Evanston Community Foundation announces recipients for annual grant program

Marissa Page, City Editor

The Evanston Community Foundation announced Wednesday it would extend grants to three local nonprofits as part of its annual root2fruit grant campaign.

The chosen nonprofits — Chessmen Club of the North Shore, Girls Play Sports and the National Alliance on Mental Illness, Cook County North Suburban — will each receive grants of $10,000 with the expectation of renewed funding from ECF over the next two years. In addition to these nonprofits, six other organizations already involved in the program will continue to receive grants from ECF.

ECF said in a news release that it had chosen these recipients to demonstrate their commitment to supporting a wide variety of nonprofits in the Evanston community. The Chessmen Club works to provide support to African-American youth and seniors throughout the North Shore by addressing community health issues and providing college scholarships. Girls Play Sports aims to bolster girls’ leadership skills through participation in recreational sports, and NAMI CCNS provides support to people impacted by serious mental illness.

The secondary beneficiary of Northwestern University Dance Marathon for the past 18 years, ECF focuses on giving grants and other financial support to city community organizations. The root2fruit initiative, which is in its 14th year, is designed to help grow the capacity of small to mid-size nonprofit organizations in Evanston.

In addition to the grant, selected nonprofits are entered into a peer learning network with other organizations. The groups are also mentored by an advisory committee for three years to help them build their fundraising, developmental and recruiting capabilities.

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