The Evanston Community Foundation (ECF) announced competitive and strategic grants totaling over $825,000 on Thursday, May 31 at the 2018 Grant Awards Celebration and Annual Meeting at the Crystal Ballroom at The Merion, 529 Davis Street, in Evanston.
ECF President and CEO Monique B. Jones opened the event with the State of the Foundation remarking, “In this moment, we are focusing equally between stewarding our community of donors and being a community leader.”
Board Chair Diana Cohen presented the Jim Kogen Foundation Spirit Award for exemplary board leadership. The 2018 award was awarded to Michael Brody, immediate past Chair. Cohen said, “Mike has been an energetic and tireless leader within the Foundation . . . inspiring fellow board members to work toward ECF’s vision of a just, vibrant, and inclusive community.”
A record of $337,500 in Responsive Grants was awarded to 26 organizations that serve Evanston residents. Vice President for Programs Marybeth Schroeder said, “These grants advance the Foundation’s strategic goals of equity, collaboration, and a thriving nonprofit community. We’re proud to work with these creative and dedicated organizations in Evanston.”
The 2018 Responsive Grant Award recipients include: Alliance to End Homelessness in Suburban Cook County, Books & Breakfast, Center for Independent Futures, Warren W. Cherry Preschool, Children’s Advocacy Center of North and Northwest Cook County, Children’s Home & Aid Society of Illinois, Connections for the Homeless, Curt’s Café, Erie Family Health Center, Evanston Scholars, Evanston Symphony Orchestra Association, Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary, Girls Play Sports, The Harbour, Housing Opportunities for Women, Impact Behavioral Health Partners, Interfaith Action of Evanston, McGaw YMCA, The James B. Moran Center for Youth Advocacy, North Shore Senior Center, Northlight Theatre, PEER Services, Services for Adults Staying in Their Homes (SASI), Y.O.U. (Youth & Opportunity United), Youth Job Center, and the YWCA Evanston/North Shore.
The Foundation also recognized the grantees from all of its grant programs, including Communityworks, Partners for the Future and Building the Future, root2fruit, Rolling, Community Catalyst, and Climate Action Grants. Grantee information for all of these programs can be found at www.evanstonforever.org.
Additionally, Sheila Merry, executive director of Evanston Cradle to Career (EC2C), highlighted grants to EC2C partners addressing systems change in Evanston. ECF is the fiscal sponsor for EC2C and was designated by EC2C to coordinate a grants process for funds received from United Way of Metropolitan Chicago.
Northwestern University Dance Marathon (NUDM) 2019 Co-Chairs CJ Patel and Justin Savin announced to the Evanston community NUDM’s primary beneficiary, Communities In Schools of Chicago. NUDM annually contributes 10% of their proceeds to ECF grants and programs, totaling over $1.14 million during their 21 year partnership. The NUDM 2018 primary beneficiary, Cradles to Crayons, has partnered with ECF to expand to Evanston. Several Evanston early childhood programs now receive clothing, books, and supplies for children in their programs who need those items.