Frequently Asked Questions
The Foundation no longer accepts paper applications or applications submitted by mail. All grant requests must be submitted online.
What are the changes to your Grant Guidelines and Application Procedures?
The main changes to the Grant Guidelines are the Funding Focus and Geographic Focus Area.
The Blowitz-Ridgeway Foundation’s revised funding focus is to:
1. Improve the health of the uninsured, underinsured and low-income metropolitan Chicago residents and the community through increased access to community-based preventive and primary health services, such as medical, dental, vision, mental health, and case management; and
2. Support housing programs and services that provide access to prevention, intervention, follow-up, supportive services, and employment training for individuals and families who are homeless or at-risk of being homeless.
The Foundation has limited its geographic reach to organizations in the City of Chicago and six collar counties (Cook, DuPage, Kane, Lake, McHenry and Will).
Does the Foundation still fund Food Pantries under the revised Funding Focus of Health Care and Housing?
The Foundation will fund Food Pantries that use food distribution as a gateway to accessing supportive services that assist and empower individuals and families, or where food assistance is part of the overall service plan. For example, the Foundation supports Food Pantries that also provide case management, counseling, access to health care, job training, housing, rent and utility assistance, and information and referrals to other services, etc., which empower individuals and families to be self-sufficient.
Food Pantries that solely provide food distribution no longer fit under the Foundation’s grant guidelines.
What are the Foundation’s grant award sizes?
The Foundation’s typical grants are between $10,000 and $15,000. Grant awards will generally not exceed $30,000.
Do you require a letter of inquiry?
No. Please review our grants list and guidelines carefully. If you have any questions about eligibility, please contact the office.
What are the application deadlines?
There are no deadlines. Applications are accepted throughout the year and are reviewed in the order they are received.
How long is the review process?
You should receive a response from us 3 to 4 months from when the application is received.
When can my organization reapply for funding?
Grantee organizations are eligible to receive one grant per 12 months. The Blowitz-Ridgeway Foundation requires applicants to submit their final report for the previous grant before the new grant request can be reviewed.
If my organization’s grant request was not funded, can we apply again?
Yes, grant applicants whose requests have been declined are welcome to re-apply but we ask that you wait a year (12 months) from when you submitted the request.
Does the Foundation fund organizations outside the state of Illinois?
No, the Foundation has limited it geographic reach to organizations in the City of Chicago and surrounding six collar counties (Cook, DuPage, Kane, Lake, McHenry and Will).
My organization does not have audited financial statements. Can I still apply?
The Foundation requires the most recent audited financial statements for organizations with contributions in excess of $300,000 a year, as per the requirements of the IL Attorney General (AG990-IL).
If your audited financial statement for the most recent completed year is not available yet, please submit financials which compare the organization’s budget with Year-to-Date (YTD) Actuals. For example, if you submit the 2015 IRS 990 & Audit for 2015 because 2016 is not available yet, please provide the organization’s budget with YTD Actuals for 2016.
In addition, The Foundation requires all organizations to submit their most recent IRS Form 990 or 990 E-Z Federal Tax Form. We do not accept the 990-N or 990-T.
Can questions be viewed prior to submission?
Yes, if you would like to see the application questions and required attachments in advance before submitting the application, click on “Printer-Friendly Version” located at the top right corner of the screen.
What time period should the reports cover?
Please note that 6-month Progress and 12-month Final Reports should be based on the time period listed in your grant application, not when you received the grant.
Will Progress and Final Reports be submitted through the new online program?
Yes, if you applied online and received a grant under the new guidelines, you will be asked to submit the report online.
However, if you submitted a paper application under the former guidelines prior to July 15, 2017, you will still follow the same process as before. See “Reporting Requirements” tab on the website.
What is a 509(a) (3) Supporting Organization?
A Supporting Organization is a 501(c) (3) that is further classified as a 509(a)(3) organization. It qualifies as a public charity because it supports one or more tax exempt organizations, usually other 501(c)(3) public charities. A 509(a)(3) Supporting Organization is one of three types (I, II, or III), depending on the degree of control of a supported organization.
Please note that the Blowitz-Ridgeway Foundation will not fund 509(a) (3) Type III Non-functionally Integrated Supporting Organizations.
If your organization is a Type III Supporting Organization, you will need to provide confirmation on how your organization qualifies as a public charity under the Internal Revenue Code. To best determine this status, consult your organization’s IRS Schedule A (Form 990 or 990-EZ), Part I - Reason for Public Charity Status. The Foundation does not provide grants to organizations classified as 509(a)(3) Type III Non-Functionally Integrated Supporting Organizations. If your Organization is a 509(a)(3) supporting organization, you must have your lawyer or accountant verify your tax status. Please download and submit the following verification form here.