The Collaborative is now closed and not accepting applications.


Community Organizing: Technology Funders Collaborative 

Chicago and the nation are witnessing a tumultuous time in history – the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) has caused significant harm to people and further unveiled the inequities that exist in our society.  Access to technology has surfaced as a key issue with many communities experiencing the technology divide.  


Local Chicago foundations that support community organizing have come together to respond to this technology need. The foundations are committed to supporting innovative organizing strategies that now rely on technology more than ever.  The support will be through rapid response technology grants that will be issued on a rolling basis and within 10 working days of receiving the request.  Crossroads Fund will serve as the host organization for this collaborative.


Funding Criteria

Priority will be given to community organizing groups that have been funded by the following foundations in the last three years: Albert Pick Jr. Foundation, Comer Family Foundation, Conant Family Foundation, Crossroads Fund, Field Foundation, McCormick Foundation, Polk Bros Foundation, Woods Fund of Chicago and Wieboldt Foundation.


Funding requests can be for the following:

  • Building organizational technology capacity to facilitate strategic base building, build new coalitions and partnerships
  • Supporting an organization’s technology infrastructure – network, hardware, software, internet access, cell phones, accessing digital meeting capacity, trainings etc.


Eligibility Criteria

  • Applicants may request between up to $10,000.
  • Organizations with budgets under $750,000
  • Organizations that have been funded in the last three years by one or more of the above-mentioned foundations
  • Funding should be used within 6 months.



The Collaborative is now closed and not accepting applications.


Mon, Apr 13, 2020

On behalf of Crossroads Fund board members and staff, thank you for making our virtual week-long celebration fundraiser a success! We appreciate you bidding on silent auction items, selecting songs, dancing along to our live DJ set, and contributing toward our fundraising goal. 


We're still calculating the final numbers, but so far, we raised over $135,000! Thank you! If you didn’t get a chance to contribute, you still can here.


At this moment, we draw strength from the joy and resistance that movements for justice have shown us as the only way forward. Together we reimagined our annual tradition and coalesced virtually to resource grassroots organizing in Chicago. We hope you found a moment of cheer and connectedness throughout the week.




Listen to our Resilient Community Playlist. Featuring songs that encompass joy at this moment. Keep the dancing going! Check out songs featured in DJ L O KARI's BEATS OF CHANGE live mix set.


2020 Awardees

Building Deep Relationships and Trust 

Cheryl Graves and Ora Schub (posthumously) received the Donald F. Erickson Synapses Awardfor their leadership in creating clear processes for how communities can respond to harm when it occurs, inspiring a generation of young activists to envision a world without police and prisons. Cheryl Graves accepted the award by thanking friends of Ora Schub, who sadly passed away in 2018 after a long battle with cancer. “To all of you who knew and loved Ora, know that her tenacity and fighting spirit for justice and resistance is alive and well. And yes, still very, very loud.” 


Fighting for Our Families

The Street Vendors Association of Chicago (SVAC) was awarded the Lynda J. Tipton Memorial Award for Social Justicefor providing a sustainable model for equitable economic development in communities experiencing racial wealth divides and active disinvestment. SVAC Board Member Sonia Ruiz accepted the award on behalf of the group and emphasized their determination to continue organizing. "There are still many obstacles to overcome, but we will not stop fighting. We are going to continue fighting for our families,” Sonia remarked.


Education as a Human Right 

This year the Ron Sable Award for Activism was awarded to Raise Your Hand for Illinois Public Education (RYH) for empowering parents to protect and strengthen public education for all children in Chicago and Illinois. “Raise Your Hand has been spending this past chaotic week, filling the gaps in Chicago Public School’s capacity and making sure that parents get the information and resources they need...throughout this public health crisis. The pandemic reminds us that schools and teachers are expected to handle so much beyond teaching and learning,” said Jennie Biggs, RYH Communications and Outreach Director as she accepted the award.


Thank You






Sat, Apr 04, 2020


Crossroads Fund is so excited to announce our 2020 Giving Project cohort - a multi-racial, cross-class, intersectional group of 26 people who have committed to fundraise $150,000 to fund movement work in Chicago.

Over the course of six months, this group will have deep personal conversations on race and class, make a monetary donation that is significant to them, fundraise their network through a process of "donor organizing," and practice participatory grantmaking supporting strategic, necessary, and underfunded social justice organizing work around the city. Since 2014, Crossroads Fund's Giving Projects have raised more than $500,000 from over 1,000 donors.

Meet the 2020 Giving Project Cohort

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 five years, Giving Project cohorts have raised more than $500,000 that was given out in grants to support building social, racial, and economic justice movements across Chicago.

Wed, Mar 04, 2020



Since our founding in 1981, Crossroads Fund has served as an anchor organization for movement building by pooling resources and moving money to support underfunded and necessary organizing for racial, social, and economic justice in Chicago. Since day one, we have been committed to using a community grantmaking model to fund organizing that is led by directly impacted people, employs bold strategies, and campaigns that get to the root cause of injustice.

"Our Movements are Interconnected, Intersectional."

credit: SoapBox Productions and Organizing

We're excited to share that, in fiscal year 2019, Crossroads Fund granted over $800,000 to 101 powerful grassroots organizations. Your support made this possible! By pooling resources from nearly 1,000 donors, Crossroads Fund was able to make these grants and support Chicago’s most innovative and visionary organizing and activism.

At Crossroads Fund, we believe that we all deserve vibrant and healthy communities. Our grantees are mobilizing Chicagoans to build strong, intersectional movements, coalitions, and campaigns that are challenging the entrenched powers that perpetuate injustice. We make grants to those fighting for justice today because they are creating the victories we will celebrate tomorrow.

Thank you for all that you do to build movements and seed change in Chicago.


Download the PDF

Mon, Feb 03, 2020

To commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall riots, Crossroads Fund is celebrating fearless queer-led organizing in Chicago through a podcast named “Queering Left.”

Queering Left is a series of interviews with organizers who have participated in transformative and visionary Chicago movements and organizations. These interviews will trace how being queer has been defined as a radical political act and how new generations of queer organizers have continued to evolve the definition of queer politics since Stonewall. We hope to illustrate how queer rights are intersectional. Queer rights are women’s rights, immigrant rights, worker rights, the fight for abolition, and more.

Click here to listen to each episode.

Wed, Jan 01, 2020