Neighborhood Grants and Community Leadership Training? | HomeStart

Neighborhood Grants and Community Leadership Training


Neighborhood Grants Program

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The 2020 Application for Neighborhood Grants in now available! The grants are due by 5p on May 1, and must be completed through the Community Foundation of Northern Illinois’ grant portal. Here’s the link to that application: If you have any questions, please contact Janessa Wilkins at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., or 815-962-2011.

 Click here for the 2020 Guidelines for the grant.


CFNIL has operated a neighborhood grants program since 1995, distributing more than $719,000 to build better neighborhoods in Rockford and beyond. This is the fourth year the two organizations are collaborating in order to expand the opportunity to the four-county region. The Neighborhood Grants Program funds neighborhood projects, including but not limited to beautification, crime prevention, surveys, clean ups, newsletters, organizing, reforestation, and resident-focused education. The maximum award from the Neighborhood Grants Program is $2,500. HomeStart has helped to administer the funds since 2016, and will continue to support all groups in their projects moving forward.


Community Leadership Institute

Every year hundreds of people from all around the country gather to learn about new ways to improve neighborhoods. The three-day NeighborWorks Community Leadership Institute (CLI) event focuses on sharing ideas and successful solutions to the problems and issues facing many communities across the country.  At the CLI, participants will attend workshops designed to inspire, build their skills, and get new ideas that they can bring back to their own communities.  This year’s Institute will be held in October.  For more information, go to


This grant opportunity offers the chance for a team of up to 7 community representatives to attend this event in order to work for positive changes within their neighborhood or community.   The grant award covers tuition, airfare, ground transportation, food, and shared hotel costs. This year the training will take place in October, and at least 3 members of the awarded group’s leadership must be able to attend this training. (If your group only has 3-4 members that attend, you must be willing to work with an additional neighborhood group during the conference.) This grant is a part of the Neighborhood Grant Program in partnership with the Community Foundation of Northern Illinois, and is available to residents of Boone, Ogle, Stephenson, and Winnebago counties.


After the team(s) attends the event and meets some additional requirements, they will work with HomeStart to apply for an additional $4,000 to implement a community-based project. Possible projects include neighborhood festivals, community clean-ups, neighborhood safety projects, etc. This project will need to be completed by October of 2021, so applicants should keep that in mind when considering this training opportunity.


HomeStart will select 1-2 teams per year for this opportunity.


Applications will be availabe in April - please check back!