Funding Opportunities

This page lists funding opportunities for building improvements, infrastructure development, education, and workforce development. It is directed towards Illinois community action agencies, community-based organizations, community non-profits, and public housing authorities that are looking for ways to engage more in energy efficiency. Many of these funding opportunities are broadly focused and could be used to fund energy efficiency improvements, education, or workforce development.

Are you aware of a funding opportunity that we have not listed? Contact Linda Larsen at and we'll add this opportunity to our list, which we update regularly. Thanks for helping us keep the list up to date!

Building Improvement and Infrastructure Grants

Funding organization: US Department of Commerce Economic Development Administration

Description:  EDA’s most flexible program, and grants made under this program will help hundreds of communities across the nation plan, build, innovate, and put people back to work through construction or non-construction projects designed to meet local needs. A wide range of technical, planning, workforce development, entrepreneurship, and public works and infrastructure projects are eligible for funding under this program. This includes construction activities such as water and sewer system improvements, industrial parks, high-tech shipping and logistics facilities, business incubators and accelerators, brownfield redevelopment, technology-based facilities, wet labs, multi-tenant manufacturing facilities, science and research parks, workforce training facilities, and telecommunications infrastructure (e.g., broadband) and development facilities. This also includes non-construction activities such as design and engineering, technical assistance, economic recovery strategy development, and capitalization of revolving loan funds (RLFs).

Eligible entities: District organization, economic development district, Indian Tribe, State, county, local government, Institution of higher education, public or private non-profit organization

Funding range: $100,000 - $10,000,000

Due date: March 31, 2022

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Funding organization: Illinois Clean Energy Community Foundation

Description: Applicants may apply for up to $2M or 80% of the incremental costs to achieve net zero energy for existing or new buildings (through energy efficiency improvements & renewables). Funding also helps defray costs of certification, measurement, verification, educational displays, and signage.

Due date: Pre-proposal due February 1, 2022 and July 21, 2022. Contact the Foundation by phone at 312.372.5191 to discuss your project prior to submitting an RFI.

Learn more. 

Funding organization: Illinois Clean Energy Community Foundation

Description: A pilot program to improve the resilience of critical infrastructure through the installation of solar photovoltaic/energy storage systems. Grants are available to first responders and public agencies supplying water.

Due date: February 24, 2022 and August 25, 2022.

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Funding organization: Illinois EPA

Description:  Illinois EPA Office of Energy is using funds from the Energy Efficiency Trust Fund to benefit residential electric customers (single or multi-family residential) through projects that promote energy efficiency. Projects include, but are not limited to insulation, window replacement, HVAC equipment retrofit, domestic hotwater equipment retrofit, lighting upgrades, appliance replacement, programmable thermostats, energy metering changes.

Eligible entities: Public Housing Authorities, units of local government, nonprofit organizations, district organization, economic development district, Indian Tribe, State, county, local government, Institution of higher education, public or private non-profit organization. Must be served by a municipally owned electric utility OR electric cooperative. Cost share requirements range from 2-10%.

Funding range: $25,000 - $500,000

Due date: January 12, 2022

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Description: IHDA invests in homes and communities across the state as a way to combat the ongoing effects of the housing crisis and assist with revitalization efforts. They work with local governments and non-profit organizations to offer programs that address vacant residential properties and the blight that usually follows to benefit communities. They also fund programs that allow homeowners to make necessary repairs and accessibility improvements, allowing residents stay in their homes while improving the quality of single-family housing and helping to create vibrancy in neighborhoods throughout Illinois.

Eligible organizations: Generally, municipalities, counties or land banks. Some programs fund nonprofit organizations that assist income-qualified households.

Funding per award: Varies

Due date: Varies

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Funding organization: USDA

Description: This program provides affordable funding to develop essential community facilities in rural areas. An essential community facility is defined as a facility that provides an essential service to the local community for the orderly development of the community in a primarily rural area, and does not include private, commercial or business undertakings. Can be used to purchase, construct, or improve essential community facilities, purchase equipment and pay related project expenses. Funds are available as grants, low-interest direct loans, or a combination of the two.

Eligible entities: Public bodies, community-based non-profit corporations, Federally-recognized Tribes.

Due date: Open (rolling applications accepted?)

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Funding organization: USDA

Description: The program provides guaranteed loan financing and grant funding to agricultural producers and rural small businesses for renewable energy systems or to make energy efficiency improvements. Agricultural producers may also apply for new energy efficient equipment and new system loans for agricultural production and processing. Funds may be used for energy efficiency improvements such as HVAC systems, insulation, lighting, doors and windows, equipment replacement, etc.

Eligible entities: Agricultural producers with at least 50 percent of their gross income coming from agricultural operations. Small businesses in eligible rural areas.

