NeighborWorks Community Leadership Institute Application

NeighborWorks® Community Leadership Institute

Training Opportunity

NW HomeStart, in partnership with the Community Foundation of Northern Illinois, is pleased to announce a new grant opportunity in which applicants can apply to send a team to a three-day Community Leadership Institute (CLI) event. The event focuses on sharing ideas and successful solutions to the problems and issues facing many communities across the country. This year’s Institute will be held October 12-15 in Los Angeles, CA. Additional information about the Community Leadership Institute can be found at

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 attends the event, they will work with HomeStart to develop a community-based project. Possible projects include neighborhood festivals, community clean-ups, neighborhood safety projects, etc. The team will have up to $2,000 to implement the project, pending HomeStart’s approval.

“The Community Leadership Institute is a great opportunity for learning, networking, and getting new ideas for community improvement,” commented Deb Elzinga, Executive Director for HomeStart. “Every year hundreds of people from all around the country gather to attend workshops and networking sessions all geared around building strong neighborhood at the NeighborWorks Community Leadership Institute, and we are excited to be able to send a team to represent our region,” said Elzinga.

HomeStart will select one team per year for this opportunity. Applications will be accepted from May 1, 2017, through 5pm on June 1, 2017. Interested applicants can download a form by visiting and submit via email to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., or deliver to HomeStart at 803 N. Church Street, Rockford. Questions about the CLI Training Opportunity, or about the application should be directed to Sarah Brinkmann at 815-516-5287.

The decision will be made by June 12, and the winning team will be asked to have the names of all participants to HomeStart no later than June 23, 2017. All applicants should have their list of participants ready when the application is submitted.


About NW HomeStart

Serving ten counties in Northern Illinois, HomeStart works in partnership with residents, local elected officials, and business leaders to strengthen communities with the Northern Illinois region. HomeStart is a HUD-approved housing counseling organization, and a chartered-member of the NeighborWorks Network, a nation-wide network of 240 trained and certified community development organizations at work in nearly 3,000 communities across America.

About the Community Foundation of Northern Illinois

The Community Foundation of Northern Illinois has been a regional leaders in philanthropy since 1953. CFNIL serves as a catalyst for giving in order to attract, grow, and preserve an endowment of the needs of Northern Illinois. Since 1953, CFNIL has granted more than $60 million for charitable purposes. Visit at

Creating choice in housing, community in neighborhoods, and empowerment in personal finance throughout northern Illinois.