Collaboration for the benefit of Skokie is the core philosophy of the Skokie Community Foundation’s grant program. Applicants are required to be two or more organizations, one of which must be a 501(c)(3), a school, or government entity, working together in pairs or groups.

Skokie Welcomes Everyone

The Foundation funds proposals that address any aspect of community in Skokie, including arts and culture, basic human needs, community relations and development, early childhood learning, education, environment, family support/counseling, health, housing, seniors, workforce development or youth.  We look to fund projects that will benefit Skokie both during and beyond the program year.

Our grant cycle begins in early June when the Foundation releases its Request for Proposals inviting applications and providing detailed information about that year’s grant cycle.  Proposals are due in early September and awarded at a ceremony in November for grant programs to be implemented the following calendar year.

Since 2015, we have awarded $25,000 in grants annually.  Most grants are $5,000 each, with some being slightly larger or smaller, and are not targeted to a specific area of service.

The Foundation’s focus on collaboration has helped to formalize and deepen existing ties between local organizations as well as forge new ones.  Drawing on the diverse skills of local not-for-profit and governmental agencies, the Skokie Community Foundation’s unique grant program has funded 38 grants totaling $200,000, addressing a broad range of community concerns.

In November 2021, the Skokie Community Foundation announced its 2022 grant recipients.

SCF awarded a total of $25,000 in grants to the following organizations:

Connections for the Homeless
Village of Skokie Department of Health & Human Services 

Housing security: Flexible funding to prevent Skokie families from spiraling into homelessness. Some examples include:

  • Paying for car repairs so people can get to work and maintain income
  • Buying a bus ticket for someone to travel to family out-of-state where they can live permanently
  • Offering gift cards for household expenses in situations where people are “doubled-up” or couch surfing so they can maintain housing
Out Our Front Door
Emily Oaks Nature Center

Biking and camping experiences: Allows Skokie teens, who would not otherwise get such an opportunity, to learn how to maintain bicycles and to develop bike-riding and camping skills. 

Oakton Community College
Village of Skokie

Workforce certification: Village of Skokie Human Services social work staff members identify  Skokie clients who will benefit from enrollment in a short-term certificate program at Oakton Community College. Funds support costs for tuition, fees and books. The Oakton academic advisor works closely with the resident as they progress through their coursework, and, when nearing completion, assists the student with job readiness/interviewing skills, resumé development and job search techniques. Human Services staff remain in contact with the resident after coursework completion. 

Turning Point Behavioral Health Care Center
Skokie School District 68

Teen mental health: Support for young people in the wake of the new COVID-19 reality. Turning Point therapists used conversation and other creative avenues of expression to provide a safe space for youth to talk about trauma, with specific focus on the extraordinary pandemic challenges of the past two years. 

In November 2020, the Skokie Community Foundation announced its 2021 grant recipients. The Foundation requested proposals that addressed needs that had arisen in Skokie due to the COVID-19 pandemic and its aftermath.

The Foundation awarded a total of $28,000 in grants:

Oakton Community College
Village of Skokie Human Services

Workforce training initiative:  Paid for recently unemployed Skokie residents to enroll in their choice of enriching short term certificate programs at OCC enabling them to qualify for better paying jobs.

In late summer 2020, tragedy befell the family of Village of Skokie Mayor George and Susan Van Dusen with the loss of their beloved son David, who was a young husband and father. In the wake of this sad and shocking loss, the Van Dusen family designated the Skokie Community Foundation as the charity for individuals who wished to make a contribution in David Van Dusen’s memory.   The SCF Board in the fall of 2020 named this Workforce Training Initiative grant in honor of the Van Dusen family and in memory of David Van Dusen.

Subsequent to SCF’s award of the grant, the Workforce Training Initiative also received funding from First Bank of Highland Park and The Education Foundation Supporting the Students of Niles Township.

The Foundation is grateful to the Van Dusen family, First Bank of Highland Park and The Education Foundation Supporting Students of Niles Township for their financial support of this grant.  This generous and collaborative community effort will positively impact the lives of Skokie residents.

Turning Point
Apna Ghar

Mental health education: Cross cultural education for Skokie families facing mental health struggles and domestic violence issues exacerbated by the pandemic.

