Our Grantees

Our incredible portfolio provides Chicago’s youth with the education, skills and opportunities to succeed and break the cycle of poverty.

Catalyst Fund

Supporting community-embedded leaders with innovative approaches to serving youth across the South and West sides of the city

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Investment to date $25K
Students Served TBA

Austin Childcare Providers Network is an organization focused on elevating childcare provider quality and developing a collaborative pilot focused on ensuring that children leave early childcare providers ready for kindergarten by creating continuity of learning and practice among childcare (pre-K) providers and elementary schools.

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Investment to date $150K
Students Served 15

The Firehouse Community Art Center’s VIP (Very Important Process) Program is focused on the prevention and interruption of violence by providing young adult men with mentorship, leadership development and access to skills training and job opportunities.

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Investment to date $125K
Students Served 205

Lion's Pride's mission is to empower youth leaders to guide incoming freshmen to reach their fullest potential. Ultimately, Lion's Pride seeks to change Chicago's educational landscape by helping more students graduate from high school and attend the college of their choice.

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Investment to date $50K
Students Served 12

MAAFA’s mission is to repair and rebuild West Garfield Park by improving the quality of life of emerging adult, Black and Brown men and their families. MAAFA focuses on creating a holistic “oasis of opportunity” for these young men to equip and empower their movement from “at risk” to thriving.

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Investment to date $150K
Students Served 120

Along with learning the sport of boxing, which serves as a meaningful physical outlet for youth, The Bloc provides youth from the West Side of Chicago with academic coaching and mentorship.

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Investment to date $50K
Students Served TBA

West Side United's Cluster of Care Community Hub will provide students and families with wraparound services and resources conveniently located in the school building. The Hub’s key programmatic support areas will include primary care, mental health services, social-emotional learning support, and trauma-informed professional development training.

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Venture Fund

Seed investments in promising organizational models that are ready to scale

Investment to date $395K
Students Served 1,092

The BARR Center (BARR) is a strengths-based model applied to middle and high schools that provides them with a comprehensive approach to meeting the academic, social and emotional needs of all students.

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Investment to date $420K
Students Served 290

Braven partners with large public universities to empower underrepresented young people with cutting-edge career education and valuable networking opportunities that help them transition successfully into the workforce after graduation.

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Investment to date $200K
Students Served 120

Chicago HOPES for Kids provides educational support for children living in Chicago's homeless shelters. It is our mission to provide our students with the resources and encouragement needed to succeed academically, despite the challenges of homelessness.

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Investment to date $1.08M
Students Served 1,085

College Possible provides intensive coaching and support to low-income students to help them get into and graduate from college.

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Investment to date $698K
Students Served 1,659

iMentor partners with high schools in low-income communities to provide students with the skills and knowledge needed to be successful in college.

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Investment to date $721K
Students Served 1,117

Intrinsic Schools works to create a revolutionary new school model in order to prepare all students for postsecondary success and world-changing endeavors and to provide the education community with a roadmap to sustainable implementation.

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Investment to date $225K
Students Served 5100

Leading Educators partners with school systems to build and sustain the conditions, teaching, and leadership to ensure that the students furthest from opportunity succeed in school and in life.

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Investment to date $1.5M
Students Served 1,477

Pathways at NLU seeks to address the most critical barriers inhibiting bachelor’s degree attainment for low-income students. Operating as a program within National Louis University, Pathways provides an innovative, student-centered, technology-enhanced bachelor’s degree model at an affordable cost.

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Investment to date $454K
Students Served 138

The Wood Family Foundation’s Pitch In program (Pitch In) partners with middle schools to equip students in fourth through eighth grade with the skillsets and mindsets necessary to successfully transition to high school.

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Investment to date $425K
Students Served 250

Recognizing that difference broadens perspectives, Roosevelt University seeks and serves a diverse, promising student body from metropolitan Chicago and around the world.

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Investment to date $200K
Students Served 700

VOCEL's mission is to help ensure every child has the foundation to learn, grow, and lead. VOCEL continues to set a new standard for how to capitalize on the earliest, and, arguably, most important, years of a child’s life.

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Growth Fund

Significant investments to grow successful organizations with strong track records

Investment to date $175K
Students Served 2400

Alternatives supports and empowers Chicago youth to build safer and more vibrant communities through a combination of restorative justice and behavioral health services.

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Investment to date $2.43M
Students Served 1,571

Bottom Line is a national education organization that is addressing the degree divide by providing academic, personal and financial counselling to empower low-income, first-generation students to attend and succeed in college. The organization is committed to building strong connections with students by providing them with individualized support.

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Investment to date $3.2M
Students Served 3,574

Chicago Scholars selects, trains, and mentors academically ambitious students from under-resourced communities to enroll in, persist and graduate from college.

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Investment to date $250K
Students Served 144

JPAbelieve that our children, especially those living in severe conditions, need access to programs and services that will enable them to learn, grow, and lead productive lives. By providing therapeutic services to children in challenged neighborhoods, JPA helps them repair the connections broken by violence, instability, alienation.

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Investment to date $3.5M
Students Served 4,350

KIPP is a national network of charter schools dedicated to preparing students in underserved communities for success in college and in life.

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Investment to date $2.6M
Students Served 12,420

The Noble Network of Charter Schools is a catalyst for educational equity in Chicago that empowers students with the scholarship, discipline, and honor necessary to succeed in college and lead exemplary lives.

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Investment to date $5.02M
Students Served 4,491

OneGoal’s mission is to close the college divide by enlisting and training the nation’s best educators to teach underperforming high school students (students beginning 11th grade with a 2.0-3.0 GPA) how to enroll in and succeed in college.

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Investment to date $3.3M
Students Served 762

One Million Degrees accelerates community college students’ progress on career pathways to economic mobility by providing academic, professional, personal, and financial supports to highly motivated, low-income students pursuing associate’s degrees or post-secondary certificates.

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Apply to Become a Grantee

Currently, A Better Chicago is only accepting applications for the Chicago Design Challenge. If your organization is interested in applying for funding but does not meet Chicago Design Challenge funding requirements, please complete the below interest form to share a brief description of your work. Follow-up communication will occur at the completion of the Chicago Design Challenge.