What We Fund
Through June 30, 2022, our Bright Idea Fund Spark grants will support smaller projects and programs that are using creative problem-solving approaches in the areas of arts and culture, environment, basic needs and self-sufficiency, community development, and nonprofit effectiveness for any of the following:
- Events, projects and programs (virtual or safely distanced)
- Software or hardware improvements to connect to constituents or to help them connect with one another
- Other alternative methods of reaching constituents
Events and programs do not have to be new, however, priority will be given to requests involving creative approaches that may help to better serve our communities today and in the future. (Environmental requests also must meet at least one of these priorities
of the Environmental Stewardship Fund.)
Range of grantmaking
Typically up to $2,500 for events (one-time) and up to $5,000 for projects or programs (longer-term). Organizations may only submit one Spark application between January 1, 2022, and December 31, 2022.
Spark applications will be accepted on a rolling deadline. Applicants must complete both the inquiry and application at least 30 calendar days prior to an event, project or program start date. Applicants can expect a decision within 2-4 weeks.
What We Don’t Fund
- General operating expenses that are not directly related to the project or event. (For general operating needs, please see Bridge grants.)
- Fund-raisers and fund-raising events.
- Salary support for pre-existing positions.
- Equipment costs not directly related to the program or event.
- Grants to individuals.
- Travel expenses for projects, performances, training or meetings that occur outside the Fox Valley Region.
- Ticket purchases or subsidized admission fees.
- Previously incurred expenses.
- Multi-year requests.
The application is available in our online grant portal and under the “Grant Applicant” tab and search for “Bright Idea Fund Spark Grant” under “Available Grants.”
Register for the Portal: Portal registration approval may take one to two business days to process, so keep this in mind to ensure your grant application is received 30 days prior to the event.
- The application will be posted in our online grant portal and under the “Grant Applicant” tab. Search for “Bright Idea Fund Spark Grant” under “Available Grants.”
- Complete the inquiry page with your basic information and a short description of your event or project.
- Foundation staff will typically review inquiries within five business days and invite eligible applicants to complete the remainder of the grant application which includes project costs, anticipated funding sources and marketing/publicity plans.