About Crossroads Fund

Crossroads Fund supports community organizations working on issues of racial, social and economic justice in the Chicago area. A public foundation, Crossroads Fund pools the resources of individuals, foundations and businesses, building a broad base of support for grassroots organizations for social change. 

Our History in Context

ACT-UP rallyCrossroads Fund was imagined in 1979, when a group of young people came together with an idea -- they envisioned a foundation where community members would have control of the money and of grantmaking decisions, where the people who were most affected by and experienced at confronting racial, economic, and social injustice would make decisions about where to put resources to have the most significant impact for social change. They dreamed of a partnership of activists and donors -- of accountability to community -- so that people from all walks of life would be invested in progressive community change. This idea became the Crossroads Fund.

In 1981, Crossroads Fund gave out our first grant to a group that continues to serve as a crucial resource today for 7,500 clients a year, including low-income women, lesbians, and young women -- the Chicago Women's Health Center. That grant was for $4,130, and it helped to seed the growth of that organization, and the practice of Crossroads Fund as a key resource for groups working for social change in the Chicago area. Since 1981, we have distributed more than $6 million to hundreds of groups, working across the spectrum of social justice issues. Learn more about our current grantees.

Since our founding, we have maintained our commitment to have community members make the decisions about where money is distributed. Our Board of Directors and grantmaking committee reflect the diversity of the issues that we fund. Crossroads Fund belongs to a network of regionally–based social change foundations called the Funding Exchange (FEX). For more information, see www.fex.org.