We know that Get IN Chicago focus communities experience higher rates of homicide than the rest of the city.  So far this year, Austin has had 36 homicides, North Lawndale 22, and Englewood 16.  We also know that people living in our focus communities experience trauma at rates comparable to Afghanistan and Iraq. But these communities are also rich in resources – in particular, the residents who take pride in their neighborhoods, homes, schools, and deep family roots.  We see this funding opportunity as a chance for residents to shift their neighborhood narratives and make their ideas for safer and healthier communities a reality, with the support of well-equipped non-profits.


Get IN Chicago hosted a call this morning to provide more information about our latest funding opportunity, Community Collaboration and Resident Empowerment.  In addition to providing a general overview of the call for LOIs, we emphasized what the selection committee will look for in letters and answered questions from the group:

Criteria of Note

  • Resident group is currently active and guides the direction/work of the project
  • Non-profit partner organization provides knowledge, support, and resources to the resident group vision
  • Youth ages 13-18 are involved in the planning and implementation of the project


Are you looking for non-profits to partner with active resident groups or inspire resident action?

We would prefer submissions from resident groups who are already active.  We see this funding opportunity as a chance for non-profits to collaborate with active groups and provide a new layer of support and resources for their work.

Will projects proposing to work in non-GIC focus communities be considered?

Unfortunately, we cannot extend funding opportunities to communities outside of the seven identified on the Community Empowerment RFP. The decision to extend funding to additional communities is contingent upon many factors, including a full review of from our board of directors.

Our organization has a school-based program.  Would it be an acceptable to try and work with the parents of the youth we serve, or the PTA/LSC at the school?

We encourage non-profits to approach active resident groups and ask, ‘How can we support your work?’  We are less interested in projects where the non-profit is bringing together a group of residents and starting from scratch.  Many community groups have a number of ideas and approaches they are interested in implementing, and we see this funding opportunity as a chance to give groups the resources to accomplish that.

What does the LOI call mean by ‘health and safety resources’?

We are keeping the guidelines open-ended in hopes of seeing innovation – for example, a project might make existing health and safety resources more accessible or introduce new resources, as suggested by community residents.

Should projects avoid politics or policy approaches?

The direction of the projects should be steered by residents and what they think would positively impact the health and safety of their communities.  We will consider any approaches they suggest.

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What is the funding range?

There is no minimum or maximum, but per Get IN Chicago guidelines, award amounts must be no more than 25% of the non-profits operating budget.

What is the grant term for projects, and are the projects renewable?

The grant term is expected to be 12 months, beginning January 1, 2016.  Like all Get IN Chicago funding, our expectation is that every project is eligible for renewal.

Will a portion of the funding go toward the residents doing the work?

We expect a majority of the funding to go directly to the resident-led effort.  The non-profit will serve as a partner providing training and support for the resident work.

Will we receive feedback if our LOI is not accepted to advance?

We anticipate notifying all submitting organizations of their status by November 20, 2015.  We are always happy to provide feedback in addition to what those communications include.