Neighborhood Fund



Neighborhood Fund builds upon grassroots ideas, energy and passion to empower community members to improve their neighborhoods. The philosophy of the Neighborhood Fund is built on the asset-based, capacity building model articulated by John McKnight and John Kretzman of Northwestern University. The model contrasts approaches to traditional community building that look at low and moderate-income residents as having a series of “needs and deficiencies” and then provide services to meet those needs. Instead, the Neighborhood Fund provides comprehensive support that assists residents and neighborhood groups as they organize around their strengths and assets. 

Neighborhood Fund provides resources to community groups (non-501(c)3) seeking to impact their community at the local level. Since 1991, more than 300 neighborhood projects have received an estimated $2,000,000 in grants and technical assistance to support community organizing, neighborhood gardens, youth fitness activities, cultural events and more.


The Neighborhood Fund offers two types of grants:

1) Community Building grants are neighborhood-based project grants addressing a neighborhood issue or concern. Community Building grants range from $500 to $10,000 for established groups and organizations with at least a two year working history.

2) Love Your Block mini-grants are community-based beautification or improvement grants to support citizens and neighborhood groups who want to plan and organize efforts to beautify their community, block by block. Love Your Block mini-grants range from $250 to $1,000 for established, new and emerging groups and organizations.
Neighborhood groups and organizations will have one opportunity to apply for funding in 2016. Information for the 2016 grant cycle, including guidelines, applications and deadlines, will be posted in July 2016. Foundation staff anticipates the deadline will take place in the Fall of 2016. Please be sure to sign up to receive the Foundation's e-newsletter in order to be notified when information has been posted.


Neighborhood Fund is guided by an advisory committee that represents a cross-section of the 23-county region that includes, but not limited to, resident, community, for-profit, faith-based and nonprofit leaders; policymakers; community organizers; funders; etc.   
The Neighborhood Fund Advisory Committee provides oversight for programs and initiatives. Committee members are responsible for reviewing grant recommendations, participating in site visits (or other activities) and providing leadership on core neighborhood or community development issues.   

Please contact our staff at


Neighborhood Fund at 20 Years


In 2011, the Neighborhood Fund celebrated its 20 year anniversary of changing communities. Download the Field Report outlining successes and lessons learned. 

Download the Anniversary Brochure highlighting just a few of the individuals who have helped the Neighborhood Fund strengthen communities for two decades

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