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Nonprofit Capacity Building

A new city program for nonprofit organizations affected by COVID-19

Nonprofit organizations play a fundamental role in creating more equitable and thriving communities. The COVID-19 pandemic has left many nonprofits experiencing financial hardship.

During the pandemic, nonprofits across Chicago saw an increase in the demand for their services without an increase in their financial and operational capacity to meet that higher demand. Nonprofits operating in low-to-moderate income areas and those with budgets less than $1M were disproportionately impacted, with many seeing decreased revenue and increased costs and have not yet fully recovered.

To ensure a strong recovery for our City’s nonprofits, the City of Chicago has created the Nonprofit Capacity Building Program. This program will provide technical assistance and capacity building services for disproportionately impacted nonprofits, helping to stabilize and scale their operations.

North Branch Works is a delegate agency of the City of Chicago’s new Nonprofit Capacity Building program. As a part of this program, NBW can:

Provide networking opportunities
Promote organizations with a featured story in our bi-weekly newsletter that is shared with over 1,200 companies
Connect organizations to city programs and financial resources
Notify organizations of grant opportunities and provide technical assistance with applications
Connect organizations to community and neighborhood stakeholders
Host webinars built around nonprofit organizational concerns and goals
We will also be hosting several webinars in the coming months, which we will post on this page and our social media. If you have ideas for webinar topics that would be helpful for local nonprofit organizations, please leave feedback here (Google form) or feel free to contact Genevieve Cook @ or (773) 929-5552 ext. 2236

Upcoming Grant Opportunities

B2B New Business 2023 Grant

Applications open November 30, 2023 - January 11, 2024

Governor JB Pritzker and the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (DCEO) announced $25 million in available grant funding through the Back to Business (B2B) NewBiz program. Following state recovery programming for businesses totaling $1.5 billion, the latest American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA)-funded opportunity is designed to provide additional support for businesses in hard-hit sectors who launched during the pandemic. Businesses that launched in 2020 or 2021 and remain in operation have faced significant impacts during the pandemic, but they have not been eligible for other federal or state relief programming since they were not operational prior to the pandemic.

For businesses that previously received awards from the Restaurant Employment and Stabilization Grant Program (B2B Restaurants), Hotel Jobs Recovery Grant Program (B2B Hotels), or Illinois Creative Recovery Grant Program (B2B Arts), that previous award amount will be deducted from that grant awards for the B2B New Biz Program.

Visit to learn more.

Eligibility Requirements

To be eligible for a grant award under the B2B New Biz Program, for-profit businesses, and nonprofit organizations must meet all the criteria listed below:

  • Must be an independently owned and operated for-profit corporation or limited liability corporation, partnership, or sole proprietorship authorized to conduct business in the State of Illinois; or a nonprofit operating in Illinois and registered with the Internal Revenue Service as a 501(c) organization
  • Started operations on or between January 1, 2020, and December 31, 2021.
  • Had between $25,000 and $20 million in gross operating revenue in calendar year 2021, or a pro-rated amount if operations began starting in 2021.

Must meet one of the following two criteria:
i. The business or organization operates primarily in one of the following priority industries:

Restaurants and bars
Arts organizations or businesses
Clothing and electronics retail establishments (excluding e-commerce)
Dry-cleaning and laundry services (excluding coin-operated)
Home health care services
Child care providers
Barbershop and salon services
Indoor recreation
Gyms and fitness centers
Tourism and group transportation (excluding taxis, limos, or rideshare)
Spectator and social event services
Movie theaters

ii. The business is majority owned by an individual or individuals that became eligible for and received unemployment insurance benefits – including from Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) – between March 13, 2020, and the date the business began operations.

Cook County Starting Block Grants

**Check back in the Spring of 2024 for the reopening of the Cook County Starting Block Grants**

Upcoming Events

December 19th 2023

Nonprofit Networking

11:30 AM-1:30 PM

An enriching workshop where you will get the opportunity to network with other nonprofit leaders who share your vision.

Special Topic: The Role of Capacity Building in Organizational Growth

We will also be joined by guest speaker Edwin Martinez from Centro Sanar who will lead a conversation on the role of capacity-building in organizational growth. Lunch will be provided.

18th Street Casa de Cultura (2057 W 18th St, Chicago, IL 60608).

Register for this workshop at under "Nonprofit Capacity Building – Phase 1." Registration limited to 50 participants.

BACP, along with some of our fellow delegate agencies, will be offering
workshops and other events to provide valuable resources and information to
organizations that are interested in becoming a delegate agency of the City of Chicago.

Some of the benefits of becoming a delegate agency of the City of Chicago
include guaranteed source of funding from the City of Chicago.
Registration for workshops and further information is available here.