Charitable Trust

Application information, checklist and deadlines
Contributions from the Charitable Trust will support program, general operating, capital, or endowment priorities. Grants usually are confined to programs and agencies that focus on advancing the well-being of disadvantaged women and children, and people with disabilities. Priority is given to programs or agencies that serve the following Chicago neighborhoods: Chatham, Englewood, Humboldt Park, Logan Square, Loop, Washington Park, and West Town.

Grants from the Charitable Trust may be awarded for three consecutive years, with one year off before an organization is eligible to apply again. General operating grants are not renewed automatically, and there are no multi-year gifts for operating.

The Northern Trust Charitable Trust does not make contributions to:

  • Organizations located outside the specified Chicago neighborhoods
  • Individuals, including those seeking scholarships or fellowship assistance
  • Organizations without 501 (c) (3) tax-exempt status
  • Organizations/agencies that receive 5% or more of their funding from the United Way
  • National health organizations (or their local affiliates) or research/disease advocacy groups
  • Fraternal groups
  • Fundraising events
  • Advertising or marketing activities
  • Political, labor, or fraternal organizations or civic clubs; this includes advocacy, government agency, and political entities
  • Religious organizations for sectarian purposes
  • Individual pre-K through 12 schools (public or private)
  • Sports, athletic events or athletic programs
  • Travel-related events, including student trips or tours
  • Development or production of books, films, videos or television programs
  • Memorial campaigns
  • Organizations less than two years old
  • Multi-year operating requests
    This list is not all inclusive.

In addition to grants made through the Charitable Trust, Northern Trust also makes a limited number of direct contributions for various community activities.

If you already have an established account but have not submitted your application, please click here to complete or edit it. If you have not established an account, please follow the instructions below.

Please review the following information before submitting an application:

Application Process

Letter of Inquiry
A letter of inquiry is required if your organization has not received funding from the Northern Trust Charitable Trust in the last 12 months, or if you are a new applicant. After completing a brief eligibility questionnaire and meeting our general guidelines, your organization will be invited to complete a letter of inquiry. A letter of inquiry needs to be submitted online before 5:00 p.m. Central Time prior to the application deadline. You will be notified by e-mail within 72 hours of receipt of your Letter of Inquiry regarding its disposition. If approved, your organization will be invited to complete the Charitable Trust Application.

Charitable Trust Application for Current Grantees
If you are an organization that has received funding from the Northern Trust Charitable Trust in the last 12 months, a Letter of Inquiry is not required. Applications must be submitted by 5:00 p.m. on the deadline date listed below. Your organization should complete the appropriate application for current grantees:

Multi-Year Contributions Annual Grantee Report
This form is required for grantees that have been approved to receive multi-year funding, and must be completed on an annual basis to receive funding. This report documents the progress of your organization toward meeting the grant objectives. Your organization should complete the Multi-Year Contributions Annual Grantee Report.

Application Checklist
After receiving an invitation to apply, you will be sent an online application to complete.

In addition, be sure to upload the following information with your application:

  • A copy of your organization's IRS 501(c)(3) notification letter
  • Your organization's operating budget and specific project budget if applicable
  • Financial information for the previous two years, with an audited financial statement
  • A list of Chicago-area corporate and foundation contributors and the amount each contributed in the last and current years
  • Current list of board members, with affiliations
  • A list of the organization's management staff and their qualifications

Applications, including all material specified in the preceding checklist must be received in the Community Affairs office before 5:00 p.m. on the deadline date. Deadlines for requests for funding are determined by area of service, as follows:

Letter of Inquiry Deadline*
Completed Application Deadline
Social Welfare
Thursday, November 15, 2018
Thursday, January 03, 2019
Arts, Culture & Education
Thursday, March 07, 2019
Thursday, May 09, 2019
Social Welfare
Thursday, June 13, 2019
Thursday, August 08, 2019

* Letters of inquiry need only be submitted by new applicants (those that have not received funding in the preceding 12 months).
Applications are reviewed in late March, July and October.

Remember, all applications and letters of inquiry must be received no later than 5:00 p.m. on the deadline day.

For more information contact
Chas Davis
Program & Employee Engagement
Community Affairs