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Albert Pick, Jr. Fund Staff meet to showcase the work of grantee Project Exploration with representatives from the Chicago Mayor's office, other funders, and an envoy from the U.S. Office of Science and Technology Policy, Director Dr. Alondra Nelson.

OUR GRANTMAKING

We encourage all applicants to read our funding guidelines thoroughly. Please contact staff should you have questions.
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  • Chicago-Based Nonprofits: The Fund considers requests only from nonprofits with offices and separately budgeted programs operating within the City of Chicago. 

  • Project/Program Support and General Operating Funds: Most Fund grants are for project support; in limited instances general operating grants may be awarded to small or single purpose organizations. Grant awards are generally $15,000 or more. Multi-year grants may be awarded to organizations with which the Fund has a history of support.

  • Priority given to community-based organizations that have annual operating budgets below $2.5 million: However, we recognize that sometimes larger organizations have critical resources and infrastructure that better position them to have a more significant impact on an issue

  • Reporting Requirements: All grantees will be required to submit a final report. In some instances, a mid-year report may also be required. All reports must be submitted online and should discuss progress made in comparison to objectives set in the original request, barriers to accomplishing objectives and unexpected results (negative and positive). Reports must include budget/expenditure information. If a grantee is submitting a renewal grant application, the final report from the previous year should be attached the new proposal.

  • Programs considered for funding are restricted to fit within the focus areas described under each funding category in our guidelines. General operating requests will only be considered for smaller or single-purpose organizations whose programs align with a specific subcategory.  Before future renewal grants will be considered, an organization must fulfill requirements of prior grants, including submission of a grant acknowledgement letter and required reports.

  • Culture Category Funding: Please note as of 2024, The Albert Pick, Jr. Fund has ceased funding in the Culture category in order to focus its attention and resources on grantee organizations in our three other priority areas.

OUR GUIDELINES

CIVIC ACTIVISM

COMMUNITY & CIVIC ENGAGEMENT

Goal: to increase the participation of youth and adults in the civic processes that affect their lives and the well-being of their neighborhoods.


Grantmaking:  The Fund supports programs that educate community residents about civic processes and assist and support their engagement in promoting policies and government actions that respond to their own needs as well as the needs of their community. Examples are a community organization that engages parents in school reform/improvement, a youth program that gives youth a voice in neighborhood violence prevention and an agency that brings people together to advocate for improved services in their community.

EDUCATION

ENGAGING APPROACHES TO LEARNING

Goal:  to increase students' (K-12) desire for and teachers' ability to promote in-school, out-of-school and at-home learning by creating positive experiences for young people to relate to academic subjects, including STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math), in ways that are engaging, challenging and fun and to provide professional development for educators. 

Grantmaking:  The Fund is interested in programs that respond to young people’s natural curiosity, provide opportunities for discovery and problem-solving, include hands-on projects, promote self-esteem and foster eager learners. Our preference is for programs that relate to academic subjects, including STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math), but not necessarily standardized tests or Common Core, and include activities to engage parents and expose school teachers to positive teaching strategies. We also prioritize programs that target mostly minority populations or girls with STEM education and promotes careers in science and technology. The emphasis for the Fund is on making the process of learning more fun and exciting along with content mastery as well as increasing the capacity of educators to effectively teach academic subjects and encourage learning in engaging ways. Please note that individual schools are not eligible. 

HEALTH & HUMAN SERVICES

VIOLENCE AFFECTING YOUTH

Goal: to reduce violence that affects children and youth in and around schools and neighborhoods.


Grantmaking: While all services that engage young people (e.g. after school programs,  arts programs, counseling, etc.) can be thought of as helping reduce violence, the time frame for these to be effective is often long.  In addition, these services may not reach youth more likely to be victims or perpetrators. There is an urgent need for programs that will have an effect on violence over the short term.  The Pick Fund supports programs that target those most likely to be in violent situations, especially those youth who have dropped out of school, have had previous histories with the juvenile justice system or have been exposed to trauma. Examples of programs include alternatives to incarceration, social and mental health services, restorative justice and policy changes. The Fund gives special consideration to programs that use restorative justice.