School District 69
Various community partners

Student health care: vouchers given to uninsured and underinsured students for dental, vision and mental health care as well as transportation to providers.

JCFS Chicago
Skokie Public Library

Teen mental health:  professionally guided programming for teens to promote self-care and responsible decision making in light of the challenges and disruption the pandemic brought to their lives.

On November 1, 2019 the Skokie Community Foundation announced its 2020 grant recipients at the Skokie Chamber of Commerce Annual Legislative Forum held at the Holiday Inn North Shore, Skokie.

The Foundation awarded a total of $25,000 to the following organizations:

The Muslim Community Center Academy
Klezmer Music Foundation

Interfaith community building through music: Bringing Muslim and Jewish students together to learn about and perform the music of their cultural heritages.

School District 219
PEER Services

Health education: Substance abuse prevention and education program for students at Niles North High School.

YWCA Evanston/North Shore
Village of Skokie Human Services
Division School District 69

Youth Engagement Project: Healthy relationship and self-growth education for Lincoln Junior High students referred by the Skokie Youth Outreach Program.

Skokie Resilient Community Collaborative (SRCC) Partners

Adverse Childhood Experience (ACE) Educator Training: Creating multiple avenues for trauma informed care and resilience education to reach the community.

On Monday November 26, 2018 the Skokie Community Foundation awarded its 2019 grants in a ceremony at the Community Animal Rescue Effort (CARE) facility located at 4927 Main Street in Skokie.

In 2019 the Foundation funded one targeted $10,000 grant and three untargeted grants of $5000 each.  For the targeted grant the Foundation sought proposals specifically designed to address the issue of social inclusion within Skokie.  The focus for the targeted grant was chosen based on input gathered at listening sessions that Foundation board members held with Skokie community members in the Spring of 2018.

The 2019 grant recipients were:

For the $10,000 grant focusing on social inclusion in Skokie:

Northlight Theatre
Skokie Public Library
Illinois Holocaust Museum and Education Center

Youth education:  A program in which Skokie teens wrote and performed an adaptation of Martin Rising: Requiem for a King by Andrea Davis Pinkney for the community, addressing a growing societal need to combat racial profiling and prejudice with increased empathy, knowledge and understanding.

Grants of $5000 each were awarded to:

Metropolitan Family Services
Skokie Coalition to End Abuse and Neglect of Adults with Disabilities

Abuse prevention: Continuation of a program focused on significantly preventing the abuse and neglect of adults with disabilities and increasing the reporting of such cases when they do occur.

YWCA Evanston NorthShore
Village of Skokie Human Services

Court diversion:  Young men’s engagement project bringing the YWCA to the Skokie Police Department and Skokie’s Youth Outreach Program to offer intervention and support to young men 12 -18 recently ticketed for minor offenses in Skokie.

Turning Point Behavioral Health Care Center
Community Animal Rescue Effort (CARE)

Volunteer education and enrichment:  Interactive and educational programs for Turning Point clients while providing CARE with a new source of volunteer assistance.

On November 27, 2017 in a ceremony at the Skokie Public Library, the Skokie Community Foundation for the fourth year, awarded a total of $25,000 to local nonprofit organizations that co-applied for grants to serve Skokie residents and enhance the community.

The Foundation awarded a total of $25,000 to the following organizations:

Orchard Village
Talking Farm

Growing Healthy: continuation of program of planting and working Orchard Village’s on-site urban farm providing organic produce to Orchard Village residents and the Niles Township Food Pantry and the addition of a registered dietician to educate residents how best to use the fresh produce.

SASI Senior Connections
Village of Skokie

Senior Connections: recruiting and training volunteers to visit with socially isolated seniors in Skokie.

Skokie Cares Partners

SEED Training: expanding the access of Skokie residents to this national equity and diversity curriculum by training additional SEED facilitators.

Skokie Coalition to End Abuse and Neglect of Adults with Disabilities

Abuse prevention: Creation of a coalition of local agencies that serve adults with disabilities and a program with the goal of significantly preventing and increasing the reporting of the abuse and neglect of adults with disabilities.

Turning Point Behavioral Health Care Center
Skokie Public Library

Mental health access:  an after-school forum at the library where teens asked professional counselors candid questions related to issues with peers, family, identity and more.

