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Frequently Asked Questions

DuPage Foundation's Community Needs Grant Program supports programs and projects that improve and enrich the quality of life for DuPage County residents. During two grant cycles each year, applications are accepted from local not-for-profits serving the DuPage County community in the following areas: health & human services; education; arts & culture; environment; and animal welfare. Health & human services grants are awarded in the spring and all other categories are part of the fall cycle.

A volunteer Grant Committee comprised of DuPage County residents with deep knowledge of the not-for-profit community is charged with decision-making regarding grant recipients and amounts. To be eligible, not-for-profit organizations must primarily serve DuPage County residents and be public charities classified as exempt from federal income taxes under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code.

View the most recent Community Needs grantees.

How can I get involved in and support DuPage Foundation?

Attending a DuPage Foundation event, especially a Next Generation Initiative (NGI) event or the annual benefit gala is one of the easiest ways to explore whether getting more involved in DuPage Foundation is for you. These events are social and you can speak with others who support DuPage Foundation with their time, treasure and talent.

Jumping in a bit deeper, you can ask to join a committee or task force. But be advised: committee members are put to work. Committee members guide the Foundation’s staff with their sage advice, counsel and wisdom. Joining a committee is a great honor and allows you to network with others and make new contacts who often turn into great friends. You’ll be following in the footsteps of hundreds of others who have supported the Foundation’s volunteer committees since 1986, when DuPage Foundation was founded.

And of course, the most invested supporters become valued donors who are watching their donations build endowments that continue to grow and generate revenue for grantmaking in perpetuity.

To learn how you can SEE MORE IMPACT through DuPage Foundation, DuPage County’s philanthropic leader, please call us at 630.665.5556 or explore this website. Join us in doing a world of good in our own backyard®.

What are the advantages of giving through a community foundation?

Community foundations are excellent vehicles for donors to support their favorite causes and charities, locally and beyond. Community foundations’ knowledgeable staff provide donors with information about critical community needs, connect donors to opportunities that align with their unique interests, and help them properly vet organizations to ensure their charitable dollars are utilized effectively and efficiently. 

By partnering with a community foundation, donors can also maximize their impact by pooling their charitable dollars into community-focused funds to meet pressing needs and benefit specific areas of interest, establish their own funds to give flexibly on their timetable, and create an enduring charitable legacy for themselves, their loved ones, and the community—all while enjoying maximum simplicity and efficiency.

To learn how you can SEE MORE IMPACT through DuPage Foundation, DuPage County’s philanthropic leader, please call us at 630.665.5556 or explore this website. Join us in doing a world of good in our own backyard®.

What’s the difference between a community foundation, a private foundation, and a direct-service NFP?

Community Foundation – A community foundation is a 501(c)(3) public charity devoted to a geographic or social service area. Community foundations are often focused on providing charitable services to local donors, distributing grants to address a local community’s needs, and building charitable endowments on behalf of donors, not-for-profits, and certain areas of interest (e.g., basic human needs, education, the environment, the arts, etc.). DuPage Foundation is proud to serve DuPage County as its community foundation.

Private Foundation (aka Family Foundation) – A private foundation is a charitable entity typically founded and supported by an individual, family or business. Private foundations can support a bevy of causes ranging from specific issue areas to focusing on family or business interests. Private foundations can be effective but are often expensive to setup and burdensome to administer.

Direct Service Organizations – As the name implies, direct service organizations are typically 501(c)(3) organizations that work directly with their target population to provide specific charitable services. Food pantries, mental health services, and transitional housing organizations are all great examples of direct service organizations. DuPage Foundation supports the area’s direct service organizations (aka not-for-profits or NFPs) with grant funding.

What is DuPage Foundation’s “Field-of-Interest” fund type best used for?

Field-of-Interest funds are the perfect way for donors who care about our community and specific areas of interest to make a difference beyond supporting just one not-for-profit.

Whether you care about the arts, basic human needs, the environment, education and literacy, mental health, animal welfare, or something else, you can give through DuPage Foundation to support an existing fund or create a new one to meet your goals!

Contributions to these funds are combined with gifts from other donors who share your passion and are invested thoughtfully in a permanent endowment designed to grow over time. The funds’ annual earnings are then used to make impactful grants to local not-for-profits that are working within each fund’s respective area. Grant awards are determined by the Foundation’s Grant Committee and Board through a competitive application process. To learn more and explore the current Field-of-Interest funds available, see DuPage Foundation Field-of-Interest Funds page.

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