Rules and Guidelines 



The purpose of the Acting UP Awards is to support actions taken by residents after On the Table that strengthen community, deepen civic involvement, and cultivate greater social cohesion.

These intentionally small grants ($1,000-$2,500) are aimed at supporting grassroots, community-based solutions that emerge from On the Table, defined by the community and driven by their commitment to strengthening our region.


The Acting UP Awards will support projects or programs within the Chicago region. The Program will consider proposals from groups, agencies and organizations that have participated in On the Table.

Eligible recipients are organizations with a valid letter from the IRS recognizing the applicant as a section 501 (c) 3 organization or individuals and/or groups including, but not limited to, neighborhood associations or block clubs, classrooms, student organizations, parent associations, etc.

A wide variety of projects will be considered.

The following activities are exempt from this funding opportunity:

  • Capital campaigns
  • Endowment funds
  • For-profit entities
  • Political or lobbying groups
  • Religious purposes
  • Businesses for commercial purposes
  • Salaries
  • Construction
  • Large equipment purchases
  • Debt financing
  • Efforts attempt to influence legislation, intervene in or participate in any campaign for political office
  • Promoting illegal behavior
  • Supporting racial, gender, religious, sexual or other invidious prejudice
  • Invading the privacy of any person
  • Containing any foul or offensive language
  • Ongoing or existing programming

By submitting a proposal, applicants agree to share their experiences with The Chicago Community Trust.

Grant Amounts

Grants will be awarded in the following amounts:

$1,000 or $2,500

Applicants must select the amount that they are applying for.  Up to 100 applicants will be awarded $1,000 awards; up to 20 applicants will receive $2,500 awards.

Review Process

Submissions will be reviewed by a panel of community experts who will be evaluating submissions based on the strength of the idea, its potential to make an impact on community in a way that deepens the engagement of residents.

Awards will be announced by June 30, 2017.


Recipients must provide a short report on the impacts of their project by December 31, 2017.