In response to Evanston‘s continuing needs during these difficult times, the Evanston Community Foundation has awarded the largest amount of spring grants funding in its history to local nonprofit groups.

The Evanston Community Foundation anticipates total grantmaking in 2009 to exceed $735,000.

Despite losses of its general endowment funds due to the economic recession, the Foundation says it is maintaining its grantmaking levels this year to address the broad range of issues facing Evanston. The Foundation anticipates total grantmaking in 2009 to exceed $735,000.

Last months ECF spring grants of $181,030 to 23 organizations and programs that benefit Evanston residents:  campusCATALYST, Cherry Preschool, ChildCare Network of Evanston, City of Evanston Disability Services, Connections for the Homeless, Evanston School Children’s Clothing Association, Evanston Township High School, Evanston Art Center, Evanston Day Nursery, Evanston Defender, Evanston/Skokie School District 65, Evanston Symphony Orchestra, Housing Options for the Mentally Ill, Infant Welfare Society, Interfaith Action of Evanston, Legal Assistance Foundation of Metropolitan Chicago, Music Institute of Chicago Institute of Therapy Arts, North Shore Senior Center, Open Studio Project, Ridgeville Park District, Youth Organization Umbrella (Y.O.U.), Youth Job Center and YWCA Evanston/North Shore.

The Evanston Community Foundation Spring Grants also include its Communityworks Initiative as well as an Open Studio Project and Evanston Public Library summer project that was developed through the Foundation’s ongoing All Our Sons (AOS) collaborative group.

For the 12th consecutive year, Dance Marathon at Northwestern University added significantly to the Foundation’s grant budget. This year, Dance Marathon’s contribution to the grants budget was $49,000. Dance Marathon 2009 is also supporting operations of Foundation workshops and organizational development programs, and the total given to the Foundation this year is more than $64,000.

Grantmaking Partners, many of whom do their giving through private foundations and donor-advised funds, added more than $57,000 to the grant awards total. Partners include Lisa Altenbernd and Steve Hagerty, Elizabeth and James Roghair Fund of the Evanston Community Foundation, Rubens Family Foundation, ABS Fund of the Evanston Community Foundation, Jennie Berkson and David Edelstein, F2 Foundation, Mary Laflin Rockwell Fund of the Evanston Community Foundation, B&J Fund of the Evanston Community Foundation, Jon Kimmel Memorial Fund of the Evanston Community Foundation, Northwestern University, and an anonymous donor.

The Foundation’s board has also approved a special allocation of $100,000 to

United Way

of the North Shore. This amount will be awarded as grants to Evanston organizations, supplementing funds raised by

United Way

for Evanston.

Last week ECF Board Chair Judy Kemp welcomed Judith Aiello-Fantus, Lun Ye  Barefield, Marvin R. Cohen, and Richard Peach to the board and thanked outgoing board members Lester Blair, Rose Johnson, Lynette Murphy, Ernest Vasseur and Diane Willia for their dedicated service to the Foundation.