Funding range: $2,500-$500,000

Due date: March 31, 2022

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Funding organization: Rural Business Cooperative Service Agency

Description: Grants to develop renewable energy in rural communities. Projects must be community scale (no larger than 2 megawatts in generation capacity).  Will assist Rural Energy Community Partnerships to establish and develop clean energy communities through the deployment of community-scale distributed energy technologies, innovations and solutions. Grant funds may be used to pay for up to 80% of eligible project costs related to the renewable energy systems, community energy planning, capacity building, technical assistance, efficiency, and weatherization.

Eligible organizations: Tax-exempt, non-profit organization, State/Local Governing Organization, Indian Tribe or Governing Organization.

Max funding per award: $2.0 million

Letter of intent due: April 19, 2022

Full proposals due: July 18, 2022

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  • Funding organization: HUD/IL DCEO
  • Description: There are a variety of different grant types for public infrastructure, housing rehabilitation, economic development, and disaster response.
  • Eligibility: Must be in low-income areas.
  • Learn more.

Funding organization: Illinois State Treasurer

Description: Will consider a range of programs related to Housing (including advocacy/construction/rehabilitation) and Workforce & Economic Development

Eligible organizations: Non-profit organizations exempt from federal income taxation.

Max funding per award: Typically $20,000 or under

Last due date: March 31, 2022 or September 30, 2022

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Foundation Grants

Funding organization: Joyce Foundation

Description: works to increase the number of historically underserved young people who move up the economic ladder by ensuring equitable access to high-quality education and jobs. We invest in local, state and federal policies that ensure historically underserved young people have effective educators, graduate high school with academic and career momentum, and attain college credentials with economic value. We also support policies that help ensure low-wage workers achieve economic stability, dignity, and mobility. In the short term, we will invest in research, policy development, and advocacy to help the education systems recover from the COVID-19 pandemic.

Eligible organizations: Non-profits, CAAs, higher education institutions, etc.

Due date: Applications accepted year round. Letters of Inquiry are required before full proposals.

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Funding organization: Wells Fargo Foundation

Description: Grant program for a wide range of projects related to housing affordability, small business growth, and sustainability and environmental justice

Eligible organizations: Non-profits, CAAs, public school system, local governments, etc.

Due date: Applications accepted year round.

Funding available: Most grants are under $25,000

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Funding organization: Education Foundation of America

Description: They fund projects that focus on the just transition to a net-zero electricity system, with a focus on local, state, and regional emission reduction strategies. Focus areas include increasing access to affordable clean energy. They fund advocacy and education efforts.

Eligible organizations: Non-profit organizations exempt from federal income taxation.

Due date: Rolling--must submit project idea first

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Funding organization: Albert Pick Jr. Fund

Description: They fund STEM education programs and for young people to promote careers in science and technology. Relevant topic areas are education, arts within non-arts organizations, and civic activism. They prioritize programs that target mostly minority populations or girls. The majority of the programs they fund are in the Chicago area.

Eligible organizations: Non-profit organizations

Max funding per award: Grants range from $10,000 to $40,000

Due date: Next deadline is March 18, 2022

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Funding organization: Barney Family Foundation

Description: They fund education programs for young people, particularly children in grades K-8. They look for programs that lead to tangible results for children.

Eligible organizations: Non-profit organizations, individuals, teachers

Max funding per award: Grants range from $5,000 to $50,000

Due date: Applications accepted January through June

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Description: They fund job-training programs that result in industry-recognized credentials and retention services. Funds can be used for capital costs for job-training centers (construction, renovation).

Eligible organizations: Nonprofits

Due date: rolling

Must submit LOI first.

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Description: They support national and local organizations that provide skills training, mentorship, professional coaching and pipeline development to foster employment and career advancement for Black youth.

Eligible organizations: Registered 501(c)3 tax organization with a focus on promoting school-to-career employment opportunities that target Black youth ages 14-24 years old. Must serve a minimum of 25 youth annually.

Due date: rolling

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Funding organization: RRF

Description: They fund a variety of programs for older adults related to affordable housing, advocacy, direct services, education and more.

Eligible organizations: Non-profit organizations, government entities, institutions of higher education

Max funding per award: Grants range from $5K to 500K, with most in the 30K range

Due date: Rolling--must submit an LOI first

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Description: They fund local health and human care programs that address critical social services. They focus on education programs, financial stability programs, and health programs.

Eligible organizations: United Way funding is typically administered on a local or regional level. Search for the United Way chapter that serves your community.

Due date: Receives inquiries January through May.

Learn more: Here's the United Way Community Impact Fund for the Heart of Illinois chapter (Peoria region).

