Healing Illinois Grant FAQs

  1. Eligibility:
  2. Award amount:
  3. Application process:
  4. Application cycles and deadlines:
  5. GATA Certification:
  6. Project start and completion times:
  7. Examples of projects and expenses that meet the criteria of the RFP:
  8. Distribution of funds:
  9. Source of Healing Illinois grant money:
  10. Impact of federal guidelines on projects:


Who is eligible to apply for Healing Illinois grants?

Entities that are GATA-certified with the State of Illinois are eligible to apply. These may include the following types of organizations:

  • A nonprofit organization with evidence that it (a) has been recognized by the Internal Revenue Service as a nonprofit organization described in Section 501(c)(3) of the Code; Municipalities and government agencies such as school, libraries, and public health departments
  • Colleges and universities
  • Faith based institutions

If my organization is not GATA-certified, how can I participate in this initiative?

We encourage organizations to partner with an organization that is GATA-certified. The GATA-certified organization will be the applicant. If you cannot identify a GATA-certified partner and would like to participate in Healing Illinois, please contact the Healing Illinois team at healingil@cct.org. The team will connect you to an intermediary (a GATA-certified organization that can work with you to apply for a grant). Healing Illinois has identified intermediaries located in each of the five IDHS regional areas.

What types of projects are eligible for funding?

Healing Illinois grants will fund projects that support racial healing and racial equity by:

  • Promoting dialogue: supporting and facilitating conversations that build connection, understanding, and empathy within and across communities.
    • Examples: On the Table-type events, facilitated conversations, opportunities to engage in dialogue with the broader community.
  • Encouraging collaboration: people coming together in person or virtually to connect and engage in racial healing activities.
    • Examples: racial justice campaigns; creative artistic activities, including community-wide murals, virtual artistic events, storytelling, and discussion.
  • Facilitating learning: engaging in projects that build and/or enhance knowledge and understanding of racial justice.
    • Examples: book clubs, training, technical assistance, (external) purchase of educational materials for community-wide programming, (internal) purchase of educational materials for staff, board, volunteers and stakeholders.
  • Seeding connection: building community through deeper interpersonal interactions.
    • Examples: racial healing circles, peace circles, restorative justice activities.

Award amount:

What is the minimum and maximum award amount?

GATA-certified organizations with budgets less than $1,000,000 may apply for up to $15,000. GATA-certified organizations with budgets greater than $1,000,000 may apply for up to $50,000. A small number of grants above $50,000 will be awarded to organizations that can conduct activities in multiple locations across the state.

What is the total amount that will be awarded?

$4.5 million

Application process:

How do I apply for a grant?

Applicants will submit grant applications via GrantCentral, the Chicago Community Trust's grants management system.

If you are not a current grantee of The Chicago Community Trust, you will have to (1) create a GrantCentral account and (2) complete an organization profile in order to access and submit a grant application. If you are a current grantee of the Trust, make sure your organization profile is up to date. Refer to the Application Process - Step by Step Guide.

May applicants submit more than one grant application?

Applicants may only submit one application. If the applicant is proposing various distinct projects throughout the state, then clearly articulate such and submit only one application.

How should an organization with a fiscal sponsor identify in the portal when the fiscal sponsor is not the same institution as the applicant?

We are not accepting organizations with fiscal sponsors for this RFP, but a fiscal sponsor can apply for a grant if the sponsor is GATA-certified. The GATA-certified organization can then sub-contract with your organization to fund activities that you will implement.

What does it mean to be a subcontractor?

Subcontractors are paid on a reimbursement basis by the GATA-certified organization.

Can organizations collaborate on a project even if both are GATA-certified?

Yes, GATA-certified organizations may collaborate on a project. This means that one organization will be the grantee. The second organization will be a subrecipient of the lead organization. You may collaborate and apply separately. If you choose to do this, please make it clear that you are working on a joint project with another applicant.

Application cycles and deadlines:

What are the application deadlines, and why are there two deadlines?

The first application deadline was Oct. 14. The second deadline is Oct. 30. We are offering two application cycles and deadlines to give more organizations the opportunity to apply.

Is there a difference between the two application cycles?

The grantees in the first application cycle will receive their grants before grantees in the second application cycle. In the first application cycle, the grants will be distributed in late November. In the second application cycle, the grants will be distributed in mid-December.

Can one organization apply in both cycles and under two different goal areas?

No. You may only submit one application, even if your project relates to more than one goal or geography. We want to make sure funds are equitably distributed throughout the region.

GATA Certification:

What is the process for my organization to become GATA certified and how long does it take?

For more details about GATA certification, visit GATA Pre-Award Requirements. If the organization already has a valid DUNS number and SAM.gov number from the federal government, the process with the State will be faster. If an organization does not already have a valid DUNS number and SAM.gov number, it could take up to two months.

Please note that if your organization is starting the GATA certification process during this grant-making period, it is possible that you will not receive your certification before the final grant application deadline. Working with a GATA-certified partner may be the best option. For more information about connecting to a GATA certified partner, please contact healingil@cct.org.

Is there a directory of GATA-certified organizations?

