Development Resources


Forefront is the nation’s only statewide membership association for nonprofits, grantmakers, public agencies, advisors, and their allies. They provide educational events and fundraising workshops for non-profits and a research library for funding opportunities.

Government Grant Programs

City of Chicago CityArts Program

Through CityArts, DCASE provides general operating grants to arts organizations with vibrant artistic or cultural programming. General operating funds may be used for artistic, administrative and program activities including expenses such as salaries, marketing, insurance, supplies, professional services, fees and training. All grants are one-year grants.

Illinois Arts Council Agency

The Illinois Arts Council Agency serves the people of Illinois through a variety of Grant Programs and Special Initiatives.

National Endowment for the Arts

The National Endowment for the Arts is an independent federal agency that funds, promotes, and strengthens the creative capacity of our communities by providing all Americans with diverse opportunities for arts participation.


Alphawood Foundation Chicago

Alphawood Foundation is a Chicago-based, grant-making private foundation working for an equitable, just, and humane society. Each year they award grants to organizations, primarily in the areas of advocacy, architecture and preservation, the arts and arts education, promotion and protection of the rights of LGBT persons and people living with HIV/AIDS, and other human and civil rights. Their funding is by invitation only.

Arts Work Fund

The Arts Work Fund for Organizational Development is a funder collaborative created to help strengthen the management and operations of small arts and cultural organizations in Chicago and Cook County. Grants are available for arts and cultural organizations with operating expenses between $50,000 and $800,000.

Chicago Community Trust

The Chicago Community Trust is a community foundation dedicated to improving our region through strategic grant making, civic engagement and inspiring philanthropy.

Gaylord and Dorothy Donnelley Foundation

Supporting land conservation, artistic vitality, and regional collections for the people of the Chicago region

The Richard H. Driehaus Foundation

Through strategic philanthropic partnerships, they seek to improve Chicago’s built environment, to support cultural stewardship in the arts, to strengthen democracy through investigative journalism, and to advance economic opportunity for the working poor.

The Field Foundation of Illinois

Founded in 1940 by Marshall Field III, the Field Foundation is a private, independent foundation that has been dedicated to the promise of Chicago for over 80 years. The Field Foundation aims its grant-making toward the goal of community empowerment through funding nonprofits working in Justice, Art and Leadership Investment.

Prince Charitable Trusts

The Trusts support the core missions of outstanding arts organizations with general operating support and occasional project grants to enhance their creative artistic products. The Prince Arts Program supports arts groups in the city of Chicago with annual budgets above $2,000,000.

John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation

The John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation supports creative people, effective institutions, and influential networks building a more just, verdant, and peaceful world. MacArthur is placing a few big bets that truly significant progress is possible on some of the world’s most pressing social challenges, including over-incarceration, global climate change, nuclear risk, and significantly increasing financial capital for the social sector.

The Shubert Foundation

The Shubert Foundation, Inc., was established in 1945 by Lee and J.J. Shubert, in memory of their brother Sam. Since the establishment of the Shubert Foundation grants program in 1977, over $443 million has been awarded to not-for-profit arts organizations throughout the United States.

Other Grant Opportunities

ComEd Powering the Arts Program

Recognizing that access to art in our communities is a crucial element of the quality of our lives, ComEd has partnered with the League of Chicago Theatres to administer the ComEd Powering the Arts Program. Through this program ComEd and the League of Chicago Theatres look to reach audiences throughout the ComEd service area that have otherwise been unable to access arts and cultural offerings.

The Saints

The Saints award financial grants to not-for-profit performing arts organizations located in Chicago and the surrounding area. In 2018 the Saints donated nearly $53,000 in grants to sixteen different performing arts organizations.