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DuPage Foundation Sees Record Number of Community Needs Grant Requests; Awards Nearly $270,000 to 30 DuPage Not-for-Profits

DuPage Foundation Sees Record Number of Community Needs Grant Requests; Awards Nearly $270,000 to 30 DuPage Not-for-Profits

The DuPage Foundation is pleased to announce the awarding of nearly $270,000 in grants to 30 DuPage County not-for-profits working in the areas of Animal Welfare, Arts and Culture, Education, and the Environment as part of its 2018 fall Community Needs grant cycle. Grants were distributed at the Foundation’s Holiday Open House on December 12.

The Foundation received 60 applications as part of the fall grant cycle and 53 this past spring, significantly surpassing the total number of grant requests from previous years. “The increase in requests illustrates the growing need for funding that our county’s not-for-profits are facing,” explained Barb Szczepaniak, Foundation vice president for programs. “As the number of requests increase, we cannot be more appreciative of our generous donors and fund advisors whose support increases our Community Needs budget.” Because of grant recommendations from advisors to its donor-advised funds, the Foundation was able to fund an additional $234,000 to support area organizations’ projects in 2018.

For example, advisors for the Perma-Seal Fund recommended a grant which ultimately enabled the Foundation to award $20,000 to Literacy DuPage’s tutoring program for non-English speaking adults. Executive Director Therese McMahon thanked both the Foundation and the Spencer family with Perma-Seal for supporting Literacy DuPage’s mission. “We teach people how to speak, understand, read, and write in English, and we’re specifically planning to work with employers in DuPage County, including Perma-Seal, to help employees improve their work-based literacy through tutoring,” McMahon said. “This grant means the world to us and to so many of our learners.”

New to this year’s fall grant categories was the introduction of animal welfare. An example of how the Foundation connects donors with causes they care about, the animal welfare category was created because a donor’s lifelong love for his dogs inspired him to establish the Companions’ Fund, an endowment wholly-focused on animal welfare projects. The fund will support approximately $25,000 in animal welfare grants per year in perpetuity. 

A.D.O.P.T. Pet Shelter is thrilled to be a first-time recipient of a grant from the Foundation. “This grant will allow A.D.O.P.T. to help pets and their families who are experiencing a personal crisis due to illness, hospitalization, rehab, foreclosure, etc. by providing short-term foster care for their pet,” said A.D.O.P.T. Executive Director Chris Stirn. “This allows the family time to focus on healing without the worry of losing their beloved family member.”

The following organizations were selected to receive funding through the Foundation’s fall Community Needs cycle and recommendations from representatives of Foundation donor-advised funds:

Animal Welfare: $25,675

  • A.D.O.P.T. Pet Shelter: $7,500
  • Naperville Area Humane Society: $10,675
  • West Suburban Humane Society: $7,500

Arts & Culture: $94,100

  • Century Walk Corporation (Funded by the JCS Fund): $20,000
  • Chicago Sinfonietta (Funded by the JCS Fund): $15,000
  • ClaySpace (Funded by the JCS Fund): $2,500
  • College of DuPage Foundation: $16,000
  • DuPage Art League (Funded by the JCS Fund): $9,100
  • DuPage County Historical Museum Foundation (Funded by the History DuPage Fund): $2,500
  • DuPage Symphony Orchestra: $10,000
  • Elmhurst Choral Union (Funded by the Mary Eleanor and James M. Wall Fund): $2,500
  • Glen Ellyn Wheaton Chorale: $2,000
  • Paramount Arts Centre: $4,500
  • Senior Suburban Orchestra (Funded by the JCS Fund): $2,500
  • St. Andrew Lutheran Church: $2,500
  • Storycatchers Theatre (Funded by the Shebik Family Fund for Basic Human Needs): $2,500
  • Young Naperville Singers: $2,500

Education: $108,500

  • Alive Center NFP: $10,000
  • Community House: $10,000
  • Dare to Dream: Get Educated! (Partially funded by the Donor-Advised Fund for Needy Children): $8,500
  • DuPage Children's Museum: $10,000
  • The GardenWorks Project: $2,500
  • Glen Ellyn Children's Resource Center (Partially funded by the JCS Fund and Perma-Seal Fund): $15,000
  • KidsMatter: $20,000
  • Literacy DuPage (Partially funded by the Perma-Seal Fund): $20,000
  • North Central College (Funded by Betty W. Smykal): $2,500
  • Robert Crown Center for Health Education: $10,000

Environment: $40,000

  • Conservation Foundation: $14,000
  • Fermilab Natural Areas: $12,000
  • SCARCE: $14,000

Total Community Needs Grant Funding Awarded: $268,275

See project descriptions for each of the grantees here.

View event photos here.

During this past fiscal year, $4.8 million was awarded from the Foundation’s more than 300 funds on behalf of our donors and community. 

Applications for the Community Needs Grant Program are accepted twice per year. Health and Human Services grant applications are due Friday, March 1, 2019See more information and apply here.

About the DuPage Foundation

The DuPage Foundation is DuPage County’s philanthropic leader. Established in 1986 to raise the quality of life throughout DuPage County, the Foundation serves our community by helping area residents and organizations realize their unique charitable goals, providing impactful support to our community’s not-for-profits, and fostering key partnerships to address critical issues affecting DuPage County.

As a 501(c)(3) public charity, the Foundation receives contributions and bequests from individuals, corporations, organizations and foundations looking to make a difference for our community and the causes about which they are most passionate. Since its inception, the Foundation has grown to more than $95 million in assets and awarded more than $40 million in grants to not-for-profit agencies serving the residents of DuPage County and beyond.

For more information about the Foundation, visit To arrange future media opportunities, contact Melissa Fischer, marketing manager, at 630.598.5290, or

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