Description: Provides funding for programs to support museums, cultural and performing arts programs; schools and hospitals; educational, skills-training and other programs for youth, seniors, and persons with disabilities; environmental and wildlife protection activities; and other community-based organizations and programs.

Funding amount: Typical range between $1,000 and $20,000

Due date: Rolling; fall and spring deadlines.

How to apply: Online application with summaries and letter of request.

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Description: They fund projects related to social justice. Social justice means ensuring all can participate in society without interference, and that the benefits and responsibilities accrued from membership are fairly distributed to all. Concepts should be replicable to leverage the impact of any program. We are always looking to explore new and unique approaches to eradicating structural inequalities. In the broad scope of this category, we have six main areas of focus: Housing, Food Security, Youth/Education, Incarceration, Mental Health, Health Equity. We base our grant making decisions on: Originality, Potential, Feasiblity, Capacity, Engagement and Continuity.

Funding range: $3,000 to $200,000.

Due date: May 31, 2022

Process: Submit LOI via online portal. Selected applicants will be contacted for a site visit.

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  • Funding organization: Home Depot Foundation
  • Description: Supports new construction or rehabilitation of multi-family, permanent supportive housing for veterans. Covers physical construction costs. At least 20% of housing units must be reserved for veterans, and the target population must be at or below 80% AMI.
  • Due date: March 25, 2022 or July 8, 2022
  •  Learn more. 
  • Description: The Conservation and Science Program invests in action and ideas that conserve and restore ecosystems while enhancing human well-being. They also have a Fellowship program for Science and Engineering.
  • Eligibility: Grants are made only for charitable, educational, or scientific purposes, primarily from tax-exempt charitable organizations.
  • Due date: Rolling
  •  Learn more. 

Education and Workforce Grants--Government

Funding organization: US Department of Commerce

Description: Aims to get Americans back to work by building and strengthening systems and partnerships that bring together employers who have hiring needs with other key entities to train workers with in-demand skills that lead to good-paying jobs. Encourages efforts to reach historically underserved populations. Will fund proposals within following three phases: system development, program design, and program implementation.

Eligibility: District organization, Indian Tribe, State, county, city, or local government, Institution of higher education, public or private non-profit. Should be lead by a system lead entity or backbone organization.

Funding amount: $1M-$25M

Due date: Feb 10, 2022

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Funding organization: US Department of Labor

Description: The PATHWAY HOME 3 grant initiative supports occupational training aligned with their career and educational goals, and provides funding for services, such as case management, legal assistance, and transportation that support participants’ participation and success.  The goals of the grant include:  Provide individuals incarcerated in state correctional facilities or local or county jails with workforce services prior to release and to continue services after release by transitioning the participants into reentry programs in the communities to which they will return. Build on the findings of the Linking Employment Activities Pre-Release (LEAP) pilots and implementation study, which have shown potential for breaking the cycle of recidivism by linking participants to the workforce system early—while still in jail—and then immediately upon reentry into the community. Ensure that people transitioning from custody into reentry are prepared to meet the needs of their local labor markets with the skills valued by employers.

Eligible organizations: Nonprofits, public, state controlled institutions of higher education, county, municipal, state governments, for profit organizations

Due date: This is a forecasted funding opportunity. Estimated post date, Feb 7, 2022. Estimated Application Due Date: May 10, 2022.

Award range: Up to $4M

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Funding organization: US Department of Labor

Description: Solicit applications for the ABA grant program to support a coordinated, national investment strategy that aims to strengthen and modernize the RAP system centered on equity and promote Registered Apprenticeship as a workforce development solution. The ABA grant program will fund grants in four categories that advance the set of core principles noted in the FOA.  Applicants have the opportunity to apply for funding across four grant categories:  (1) State Apprenticeship System Building and (3) Modernization; (2) Expand Opportunities for the Number of Youth Being Served by RAPs; (3) Ensuring Equitable RAP Pathways Through Pre-Apprenticeship Leading to RAP Enrollment and Equity Partnerships; and (4) Registered Apprenticeship Hubs.  The ABA grant program builds on the Department’s previous and ongoing efforts to expand and modernize Registered Apprenticeship through expanding the number of programs and apprentices, diversifying the industries that utilize Registered Apprenticeship, and increasing access to and completion of Registered Apprenticeship Programs (RAP) for underrepresented populations and underserved communities.

Due date: This is a forecasted funding opportunity. Estimated post date, Feb 7, 2022. Estimated Application Due Date: May 10, 2022.

Award range: $1M-8M

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Funding organization: US Department of Labor

Description: This is a veterans employment and training service grant. No details yet.

