The Evanston Community Foundation announced today that it will invite Evanston non-profit organizations to apply for an ENDOW NOW endowment-building challenge grant in celebration of the Foundation’s 25th Anniversary in 2012. ENDOW NOW (Evanston Non-profits Develop Organizational Wealth Now) will award $5,000 matching grants to the first five Evanston non-profits that qualify.  

Evanston Community Foundation President and Chief Executive Officer Sara Schastok said “As a direct result of the Foundation’s success in growing its endowment funds over the past decade, we can provide this opportunity for local non-profits to launch their own endowment building efforts. Endowments build long-term sustainability, providing a growing stream of revenue that will always be there when times are tough.” Schastok concluded, “We think there is no better expression of our mission than to encourage the formation of permanent funds to enhance the future of five organizations whose ongoing vitality is important to Evanston.”

Eligible for the ENDOW NOW endowment-building challenge are Evanston-based non-profits with a track record of organizational stability and sustainability that do not already have endowments at the Evanston Community Foundation.  Prospective grantees must show evidence of an endowment building plan to meet or exceed a required $15,000 opening fund balance and submit plans to continue development of the fund as an integral part of their organizational stability.

Evanston Community Foundation Chief Financial Officer Jan Fischer invited non-profits large and small to use the foundation as a resource: “Establishing a fund here allows non-profits to participate in the Foundation’s $15 million investment pool, providing them access to diversified investment vehicles and strategies typically beyond the reach of smaller investors. We encourage ENDOW NOW prospects to talk with us about their readiness to launch an endowment building program.”

Applications will be accepted now through September 28, 2012 or until all funds have been committed.  Proposals will be reviewed and grants awarded on a first-come, first-served basis.  For grant guidelines and application materials visit www.evanstonforever.org.