UTILIZATION OF HEALTH SERVICES BY CHILDREN & YOUTH

Goal: to increase the use of the full range of health, dental, medical and mental health services by children and youth.

Grantmaking: The Fund supports programs that are youth-focused and youth-friendly. Programs should make youth more aware of the services that are available to them, offer specialized services to meet the needs of youth or work to change policies to increase the accessibility of health services for children and youth. Examples are LGBTIA+ friendly health services, peer education to alert teens of health issues and mobile clinics that reach youth where they are. Mental health programs are generally given priority.

SPECIAL INITIATIVES

Goal: to enable the Fund to have some flexibility to support special programs or projects outside of the established Focus areas.

Grantmaking: Funds are used for: special projects of the grantmaking community, a unique project that meets a pressing need or other projects/programs/organizations identified by the Directors. Unsolicited proposals are not accepted for this category.

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HOW TO APPLY

Updated 2024 Application Instructions

The Pick Fund will continue utilizing a Letter of Inquiry (LOI) application process in 2024. The LOI is designed to gather key information and data about a proposed funding request and take a relatively short amount of time to complete. Given our focus on support for smaller organizations with budget sizes under $2.5 million, we want to make applying for grant funding as streamlined as possible, and at the same time, provide a way for the Fund to hone in on groups that are in line with its grantmaking guidelines.  We anticipate this year's grantmaking cycle being similar to last year's, with LOI's being accepted sometime in the spring.  Please continue checking back here for updates, which will also be communicated through our newsletter.  

2023 Grant Awards Reporting Requirements

For all 2023 grantees, please note that a status report will be due one year from your grant award date.  For grantee partners who request to apply for funding again in 2024, you will be asked to submit a status report with your Letter of Inquiry (LOI) this spring, and will not be required to resubmit later in the year.   There is no formal report template.  We ask that you share what you find the most meaningful such as how the grant award was used, progress towards goals and notable accomplishments.  Please feel free to submit a report you provided to another funder, if appropriate.

If you have any questions on the LOI application process or reporting requirements, feel free to reach Grants & Operations Administrator Alexis Allegra at alexis@albertpickjrfund.org.

LIMITATIONS

Organization may only submit an application only once per calendar year. The Fund's policies also limit, restrict or prohibit support to:

 

  • Individuals

  • Nonprofits whose programs are not within the City of Chicago

  • Nonprofit organizations not exempt under section 501 (c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code

  • Fraternal, veteran, labor, athletic or religious organizations serving a limited constituency

  • Professional groups with volunteer service programs

  • Individual elementary or secondary schools

  • Local chapters of state, regional or national organizations, except those with separately budgeted Chicago-based programs, which otherwise meet these Guidelines

  • Hospitals

  • Local chapters of single-disease agencies

  • Building programs, endowment funds or capital campaigns

  • Campaigns for the reduction or liquidation of debt

  • Student aid or scholarship programs

  • Political, lobbying, or voter registration programs, or those supporting the political candidacy of a particular individual

  • Travel - individual or group

  • Fundraising events or benefits including sponsorship, tickets or courtesy advertising

  • Organizations that may create a conflict with our goals, programs, officers, directors or employees

LAW STUDENT SCHOLARSHIP PROGRAM

The Albert Pick, Jr. Fund Law Student Scholarship Program was established in 2003 to assist a first-year or second-year law student who is a long-term resident of Chicago studying at one of four law schools in the Chicago area: DePaul University College of Law, Illinois Institute of Technology, Chicago Kent College of Law, Loyola University College of Law and University of Illinois Chicago (UIC) College of Law.

One scholarship of $5,000 is offered each year to support full-time study for a student that demonstrates financial need with preference given to historically underrepresented students.  Check back here for 2024 application deadlines.

 

If you or someone you know would like to apply, please visit https://learnmore.scholarsapply.org/albertpickscholarship/

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