Our Approach: Change Not Charity

Mission Statement

Crossroads Fund supports community organizations working on issues of racial, social and economic justice in the Chicago area.

Crossroads Fund's Theory of Change

Crossroads Fund leads in the philanthropic sector by supporting innovative organizing models that build strong movements for racial, social and economic justice. By creating relationships between donors, grantees, grassroots groups and community members, we strengthen leadership, build sustainable communities and transform unjust conditions, institutions and policies to create greater equality and opportunity for all.

Small Grants – Big Change

At Crossroads Fund we believe that big change can come from small beginnings. Some of the biggest victories we’ve seen in this city, from accessible public transit for people with disabilities, to the successful campaign to abolish the death penalty in Illinois, started out as small grassroots movements that were considered too radical for most funders. That’s where Crossroads Fund comes in. We give small grants to new and emerging groups, providing critical support from the beginning. We are often the first foundation grant that our grantees have applied for or received.

Activist Led Grantmaking

At Crossroads Fund, we believe that the people who best understand the issues at hand should participate in our funding decisions. That’s why our grantmaking committees include diverse people, including past and current grantees, community organizers, donors, academics, and community allies. This rich pool of knowledge lets us ask hard questions, and direct our funds to the most effective and innovative groups.

Giving Grants – Building Movements

At Crossroads Fund, we do more than just give grants: we help to build city-wide movements for social change. We provide workshops and trainings that help our grantees build their capacity and refine their organizing and advocacy strategies. We organize public programs that help provide a platform for our grantees to educate about their issues and influence public debate. And we bring together our grantees in convening that allow them to share strategies and build alliances.

What we Fund

Crossroads Fund supports grassroots groups working for racial, social, and economic justice in the Chicago area. See a list of our past grantees, or follow the links below to read more about the impact of our grantees across a wide range of important issues:

Strategic Plan

In 2019, Crossroads Fund completed a new three year strategic plan. Read a summary here.