We Rise Together listens to, believes in, and invests in Black and Latinx communities to create thriving local economies for a stronger Chicago. We Rise Together aligns with the community’s needs and goals to achieve lasting change and sustainable growth.

Read more about our grant making strategy and grants we’ve made.

We Rise Together is evaluating our work on an ongoing basis with a focus on understanding the impact on the communities we serve. Read more about our evaluation and what we know so far.

Guiding principles to direct our grantmaking:

    • Investments in Black and Latinx communities hardest hit by COVID-19
    • Community-centered investments in people and places
    • Community engagement and collaboration that builds community voice and capacity

Investing in equitable, resilient growth in Black and Latinx communities

Frequently Asked Questions

We Rise Together is uniting partners and their resources across philanthropy, business, government, nonprofits and communities to help our region build back better, stronger and more just following the crises of 2020. It seeks to harness the Chicago region's energy and generosity to tackle the disproportionate impacts of COVID-19 and the deep-seated inequities amplified by the pandemic. Hosted at The Chicago Community Trust, the initiative consists of three complementary and interconnected efforts: 1. A philanthropic fund for making catalytic grants and investments; 2. Galvanizing private-sector actors to adopt equitable business practices; and 3. Identifying public policy and systems changes to achieve and sustain results that advance equity in our region.
To achieve our shared vision, We Rise Together will focus on key priorities, including, but not limited to, spurring the development of neighborhood anchors in communities that have been disinvested, strengthening businesses of color and increasing employment opportunities. The initiative will provide financial support to solutions that address priorities such as those noted above and support the business practices and policies necessary to sustain results.
It is expected the We Rise Together fund will make investments in and partner with organizations. Individuals are not eligible to receive funding.
Grant applications are by invitation only. We take a portfolio approach to each of the priority areas in Black and Latinx historically underserved communities. If you would like to be included for consideration in a future portfolio, please send your information via email to WeRiseTogether@cct.org. Please indicate which priority area you are aligned to: Neighborhood Anchor Investments, Strengthening Black and Latinx Businesses, or Quality, Resilient Employment Opportunities.
Funds will be directed primarily to Chicago and Cook County efforts, although the fund may support initiatives that impact the region as a whole.
A minimum of 97 percent of donated funds will be directed to organizations and initiatives promoting equitable economic recovery. No more than 3 percent will support We Rise Together's operations, including staff, fundraising and administration.
We will support neighborhoods and communities that have long been underinvested in and that have been disproportionately affected by COVID-19. We will maximize resources by pooling donations, investing them in the most impactful way, and filling gaps between other initiatives. For that reason, we generally will not accept donations earmarked for particular projects.
All donations are welcome, and we can process checks, credit cards, wire transfers and ACH transfer of securities.
The Chicago Community COVID-19 Response Fund was focused on meeting people's immediate needs at the onset of the pandemic, such as food, shelter, and access to direct cash assistance. The We Rise Together initiative is the next step in the economic recovery. It aims to ensure Black and Latinx communities are not left behind during the recovery and to establish more equitable ways for our region to invest and do business moving forward.

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