If this FAQ does not answer your questions, or you have additional questions and/or difficulty with the application, please email

Frequently Asked Questions


This grant is open to individuals & groups without a fiscal sponsor; those with a 501(c)3 as a fiscal sponsor; and 501(c)3 Organizations.

Can Individuals apply? Yes, individuals can apply but collaborative projects are STRONGLY ENCOURAGED. Individuals applying should be at least 18 years old. If you’re not 18, please find an adult or organizational sponsor who is willing to partner on your project. Please be aware that this grant is taxable income. Groups of individuals should consider this when determining who will be receiving the grant.

What types of projects are and are NOT eligible? Grants can be used for anything from direct services, community organizing, arts & culture, leadership development, etc. Grants cannot be used for capital campaigns, endowments, for-profit businesses, ongoing events & sponsorships, political campaigns, religious purposes, and/or governmental entities.

What does this mean: “Please note, this grant is intended for those individuals, groups, and/or organizations who have not been able to secure funding and/or face significant barriers to accessing funding?” We recognize that there are inequities that play out in philanthropy: some projects and organizations face immense difficult accessing funding while other organizations have plenty of access. We want to make sure our grant supports those individuals, groups, and organizations that face barriers because of the type of equity work they do; who have historically been excluded from philanthropy (i.e. BIPOC communities); and/or for not having the capacity or infrastructure for fundraising.

What does general operating mean? A general operating grant means that we will not ask you to specify how you are spending your funds. We will ask you for a simple project budget that clarifies your projected costs.


Can I choose between the written or video application? NO, you must complete both applications.

I have a fiscal sponsor is there anything I need to know? Those with a 501c3 as a fiscal sponsor should be aware of the following:

  • Fiscal sponsors & applicant will need to upload a document displaying that there is a contractual fiscal sponsorship agreement with authorized signatures from both parties.
  • Fiscal sponsors are restricted from taking more than 15% administrative cost for this grant.
  • Fiscal sponsors will also be asked to authorize( “sign”) the proposal via the online application. Fiscal sponsors will also be asked to provide an “Annual Total Operating Budget.”

What is a grant cycle? The grant cycle is the period in which you are expected to complete what’s written in your proposal and utilize the grant award. The grant cycle is from 2/1/2021 – 1/31/2022.

I see something about a “Follow Up” to my application, what does that mean? A follow-up is an opportunity for us to clarify any part of your application that left us with questions or simply to learn more. Follow-ups will be no longer than 30-minute calls.

When will I find out if I received the grant? You will find out no later than January 11th, 2021.

Who is Involved?

Who is the Design Team? The Design Team is a group of 5 Elgin residents who have designed this grant and who will decide the first awardees.

Who is the Grand Victoria Foundation? GVF is the private foundation responsible for initiating, facilitating, and funding this grantmaking initiative. The GVF Elgin staff who work on this grant are Dianna Manjarrez and Steve Moon. GVF also has a long history of supporting Elgin and the state of Illinois with its grantmaking. Find out more about GVF:

Who is Hamilton Wings? On top of being an incredible, Elgin organization, Hamilton Wings is the Fiscal Administrative Partner for this grant. Find out more about Hamilton Wings:

Glossary of Terms

Equity & Racial Equity

Equity is a condition when social identities no longer determine outcomes. Racial Equity is a condition when racial identities no longer predicted social outcomes like socioeconomic status, health, education, employment, etc. For example, COVID 19 data has shown a disproportionate impact on Black and Latinx communities, a reflection of racial & health inequities.   


Systemic or Structural Oppression are the historical, cultural, institutional, and interpersonal dynamics that reinforce a system of hierarchy and inequity. With respects to structural racism,  this system routinely advantages “whiteness” and White people while disadvantaging Black Indigenous People of Color.

Grassroots Grantmaking

The idea that grantmaking is by the community and for the community, rather than decisions being made by those with no connection to the community or the critical issues facing the community.

Directly Impacted

The directly impacted individuals or communities refers to those who are actually experiencing the issues, rather than those who are not. For example, a program addressing inequities in childcare access for Latino communities being led by Latino families themselves.


BIPOC refers to Black, Indigenous, People of Color communities.


Accountability refers to the ongoing relationship between you, your project, and the community it is meant to serve.

Fiscal Sponsor

A fiscal agent/sponsor refers to a contractual relationship between individuals or groups and a 501(c)3 organization to advance the individual’s/group’s charitable work.

501(c)3 Organizations

501c3 is a specific tax category for non-profit organization that must be approved by the IRS.