Blog Article

Five things to know about Illinois Humanities’ Community Grants

Applications for Vision and Action grants now open

Last year, Illinois Humanities awarded over 300 grants to dynamic cultural organizations throughout Illinois. We deeply value our relationship with these grantee partners and strive to make our grants, applications processes, and capacity building resources accessible and impactful. Based on grantee input, we are constantly improving our offerings to support the work they do to keep the public humanities vital and active in their communities.

We’re excited to share some recent updates we’ve made to our grants programming based on partner feedback as well as some reminders about our Community Grants program.

Here are five things to know about our Community Grants program…

  1. We’re here to help!
  2. Illinois Humanities’ staff offers personal support to organizations in the development of their proposals. We also have a wealth of resources—you can visit the Community Grants page to read examples of past successful proposals or check out our workshop on strong proposal writing. It’s our job to answer applicants’ questions and guide them through the process. We want to help you craft an effective proposal, so don’t hesitate to get in touch!

  3. Community Grants are available three times each year.
  4. Vision and Action grants are available now through January 17, 2023. Apply here. Can’t make this deadline? Don’t worry, you will also have an opportunity to apply for the May 15, 2023 deadline, and other grant opportunities will reopen soon. Subscribe to our newsletter for the latest announcements.

  5. You can get additional funding to make your programming more accessible.
  6. Illinois Humanities is committed to making public programs accessible by offering Accessibility stipends to any organization that wants one. Applicants can request up to $250 in additional support to help make their events more accessible to audience participants, particularly those with physical disabilities. This might include such features as American Sign Language (ASL) interpretation, Communication Access Realtime Translation (CART), but can also include other resources such as providing transportation to and from events for those who need it.

  7. Illinois Humanities is no longer offering Multiplier grants.
  8. As of Fall 2022, we are no longer offering Multiplier grants as part of our Community Grants program, but we’ll connect you with other opportunities that match your need. Organizations interested in Multiplier grants or past Multiplier grantees are encouraged to learn more about our project-based Action grants or contact Mark Hallett to discuss what other funding opportunities may be right for you.

  9. We now offer General Operating (Gen Ops) grants!
  10. Time and again, grantees tell us that general operating support—an unrestricted grant that supports is the overall mission of an organization rather than a particular program or project—is incredibly impactful. This only became clearer during the pandemic as nonprofits across the state struggled to keep their doors open and serve their communities. If your organization’s mission involves the humanities, be sure to check out our gen ops grants. While applications for these funds aren’t open during this cycle, they’ll be available again soon!

We hope you’ll find an opportunity to support your work through our Community Grants program, and join our community of grantee partners who are building a strong network of humanities and cultural workers throughout Illinois. We are very fortunate to work in partnership with individuals and organizations doing this vital work across the state and we look forward to more collaboration!

As always, reach out with questions.

Mark & the Illinois Humanities team

Photo Credit: Professor Karen Benjamin with class touring Bronzeville with Sherry Williams as guide (from Bronzeville Black Chicagoan Historical Society’s Facebook page)

About Illinois Humanities

Illinois Humanities, the Illinois affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities, is a statewide nonprofit organization that activates the humanities through free public programs, grants, and educational opportunities that foster reflection, spark conversation, build community and strengthen civic engagement. We provide free, high-quality humanities experiences throughout Illinois, particularly for communities of color, individuals living on low incomes, counties and towns in rural areas, small arts and cultural organizations, and communities highly impacted by mass incarceration. Founded in 1974, Illinois Humanities is supported by state, federal, and private funds. Learn more at and on FacebookTwitterInstagram, and LinkedIn @ILHumanities.