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What is Community Ca$h?

The City of Chicago's 2022 approved budget included a unique opportunity for each ward to receive $100,000 in funds for microgrant opportunities. This funding is for registered non-profit organizations with the Secretary of State to provide programming and services to each ward. 

In 2020, the 49th Ward posed an open-ended question during its participatory budgeting process: "If you could change one thing about our community that would make life better for you, what would it be?" This open-ended question led to a range of responses, from traditional capital infrastructure ideas to broader policy and programs recommendations. Born out of that was the 49th Wards first-ever Policy and Programs Committee

This committee spent months weeding through the responses and identifying priority areas for the community. In the 2020 cycle, voters then took to the participatory ballot to vote on which policy and program areas they felt were the most important and that should shape Alderwoman Hadden's legislative agenda at City Council. With this unique microgrant opportunity, we now are able to put our money where our values are.

Where do I apply?

Eligible entities can apply on the City's iSupplier website, at bit.ly/CommunityCash49, or by clicking the button below to be redirected to the application.

 

Please note: the URL and button links to all open bids with the Department of Procurement Services. You will be required to create an iSupplier account and select the 49th Ward Microgrant  bid (solicitation number 8551) to apply.

What is the scope?

Based on the PB49 Cycle 11 vote, the microgrant will ask applicants to focus their proposals on four main areas:

  • Youth Engagement:

    • Ward residents support creating and sustaining programs that uplift and empower our young residents.
       

  • Restorative Justice, Violence Prevention, & Community Reinvestment:

    • Ward residents support public investment in much-needed social, health, and housing programs. This could look like programs that provide crisis response services, restorative justice programs, and other alternative forms of dispute resolution and violence prevention.
       

  • Affordable Housing:

    • Ward residents would like to see a dedicated focus on providing more affordable housing. This could be achieved through connecting residents to services like direct rental assistance and eviction prevention, or other programs aimed at serving homeless and housing insecure neighbors in the ward.  
       

  • Civic Engagement:

    • Ward residents value opportunities for civic engagement at all levels in the community. From services and programs that support engagement with the government, to community-led activities, events, and programs. 

Who can apply?

  • Any non-profit that is registered with the Secretary of State is eligible to apply.

  • Any registered non-profit that wants to provide programs and services in the 49th Ward that meet the scope of the grant. 

  • Organizations that share similar ideas/visions can collaborate to submit a proposal.

What are the restrictions?

  • No organization or fiscal sponsor can receive more than $50,000 total per ward for this microgrant opportunity

    • We previously miscommunicated that it was capped at $50,000 citywide, but since have received clarification from the Office of Budget Management that it is $50,000 per ward.

  • The funding ends December 31, 2022, and is not guaranteed to be renewed in subsequent years.

What is the application deadline?

Applications open on Monday, March 21, 2022, and close on Friday, April 15, at 12:00 PM CST. 

What's the timeline?

Application open: March 21 through 12:00 pm on April 15

RFP information session: Tuesday, March 29, at 6:00 pm (register: bit.ly/MicrograntMeeting)

Application scoring: April 16 through April 30 (might be extended to mid-May if there is a large volume of applications that are submitted for consideration)

Grantees awarded: Mid-to-late May

Funding: June 2022 through December 31, 2022

How do I navigate the iSupplier website?

On Tuesday, March 29, representatives from the City of Chicago's Office of Budget Management (OBM) joined the 49th Ward for an information session on the City's iSupplier platform (also referred to as the eProcurement platform). Below are resources to help organizations navigate the platform so they can complete the grant application. 

Additionally, the Department of Procurement Services offers technical assistance for delegate agencies using the iSupplier platform. You can reach out to customer support via email or phone.

Email: CustomerSupport@cityofchicago.org

Phone: 312-744-4357

Who is scoring applications?

A committee of 8 community members and 2 aldermanic staff members will be serving on the scoring committee. The staff members are required to score applications per the Office of Budget Management's guidelines for this program. The selected community members come from diverse backgrounds, experiences, and areas of expertise that reflect the broader community. While a scoring committee was not required for the microgrant process, our office felt it important to have an additional layer of input and oversight in the process to increase transparency. 

Should any scoring committee member (or their spouse/domestic partner) have any affiliations, work, or sit on any boards of grant applications, they will be asked to recuse themselves from scoring those applications. 

The scoring committee members are:

 

  • John Blommaert

  • Ebony DeBerry

  • Jeffrey Gonzalez

  • Marty Hansen

  • Kitty Juda

  • Johnna Lowe

  • Silvina Mamani

  • Marika Mashburn

  • Leslie Perkins

  • Stevie Rezac