A COMMITMENT TO EQUITY IN THE REGION

Historic disinvestment in BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, people of color) communities throughout Chicago has led to the current racial, social, and economic issues. These disparities primarily impact residents on the city’s South and West Sides and in the south suburban region.

Nonprofit agency leaders of color often face challenges connecting to funders and securing and sustaining support for culturally relevant strategies to address community-identified priorities. This has led to significant disparities in investment in BIPOC-led organizations.

The United Neighborhood Equity Fund is United Way of Metro Chicago’s philanthropic commitment to addressing these barriers and creating a more equitable and just Chicago region.

The Fund supports small, BIPOC-led organizations with tailored capacity and relationship-building support that meets their needs and advances their long-term goals.

BENEFITS OF THE FUND

Unrestricted Funding
Each grantee will be awarded $50,000 of unrestricted funds over a 2-year period to be used according to the needs of the agency

Capacity Building
Spend 24 months engaging in individual and group capacity-building sessions with DePaul University faculty and other professionals

Networking & Relationships
Join a cohort with agency peers, build new cross-sector relationships, and network with potential funders and investors

Untitled Document

GRANT GUIDELINES AND APPLICATION

The Fund is intended to support small organizations located on Chicago's South and West Sides and in the south suburban region, ideally aligned with the United Way's of Metro Chicago's Neighborhood Network coalitions. Organizations with BIPOC leadership, rooted and respected in local communities, and with an interest in building new capacity are encouraged to apply.

ELIGIBILITY REQUIREMENTS FOR APPLICANTS

  • BIPOC Founder or Executive Director
  • Budget of less than $1,000,000
  • 501c3 status or fiscal sponsor
  • Grassroots organizations supporting community work at the intersection of economic development and social services
  • Working on Chicago's South Side or West Side or in the south suburban region, ideally aligned with United Way's Neighborhood Network coalitions

Other resources:
Frequently Asked Questions
Agency Guidelines

APPLICATION AND GRANT CYCLE TIMELINE

The application for the 2023-2025 grant is now closed. Check back for information about the 2024-2026 grant application.

  • August 7, 2023: Application Open for 2023-2025 Cohort
  • August 10, 2023: Information Session #1
  • August 17, 2023: Information Session #2
  • August 28 - September 8, 2023: Application Review Process
  • Mid-September: Final Grantee Selection for 2023-2025 Cohort

For questions about The Fund, please email United Neighborhoods Equity Fund.


FUND GRANTEES

BIPOC nonprofit leaders and their organizations are awarded $50,000 of unrestricted funding over a two-year period to be used according to the needs of each non-profit. Learn more about the grantees from cohort.


Sponsors, Partners, and Pro Bono Partners

Nicor Gas is a corporate sponsor of the United Neighborhoods Equity Fund

Target is a corporate sponsor of the United Neighborhoods Equity Fund

UL is a corporate sponsor of the United Neighborhoods Equity Fund

Chicago Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights is a pro bono partner of The Fund

IABC/Chicago is a pro bono partner of the United Neighborhoods Equity Fund

Step Up Chicago, Deloitte is a pro bono partner of The Fund

Peoples Gas is the founding sponsor of the United Neighborhoods Equity Fund

IMC is a corporate sponsor of the United Neighborhoods Equity Fund

Give Money.

Invest in people. Invest in your neighborhood. Invest in a stronger Chicago.

Donate

Give Time.

Share your time. Share your talents. Share your love for community.

Volunteer
Pause Animation