West Side communities, helping them to build collective power and achieve excellence. We fight against the toll that systemic racism, and decades of neglect and disinvestment has taken on these communities. We fight for deep and lasting transformation, and a reimagination of community leadership that centers Black women and advances racial, social, and economic justice.
The Circle was founded in 2021 as a collective giving group that will award grants annually to nonprofit organizations. Founding Members: Tameeka Christian, Chartise Clark, Corliss Garner, Caronina Grimble, Yolanda Fields, Cody McSellers-McCray, Ina Owens.
A community of women committed to The Circle’s mission who currently or previously have lived and/or worked on Chicago’s West Side. Through this collective giving model, members pool their resources to award grants to organizations centering and promoting Black women and girls on the West Side of Chicago. Each member donates a minimum of $250 – $2,500 annually and participates in the grantmaking process.
Who We Support
Organizations located in and centering Black women and girls on the West Side of Chicago.
Priority to organizations that:
- are in Austin, East and West Garfield Park, and/or North Lawndale
- are Black-Woman-Led
Work that aligns with Chicago Foundation for Women’s Guiding Principles and Issue Areas
- Guiding Principles: apply a gender lens, value reproductive justice, have board and staff diversity, and be inclusive of those with disabilities and of LGBTQ people
- Issue Areas: economic security, freedom from gender-based violence, and access to health care and information
Grants of $5,000 to $15,000 are awarded annually in June. These investments are made possible primarily through The Circle’s endowment earnings and membership donations. As grantees of The Circle, they will have access to the capacity-building programming and technical assistance offered by Chicago Foundation for Women and join a network of grantee partners who convene quarterly to learn together, share resources, and create connections. Additionally, individuals and companies are invited to support the mission through contributions to The Circle.
The Advocate Bethany Community Health Fund, known as the Bethany Fund, gifted initial funding for an endowment to The Circle, the earnings of which will support its grantmaking. The Bethany Fund was established in 2006 as part of Advocate’s ongoing commitment to support existing community organizations on the West Side of Chicago. The Bethany Fund donated approximately $1 million per year for 14 years to local nonprofits to promote health and wellness in communities previously served by Bethany Hospital. The Bethany Fund sunset in December 2020.
Membership is an annual commitment. Each member gifts between $250 – $2,500. The deadline to apply is January 12, 2024.
Each member determines their level of participation. As a member, you have the opportunity to engage in a community of practice of racial equity in grantmaking by nominating organizations, reviewing grant proposals, attending site visits to learn more about the applicants; and being in relationship with one another during member meetings and any social gatherings.
Interested in becoming a member? For more information, contact Vanessa Lee (Program Officer) at firstname.lastname@example.org.