Illinois Prairie Community Foundation

IPCF Awards Grants to 11 Local Nonprofit Programs

BLOOMINGTON, IL – Eleven local nonprofit programs have been awarded a total of $58,015 in grants  thanks to the Women to Women Giving Circle and Youth Engaged in Philanthropy (YEP) at the Illinois Prairie Community Foundation.

The Women to Women Giving Circle seeks to improve the lives of women and children in Central Illinois and focused its grants for 2023 on programs that that open doors to provide opportunities to women and children who are marginalized and have faced barriers in our community. Women to Women grant applicants were asked, but not required, to collaborate with another nonprofit organization on a program addressing the focus.

Youth Engaged in Philanthropy grants were selected by 16 area high school students and focus on youth-oriented programs with priority given to organizations that include youth in the application process.

Recipient organizations sharing the $50,000 Women to Women awards are:

  • Community Health Care Clinic in collaboration with Center for Youth and Family Solutions – $18,000 for “Integration of Behavioral Health Services into the Primary Care Setting at CHCC” which aims to improve a patient’s commitment to improving their physical health and feeling of well-being and functioning with the integration of behavioral health into the clinic setting.
  • Dreams Are Possible in collaboration with Heartland Head Start and Milestones Early Learning Center – $15,000 for “Offering ‘Earn While You Learn’ Training to Young Moms at 2 Local Childcare Centers” which aims to reach young mothers, while their children are in care, to help them consider training/education/employment options to pursue; moms will gain confidence and consider pursuing alternative fields due to the broader exposure.
  • Milestones Early Learning Center in collaboration with United Way of McLean County – $10,000 for “Crisis Childcare Fund” which aims to provide childcare assistance at Milestones for 12 marginalized women and their children facing a crisis situation so that they may continue attending school through the Workforce 180 program.
  • United Way of Logan County – $7,000 for “Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library in Logan County” which aims to improve school readiness and educational success for the children of Logan County, leading to improved literacy readiness scores for kindergartners within our community, improved graduation rates and higher numbers high school graduates attending college.

Recipient organizations sharing the $8,015 Youth Engaged in Philanthropy awards are:

  • GFWC Lincoln Women’s Club – $1,500 for “Water Safety” which aims to train all lifeguards at the Lincoln Park District Aquatics Center in spring 2023 and provide economically disadvantaged children the chance to learn to swim by offering free paid-for group lessons for beginning swimmers.
  • Girl Scouts of Central Illinois – $1,250 for “STEM Outreach Program – DeWitt County,” an outreach program focused on delivering science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) skills to 50 girls in DeWitt County while also strengthening the development of social and emotional learning competencies promoting resiliency among the youth served.
  • McLean County Children’s Advocacy Center – $1,300 for “Child Safety Matters – A Day at the Zoo,” a one-day event allowing local children to participate in learning activities and  have fun at Miller Park Zoo, while local social service agencies provide adult caretakers with education, information and tools on how to keep children safe.
  • Project Oz – $1,200 for “Youth Action Board,” a youth-led peer-prevention and leadership

program that brings together students from five Bloomington-Normal area high schools to develop and present substance use prevention activities and messages from a youth perspective to educate their peers and parents, while encouraging community involvement in prevention activities.

  • Sonshine Daycare – $1,065 for “Playground Equipment” which will give children 5 and under more opportunities to exert their independence through the purchase and installation of new playground equipment; upgrade will not only benefit the children at Sonshine, but also visitors to the Mt Hope Funks Grove Park District.
  • Sunnyside Community Gardens & Food Forest – $500 for “Rooted Summer Apprenticeship” which will employ several teens aged 14-18 within a 2-mile radius of the garden in west Bloomington to help with the responsibilities of the garden; program also introduces teens to careers that would involve college or a direct path from high school to career.
  • Vespasian Warner Public Library – $1,200 for “Literacy Through Play: A Destination for Families” which will allow the library to enhance the children’s space so that it is engaging and inviting for everyone; funding will purchase a modular seating set that can be used for family reading, gross motor play and more.

Since 2011, the Women to Women Giving Circle has awarded $474,363 in grants. The mission of the group is to provide education about issues affecting women and to provide grants to projects and programs aimed at improving the dignity of women and children in McLean, DeWitt, Logan and Livingston counties.

Since 2014, Youth Engaged in Philanthropy has awarded $98,015. As a part of our community’s youth, YEP strives to connect those who care about youth with the monetary means necessary to pursue their vision.

About Illinois Prairie Community Foundation
Illinois Prairie Community Foundation, now in its 25th year, encourages and facilitates philanthropy in McLean, DeWitt, Livingston and Logan counties by connecting donors who care with causes that matter to them. The Foundation currently manages funds including endowments and donor advised, fiscal sponsorship and scholarship funds. More information is available at

Michele Evans, Grants & Communications Director | 309-662-4477