CommunityWorks Endowment Fund

“The overall purpose of CommunityWorks is to provide a coordinated, systems-based approach toward the achievement of community aspirations,” says CFMC Foundation President Natalie Beck. “This endowed fund provides grants to area organizations and institutions whose efforts further the vision of a sustainable community in select priority areas of workforce development, education, and environmental sustainability.”

In 2005, The Community Foundation of Macon County was one of 18 initial foundations chosen to receive a CommunityWorks grant from the Grand Victoria Foundation. Through the years, CFMC has received donor contributions to meet the challenge funding matches required by the Grand Victoria Foundation, increasing CFMC’s CommunityWorks endowment fund to over $6 million.

2021 CommunityWorks Program Details

The 2021 funding focus is workforce development, education and environmental sustainability.

Timeline (One application period each year)

  • March 25, 2021 Funding program announced.
  • April 5, 2021 Online grant application opens
  • April 12, 2021 Grant seekers mandatory briefing
  • May 13, 2021 Application deadline and review process by grant committee begins
  • May 26, 2021 Grant recipients notified


  • The CommunityWorks Fund grants to three main areas: workforce development, education, and land use/protection issues in Macon County based on the belief that by improving these areas, we can directly impact the quality of life in our community. Within each area, we have identified focus points:

Workforce Development

  • Job retention and career advancement
  • Job creation
  • Access/transportation options to jobs
  • Adult literacy


  • Increase access to quality, affordable education
  • Expanding availability of quality childcare facilities
  • Strengthening educational programs and management capacities

Land Use and Protection

  • Protection and restoration of natural lands and waterways
  • Development of clean renewable energy and prevention of pollution
  • Expansion/connection of preserved natural lands
  • Implementation of regional growth management and land use strategies that promote economic vitality and environmental health
  • Educating the public in above issues

How much funding is available

  • Total amount of grant funding available by area of focus will be released March 25, 2021


  • Have 501(c) 3 status from the Internal Revenue Service or be a qualified charitable, religious, or government organization
  • An organization must have been in existence for at least two years (based on the date of IRS determination letter) and have achieved a record of effective service and sustainability
  • Organization must be located in Macon County, Illinois
  • We prioritize organizations that demonstrate a commitment to racial and economic equity


  • Provide evidence of sound management and administration
  • Document capacity to mobilize resources including financial support, in-kind support, partnerships, and volunteers to sustain programs where appropriate
  • Demonstrate organizational expertise in delivering quality programs and services

What else do we consider when making funding decisions?

  • Commitment to racial equity and economic inclusion
  • The evaluation process may include an on-site visits by Foundation representatives
  • Executive leadership, board, and staff are representative of communities the organization serves
  • The visibility and impact of the project should be apparent
  • Projects which impact multiple focus areas (Workforce Development, Education and Environmental Sustainability) may receive higher priority for funding

Needs and impact

  • Provide evidence of planning to address community needs
  • Include a statement regarding projected outcomes as result of the grant

More information

Questions about the CommunityWorks competitive grant cycle and application process should be directed to Tony Holly, Director of Strategic Grantmaking, at or by calling 217-429-3000.

CommunityWorks Past Grant Recipients