Healing Illinois Application Process Step-by-Step Guide

Thank you for your interest in the Healing Illinois initiative. Healing Illinois is a state-wide initiative of the Illinois Department of Human Services, the Chicago Community Trust is serving as the philanthropic partner tasked with administering and distributing the fund. Interested applicants will use the Trust's grants management system called GrantCentral. We have developed this step by step guide as a resource to support you in 1) creating and completing your org profile, and 2) completing your grant application. We have included sample grant applications to assist in your development of a Healing Illinois project.

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, visit https://cct.smartsimple.com to get started. If you are a current grantee of the Trust, make sure your organization profile is up to date. Healing Illinois is a short-term initiative and we are not requiring detailed information from grant applicants as we normally would. For content about Healing Illinois, please email healingil@cct.org, and email grants@cct.org or call 312-800-8914 for technical questions about using GrantCentral.

Note: Please refer to the grant eligibility list before moving forward in the application process.

Create a GrantCentral Account

  1. Navigate to GrantCentral at https://cct.smartsimple.com  

    If you already have a GrantCentral account, enter your email address (aka your username) and your password and click the "Login" button. Click the "Forgot Password" link or email grants@cct.org if you cannot access your account.

    If your organization is new to the Trust and its affiliates and you need to create an account for the first time, click the "Register Here" button.

  2. To create a new account for your organization in GrantCentral, select the correct option for you.
  3. Select that your organization is a nonprofit with evidence of tax-exempt 501c3 status, first click the "Search IRS Database" button, which opens a pop-up box. Use the search function in this popup box to find your organization by EIN and/or legal name. Select the correct organization by clicking on it from the search results that populate.

    Your selection in the pop-out box will populate the Organization Information fields. Next, scroll down to enter your own contact information. Finally, click the Submit button at the bottom of page. Your username and password should be emailed to you. If you don't receive the email, email grants@cct.org for assistance.

  4. If you are not sure of your organization's 501c3 status, begin typing in your organization's legal name in the "Legal Name" search bar and see if your organization's name populates. If it does, select the correct organization and then scroll down to enter your contact information. Click the Submit button at the bottom of the page to create a GrantCentral account for yourself that is associated with your organization. Your username and password should be emailed to you. If you don't receive the email, email grants@cct.org for assistance.

Organization Profile

Please Note:

  • In order to submit an application, you must have certified that your Organization Profile is complete and up-to-date.
  • You may complete the sections of the Organization Profile in any order. You can save your progress by clicking on the "Save" button. Be sure to save your work frequently.
  • The Organization Profile uses pop-up boxes to collect some information. Be sure to enable pop-ups in your web browser to ensure you are able to access all sections of the online form.
  • When you have completed every section and question in the Organization Profile, click the "Check for Errors/Certify" button. If complete, this action will save and certify your Organization Profile. If any information is missing or incomplete, the system will tell you what needs to be corrected/completed.
  • Please use whole numbers. The system does not accept decimals, symbols, special characters (including dollar signs) and blank spaces before or after a number. Character limits are indicated for any question/field that has them.
  1. Applicants must complete an Organization Profile, which is on the last tab within your GrantCentral account.
  2. You only have to respond to the following questions in the organizational profile. Please note, all fields in the GrantCentral are required. Therefore, you must enter "0" for numerical fields or "not applicable" or "N/A" in text fields.
    1. Organization Information
      1. Is your organization a 501c3 tax-exempt entity?
      2. EIN
      3. Mailing Address
      4. Year Established
      5. Website
      6. Facebook
      7. Twitter
      8. YouTube
      9. Logo
    2. Communities Served
      1. Does your organization primarily: (Select all that apply)
        1. Provide direct services?
        2. Conduct policy and advocacy efforts?
        3. Offer technical assistance, coaching, or training?
      2. Community Demographics
      3. Broad Location Served
      4. Who are the populations of focus for your organization?
    3. Organization History and Strategic Fit
      1. Provide your organization mission and vision statement (1,000 characters)
    4. Financials
      1. Upload your most current IRS Form 990
      2. Organization Budget
    5. Contacts
      1. Staff Contact Name
      2. Signatory

Grant Application

To access the grant application, you must log-in to your GrantCentral account, visit https://cct.smartsimple.com.

Once logged-in your account, you will visit the "Funding opportunities" tab to access the Healing Illinois grant application.

The application includes the following questions:

Application Summary:

  • Project Name:
  • Application Summary [750 character limit]: Be as specific and succinct as possible.
  • Total Project Budget:
  • Grant Request Amount: Refer to the RFP to determine the grant range applicable to you.

Description of Community Served for this Funding Opportunity

  1. Geographic Areas served by this project.

    Note: If your geographic area is not listed here, choose Illinois, but be as specific as possibly in terms of neighborhood, suburb, county, municipality, or village in the Application Summary.

  2. Target Population / Beneficiaries served by this project.
  3. Describe the community and/or beneficiary need(s) or opportunit(ies) that are addressed by this project. Include discussion of the strengths of the community and/or beneficiaries. [1,000 character limit]

Project Goals and Overview

  1. Is this a new project, existing project, expansion of existing project? [Dropdown list - new/existing]
  2. Provide a project overview, including the goals and objectives and summary of primary project activities. [2,000 character limit] 
  3. Describe the associated anticipated short- and long-term outcomes of the project. [1,500 character limit]

    Healing Illinois is a short-term initiative, it is intentionally designed to deploy grants quickly in order to support the current needs and calls for racial justice. We do not anticipate systemic or structural change in four months; however, do share what may be a key change you expect to see within the timeframe and context of the grant. Outcomes are the 'so-what' of your work.

  4. Is this a collaborative project? (Select yes/no checkbox)
    1. If yes, provide a representative list of partners and describe how they contribute to the project. Include brief detail on their expertise, experience working with the impacted communities and/or individuals, and capacity brought to the partnership:

      Name of Organization, Name of Primary, Contact, Phone Number/ Email, Role in partnership, Issue Area Expertise

Additional Documents

  1. Upload any additional documents requested in the RFP document or by your program contact person. Only upload documents specifically requested for this funding opportunity.

You must upload a project budget.

If possible, provide proof of your GATA certification.

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