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Polk Bros. Foundation Today
Who we are, our mission, our staff, and our current grants


Polk Bros. Foundation Today



Our organization is located in Evanston/Joliet/Wisconsin/Canada. Are we eligible for funding?

No. The Foundation only funds organizations located within the city of Chicago. Rare exceptions are made when services are provided in the Chicago area and Chicago residents make up (a) the majority of the total population served by the organization and (b) at least 80% of those served by the program for which support is requested.

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We are a new organization. Can we apply for funding?

The Foundation only considers proposals from organizations that have been in operation for at least one year and have non-profit 501(c)(3) status or a fiscal agent with 501(c)(3) status. Please review our additional prerequisites.

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Do you provide salary support for development directors? Do you provide general operating support?

No. The Foundation's grants support the expenses associated with specific programs. Although we often fund portions of the salaries of program staff and others' work on those programs, we do not provide salary support for directors of development.

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Do you make grants to charter schools?

No. The Foundation does not provide funding for individual charter schools. Our support for charter schools is made through grants to The Renaissance Schools Fund.

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Do you provide funding for the production of documentaries about Chicago? Media campaigns? Research?

Generally, the Foundation makes grants only for direct services provided to Chicago communities of need, with a priority for those serving Chicago public school students and their families.

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How can we apply for a grant? We have never been funded by the Foundation.

Please review our prerequisites. If your organization is eligible, you may then complete a pre-application and submit it electronically or by mail.

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How can we apply for a grant? We have previously received grants from the Foundation.

Please call our office at 312.527.4684 or email questions@polkbrosfdn.org to inquire about applying for renewed support.

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When is the deadline for submitting a proposal?

There are no deadlines for the submission of proposals to the Polk Bros. Foundation. Applications are accepted year-round, scheduled in the order in which they are received, and considered at quarterly board meetings.

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In the past, our proposals have been considered at the February board meeting. When should we apply in order to be considered in February?

The Foundation does not have submission deadlines. Generally, a proposal should be submitted three to five months prior to the date of the board meeting. Thus, a proposal for the February meeting should be submitted no later than the beginning of November. Because it is hard to predict the flow of applications for any given board meeting, we cannot guarantee that the proposal will be scheduled for February.

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What happens after we submit a proposal?

You will receive a call for more information or written confirmation that your proposal has been scheduled to be considered at a particular board meeting. After your proposal is scheduled, you will be contacted by a program officer.

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