Grants to Illinois nonprofit organizations and government agencies in eligible locations to enhance the quality of life for African Americans. Funding is intended for general operational support for organizations addressing the lasting impact of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic in the areas of education, mental health, activism, arts, and job creation. AAL is committed to improving the quality of life of Black people throughout metropolitan Chicago.

African American Legacy is now accepting applications for the 2021 grant cycle to Black community organizations working in alignment with the following focus areas:

  • Education. AAL seeks to support organizations that provide academic enrichment assistance to Black students, grades K-12.
  • Mental Health. AAL seeks to support organizations that prepare providers or community members to deliver or advocate for trauma-informed care that actively responds to the disproportionate burden of stress on Black people and Black communities due to employment instability, financial strain, family stress, trauma, and gun violence.
  • Activism. AAL seeks to support organizations that actively dismantle anti-Black racism and advance the Movement for Blacks Lives in Chicago.
  • Arts. AAL seeks to support arts and cultural organizations that share and celebrate the lived experiences of Black people, past and present.
  • Job Creation. AAL seeks to support organizations that create jobs through social enterprises, worker cooperatives, or micro-entrepreneurship for youth, ages 16 to 24.

Eligible organizations are Black-led and Black-serving, responsive and rooted in community, and whose work is focused in one of the five programmatic areas are eligible to apply.

To be eligible for a grant award, an applicant must be:
– A nonprofit organization with evidence that it (a) has been recognized by the Internal Revenue Service as an organization described in Section 501(c)(3) of the Code; (b) is fiscally sponsored by a Section 501(c)(3) organization; (c) or is a governmental unit within the meaning of Section 170(c)(1) of the Code; and
– Described in Section 170(b)(1)(A) of the Code, other than a “disqualified supporting organization” within the meaning of Section 4966(d)(4) of the Code. Sponsored organizations without 501(c)(3) status clearly identify their fiscal sponsor and have the sponsoring agent complete an Organizational Profile in GrantCentral prior to submitting a full request for funding.

In particular, AAL is committed to supporting organizations that are black serving which means constituents are predominantly black and/or from the African Diaspora (Africans brought primarily to the Americas as slaves who live around the globe—Brazil, Haiti, Dominican Republic, Europe and Asia) and black led meaning the staff and board leadership are predominately black and/or from the African Diaspora.

Before starting your grant application, please review the funding source’s website listed below for updates/changes/addendums/conferences/LOIs.

Online application portal:

Nicole Layton, Philanthropic Advisor
313 616-8000 x 157

The Chicago Community Trust
225 North Michigan Avenue, Suite 2200
Chicago IL 60601
Tel. 312.616.8000
Fax 312.616.7955