JUF to seed innovation with new round of Breakthrough Fund grants

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The Jewish United Fund of Metropolitan Chicago has issued its 2017 Request for Proposals (RFP) for the Breakthrough Fund, a grant program launched in 2014 to encourage smart, strategic growth and creative program development in Chicago's Jewish community. 

Letters of Intent will be accepted through Monday, Jan. 9, 2017, at 4:30 p.m. via the new online application portal: https://juf.fluidreview.com . Emailed applications will not be accepted under any circumstances.

JUF will award up to $960,000 in new grants for leading-edge programs; capacity-building efforts; planning, research and development initiatives; and new approaches that address the wide array of needs, interests, individuals and identities that reflect the diverse Jewish community in Chicago, in Israel and other countries overseas.

In addition, JUF will distribute $256,000 in multi-year funds for Breakthrough Fund grants committed during its last cycle. All told, the Breakthrough Fund will provide just over $1.2 million in FY18.

Breakthrough Fund grants will support both established organizations with a legacy of creating and expanding value-added programs and services, and also early-stage organizations and entrepreneurs whose voices, visions and ideas are just emerging.

"Just like many of you in the community who are taking the opportunity to test new ideas, take calculated risks, and continually adapt your models in dynamic iterations, the Breakthrough Fund also continues to adapt to best support the interests and needs of our community," said Michael H. Zaransky, Jewish United Fund Chairman of the Board.

Since its launch, JUF's Breakthrough Fund has awarded $3.5 million in grants to 46 initiatives.

Who is Eligible to Apply:

  • Existing nonprofit organizations that possess current 501(c)(3) status.
  • Synagogues and other Jewish religious organizations that do not possess current 501(c)(3) status but are in good standing with their home state's regulatory agencies for religious organizations (i.e., Attorney General's Office, Department of Revenue, or Secretary of State).
  • Entrepreneurial individuals or emerging organizations who apply with an appropriate fiscal sponsor that has 501(c)(3) status.
  • Applicant organizations from any state may apply; however the proposed project must be for implementation in the Chicago metropolitan area.
  • Programs proposed for implementation in Israel or other overseas communities are eligible to apply by invitation only , and invitations for this year already have been sent. Israeli organizations interested in being considered for future grant cycles should contact grants@juf.org .

All applicants will be notified by Monday, Feb.13, regarding whether they are invited to submit a full proposal.

JUF strongly encourages prospective applicants to attend a workshop from 2:30 to 4 p.m. Monday, Dec. 12, to learn more about the Breakthrough Fund's goals, application process and requirements, and evaluation criteria. The workshop will be held at JUF headquarters, 30 S. Wells St, Chicago, in the Lillian and Larry Goodman Conference Center. Advance registration is required ( http://tiny.cc/JUFApplicant2016 .)

Interested organizations located outside the Chicago area may participate via conference call.

For more information, contact Sarah Follmer, Director of Grants, at (312) 357-4547 or SarahFollmer@juf.org , or visit www.juf.org/grants/breakthrough.aspx .

 




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