Giving Project


The 2021 Giving Project Cohort



Meet The Giving Project 2021

Giving Project Interest Form     2021 Giving Project Calendar

 Who Should Apply?     What is the Commitment?     FAQ    


Chicago continues to be one of the most racially and economically segregated cities in the country. The Giving Project is an intentional commitment to confront these divisions by convening people from across the city to fund organizations who are fighting for systems change.

The Giving Project is an innovative model for building leadership and moving money for real change in Chicago. Each Giving Project brings together a cross-class, cross-race, gender-diverse, intergenerational group of 20-25 people who share a vision of social justice and want to apply their time, talent, and resources to supporting movements for social change.

Each cohort commits to a transformational six- month process that will include:

  • Working together to strategically support underfunded and necessary social justice organizing.
  • Building community together, across identities, and digging deep into issues of race, class and power.
  • Make a donation that is personally meaningful (no minimum amount) and fundraise to support organizing projects.
  • A full grantmaking process that funds social justice organizing projects, including site visits and final granting decisions.

In the past six years, Giving Project cohorts have raised more than $650,000 that was given out in grants to support building social, racial, and economic justice movements across Chicago.

“This experience has impacted me in several ways. In addition to meeting amazing people and learning about grassroots advocacy in Chicago I have: a greater desire to contribute my resources for social change, a greater understanding of the critical need for advocacy in addition to direct service, and a greater confidence in my ability to raise funds.” –Giving Project Alumnus


Giving Project Interest Form (Open in New Window)

2021 Giving Project Calendar (download as pdf)




Thursday, January 7th, 2021

5:30 –7:30pm

Grant Seeker Orientation

  • Grant application overview
  • Review funding criteria 

Friday, January 22nd 2020

5:30 –7:30pm

Welcoming Reception 

  • Meet and mingle with the 2020 cohort and Giving Project Alumni

Saturday, January 30th, 2021

10am– 1pm

Introduction Session

  • Build community and group agreements
  • Establish expectations and goals 
  • Set foundation for future workshops

**Saturday, February 27th, 2021**

**Sunday, February 28th, 2021**

10am – 1pm

10am – 1pm

Racial Justice and Class Analysis Workshop 

  • Form a shared analysis of race and class
  • Personal storytelling
  • Shape a cross-class, multi-racial, and progressive philanthropic community


March 4th – March 18th: Meet one-on-one with Giving Project Facilitators
**Pledge a donation that is personally meaningful** (No minimum amount)

Saturday, March 20th, 2021

10am – 1pm

Fundraising Training 

  • Experience the impact of collective giving
  • Learn and discuss grassroots fundraising
  • Set personal fundraising goal

Fundraising Begins

Saturday, April 3rd, 2021


Grantmaking Training

  • Explore social justice philanthropy
  • Learn about the Crossroads Fund social justice grantmaking process

April 6th– May 4th: Seed Fund site visits scheduled
**Participants commit to at least two site visits**

May 29th: Fundraising Ends

**Saturday, June 5th, 2021**

**Saturday, June 12th, 2021**

10am – 1pm

10am - 1pm

Final Decisions and Grantmaking Recommendations

  • Review site visit reports 
  • Collectively make grant recommendations

Thursday, June 16th, 2021

5:30 –7:30pm

Closing Celebration and Evaluation

  • Evaluate the Giving Project process
  • Celebrate cohort’s success with donors