On November 14, 2016 the Skokie Community Fund, awarded a total of $25,000 to local nonprofit organizations that co-applied for grants to serve Skokie residents and enhance the community.

The Fund awarded a total of $25,000 to the following organizations:

Maine Niles Association of Special Recreation
Niles Township District for Special Education

After school programming: Providing Skokie students high quality programming built around individual needs at Molloy Education Center.

Mudlark Theatre Group
Youth & Opportunity United

Arts education: Literacy and theater programs in Skokie schools for under-served students giving them the opportunity to experience live theater inspired by their own writing and performed by their peers.

Orchard Village
The Talking Farm
Niles Township Food Pantry

Urban farming: Education for Orchard Village residents from staff at the Talking Farm while providing a steady and significant volume of fresh, organically grown produce to the Niles Township Food Pantry.

The Talking Farm
Niles North High School

Agricultural internship program: Summer internship program for Niles North students educating them about urban agriculture, giving them job experience as they grew seedlings at the Niles North greenhouse and worked at the Talking Farm during the summer.

Turning Point Behavioral Health Care Center
National Alliance on Mental Illness
Village of Skokie Police and Fire Departments

Community conversations: Mental health professionals and members of the Skokie police and fire departments facilitated free community conversations, open to the public and taking place throughout Skokie addressing the approaches used by first responders when dealing with the public with an eye toward de-escalation and sensitivity to mental health issues.

YWCA Evanston/North Shore
Skokie Public Library

Community conversations: “Let’s Talk @ Lunch” series at the Skokie Public Library where participants led by trained facilitators engaged in discussions to broaden their understanding of the impact of racism on day-to-day life in Skokie.

On November 17, 2015, in a ceremony at the Skokie Public Library, the Skokie Community Foundation awarded its second set of grants in amounts ranging from $3000 to $5000 and totaling $25,000 to six sets of partnered organizations for the benefit of the community.

The Fund awarded a total of $25,000 to the following organizations:

Open Studio Project
Village of Skokie Human Services Division

Community Mural: Skokie residents created a mural for the entrance to the Village of Skokie Health Department and Human Services Division.

English Language Learner Parent Center
FAMA Bilingual Center for Family Caregivers

Health Literacy Education for Immigrant Families: Workshops to help immigrant families more easily navigate the healthcare system and access care for a healthy life.

Orchard Village
Stillpoint Theatre Collective
Skokie Public Library

Educational Film Documentary: A program to feature the accomplishments of adult Skokie residents with developmental disabilities as they created and performed an original work of theatrical self-expression.

Youth & Opportunity United
Skokie/Morton Grove School District 69

Community School Initiative: Increased community engagement and parental leadership for families at Lincoln Junior High and Edison Elementary.

Douglas Center
Skokie Public Library

Next Chapter Book Club: A bi-weekly book discussion group for adults with developmental disabilities.

YWCA Evanston/North Shore
Skokie Public Library

Racial Justice Programming: Twelve monthly discussion sessions to deepen understanding of the impact of race on day-to-day live in Skokie.

On Tuesday, November 14, 2014, the Skokie Community Fund awarded its first ever set of grants:  $25,000 to local nonprofit organizations that co-applied for grants to serve Skokie residents and enhance the community.  In July of 2015 all grantees presented on the status of their programs at a mid-year grant event held at the Cube in Old Orchard.

The Fund awarded each of the following five co-applicants $5000 for use in 2015.

CJE Senior Life, Skokie Public Library
Village of Skokie Human Services

Consumer Assistance Benefits Counseling Program:  Assist older adults in determining optimal health insurance plans and accessing government benefits both in English and Russian.

Youth & Opportunity United
Skokie/Morton Grove School District 69

Parent Leadership Program:  Training in individual leadership, team building and community outreach and action with the goal of encouraging engagement and participation of the parents of junior high students.

National Able Network
Childcare Network of Evanston

Employment and Childcare Services:  Childcare services for low-income clients to facilitate their participation in job-readiness training.

The Talking Farm
Oakton Community College

Internship program: Developed a curriculum and paid summer internship program to promote urban agriculture through farm-to-table education.

Metropolitan Family Services
Village of Skokie

Youth Counseling Services:  Address the needs of youth and their families who are referred by the Youth Outreach Program and the Youth Ordinance Court.