We do not have a directory. You can access this portal CSFA | GATA to find out if an organization is GATA-certified. Type the complete name of the organization in the search box under "Search Registered Grantees." If the organization is GATA-certified, a clickable link with their name will appear. If their name does not appear, it means that they are not GATA-certified.

You can also contact us at healingil@cct.org to learn which organizations in your area are GATA-certified.

We are GATA-certified. How can we get on the list for possible collaborations?

Thank you for your interest in partnering with organizations that are not GATA-certified. Please email us at healingil@cct.org to explore this possibility.

Project start and completion times:

When must grantees expend the grant money they are awarded?

All grant money, regardless of when it was awarded, must be expended by Jan. 31, 2021.

Since funds must be expended by Jan. 31, 2021, do proposed activities have to be completed by that date as well?

The majority of grant activities should be completed by Jan. 31, however, they may continue for one to two months after Jan. 31. The purpose of the grant is to spark short-term projects that involve quick actions and to inspire future racial healing and equity work. Think of your activities as taking place in this concentrated period of time, and also helping to create a foundation for future work.

Can we submit a proposal for a project that we will operate for the next five years?

The grant money for the project must be expended by Jan. 31, 2021, and the majority of activities should take place by Jan. 31, 2021. Further, the project must connect with at least one Healing Illinois goal and at least one of the focus areas listed in the RFP. If you can meet these requirements as part of a five-year program, it is possible that your project is fundable.

Are all projects expected to start by a certain time?

Some organizations will already be doing the work because it's part of their existing programming. Many organizations will launch projects before they get the grant because they will begin planning. Regardless of which cycle you submit your application, you will be able to fund activities going back to Oct. 1, 2020 if they were for the purpose of executing the proposed project.

What if we hire people to work on the project beyond Jan. 31, 2021, would we have to pay them ahead of time because the funds have to be used by Jan. 31?

Programming may continue beyond Jan. 31, 2021, but funds have to be expended by then.

Examples of projects and expenses that meet the criteria of the RFP:

What are examples of past or current programs that reflect what this grant would fund?

Racial healing could involve a variety of activities either in person or virtually. Essentially, we're looking to fund activities that promote dialogue, encourage collaboration, facilitate learning and seed connection around racial healing and racial equity. Such activities could include: TRHT racial healing circles, restorative justice training, On the Table conversations, murals and community arts projects, book club discussions, panel discussions with guest speakers, diversity, equity and inclusion training for staff, and activities that are informed by community residents, among others. We encourage you to be creative.

Are the funds intended for external partnerships, or can they be used for internal purposes, such as staff or board training?

Activities can be internal or external. Training for your staff is acceptable. For example, you may want to do restorative justice circles or racial healing circles, book club discussions, or lunch and learn conversations with guest presenters.

Will indirect costs be allowed, or should the budget only reflect direct expenses from the project?

Yes, indirect costs are allowed.

Is project personnel, such as a project manager, an allowable cost?

Yes, personnel costs are allowed for staff or consultants to coordinate or conduct an activity. Examples of allowable personnel include: a consultant to organize and implement a project, a facilitator to run a conversation and an artist to create a mural.

Small stipends or other low-cost incentives are allowable for participants if they are reasonable and clearly necessary. For instance, if it is challenging to get high school students to participate, it would be reasonable to give a student a stipend or gift card of around $20 to participate in a racial healing circle.

Distribution of funds:

Is this a reimbursable grant, or will funds be available prior to events planned?

Grant recipients will receive their funds upfront. Organizations that are not GATA-certified and have to participate as subcontractors will receive funding on a reimbursement basis.

When will applicants be notified of funding decisions?

In the first application cycle, applicants will be notified of funding decisions by the end of October. The grants will be distributed in late November. In the second application cycle, applicants will be notified of funding decisions by mid-November. The grants will be distributed in mid-December.

If you apply for the first deadline and don't receive funds, will your application be considered in the second?

Some proposals will be ineligible and will be denied. Others might be considered for the second round. We will inform you of the status.

How many organizations will be approved for grants?

We do not have a targeted number of organizations that will be approved. We will continue to approve grants until the $4.5 million is expended and distributed across the five IDHS regions in accordance with allocation guidelines set by IDHS.

Source of Healing Illinois grant money:

Are these CARES Act or legal cannabis funding?

Funds for the grants are not from the CARES act. They are from the state's cannabis funds.

Impact of federal guidelines on projects:

Does the president's Executive Order affect what kinds of programs we can offer?

No, funding for Healing Illinois is coming from the state's legal cannabis revenue; they are not federal dollars. The president's executive order is specific to federal agencies. Even if an organization receives federal grants, utilizing funds from Healing Illinois to launch racial healing activities should have no negative impact on the organization's federal grants.

Because the Healing Illinois funds are from the state's cannabis funds, will this affect our federal funding?

The state is currently reviewing applications for R3 grants, which are funded with cannabis tax revenue. The R3 program has not flagged any potential conflict for organizations awarded R3 grants and that also receive federal funding. We recommend, however, that you consult your legal advisor if you have any concerns.

Will you provide the state regulations and guidelines that apply to these awards?

All expenditures need to be reasonable and clearly necessary for the project to be implemented. They must also follow 2CRF 200 guidance. Organizations awarded a grant will receive more detailed guidance on allowable and forbidden expenses.