Eligible organizations: Nonprofits,  county, municipal, state governments, for profit organizations

Due date: This is a forecasted funding opportunity. Estimated post date, Jan 28, 2022; Estimated application date: Feb 28, 2022

Award range: Up to $500,000

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Funding organization: AmeriCorps Seniors

Description: Applicants are required to address one or more of the following Focus Areas: Disaster Services, Economic Opportunity, Education, Environmental Stewardship, Healthy Futures, and Veteran and Military Families. Applicants are invited to apply for funding based on the determination that your project proposal meets the criteria as detailed in this document. Through American Rescue SDP funding opportunities, applicants must demonstrate how they will engage adults age 55 and over to address one or more of the American Rescue SDP priorities.

To maximize the impact of investment in national service; AmeriCorps Seniors will prioritize national service investments in the following areas:

  • Efforts to help local communities recover from the COVID-19 Pandemic. AmeriCorps Seniors is specifically interested in applications that establish or support education, vaccination, and vaccination education efforts; particularly in hard-to-reach communities.
  • Applications that actively engage in removing structural racial inequities, advance racial equality, and increase opportunity to achieve sustainable change in communities.
  • Applicants may propose programming in any county, city, or town. Applicants are encouraged to propose programming in the priority service areas identified on Appendix A: List of Priority Areas.

Eligible entities: Institutions of higher education, local governments, nonprofit organizations, state governments, tribal communities.

Funding range: $100,000 - $500,000

Due date: Feb 3, 2022

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Funding organization: Illinois State Treasurer

Description: Will consider a range of programs related to Housing (including advocacy/construction/rehabilitation) and Workforce & Economic Development

Eligible organizations: Non-profit organizations exempt from federal income taxation.

Max funding per award: Typically $20,000 or under

Last due date: March 31, 2022 or September 30, 2022

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Funding organization: Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration

Description: Grants to Illinois nonprofit community-based organizations, IHEs, and school districts to provide a pre-apprenticeship program model that encompasses education, occupational skills training, leadership development, and high-quality post-program placement opportunities to opportunity youth. YouthBuild is a community-based alternative education program for youth between the ages of 16 and 24 who left high school prior to graduation that also have other risk factors.

Eligible organizations: Public and private non-profit organizations.

Due date: January 21, 2022. Proposals solicited every year in January.

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Funding organization: DCEO

Funding organization: USDA

Description:  Grants to provide technical assistance and training for small rural businesses. Enterprise grants must be used on projects to benefit small and emerging businesses in rural areas. Eligible uses include training and technical assistance; activities associated with the acquisition and development of land; plants, machinery, and equipment; pollution control and abasement; the capitalization of revolving loan funds; distance adult learning for job training and advancement; rural transportation improvement; community economic development; technology-based economic development; feasibility studies and business plans; leadership and entrepreneur training; rural business incubators; and long-term business strategic planning.

Funding amount: No maximum amount. Smaller requests are given higher priority. No cost sharing requirement.

Due date: February 28, 2022

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Funding organization: USDA

Description: The Rural Innovation Stronger Economy (RISE) Grant Program offers grant assistance to create and augment high-wage jobs, accelerate the formation of new businesses, support industry clusters and maximize the use of local productive assets in eligible low-income rural areas. Can be used to build or support business incubator facility, provide worker training to assist in the creation of new jobs, train existing workforce, etc.

Eligible organizations: Non-profits, state or local entities, institution of higher education, tribal entities. Must be in an eligible rural region.

Funding available per award: Between $500,000 and $2,000,000 (grant term 4 years).

Due date: April 19, 2022

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Funding organization: Department of Energy

Description: The activities to be funded will support the government-wide approach to the climate crisis by driving the innovation that can lead to the deployment of energy efficiency retrofits and clean energy technologies, which are critical for climate protection. 2 Focus areas: 1) Developing new place-based methods for targeting and delivering deep energy retrofits to benefit communities disproportionally impacted by high energy burden; Increasing the number of homes eligible for energy efficiency retrofits by making homes weatherization and electrification ready, while also ensuring healthy indoor environments. 2) Growing community partnerships and leveraging additional funds to maximize the installation of renewable and new technologies; and, Supporting workforce development and creating pathways to careers in the home performance, energy efficiency, and renewable energy sectors by hiring and retaining individuals underrepresented in these industries.

Eligible organizations: Eligibility is limited to current WAP grantees, subgrantees, and other nonprofit entities that are incorporated (or otherwise formed) under the laws of a particular state or territory of the United States and have a physical location for business operations in the United States.

Funding per award: $500,000 - $2M

Due date: March 28, 2022

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Funding organization: US Department of Commerce, Economic Development Association

Description: Provides strategic investments on a competitive merit basis to support economic development, foster job creation, and attract private investment in economically distressed areas of the United States. Under this Notice of Funding Opportunity, the US Economic Development Administration (EDA) solicits applications from applicants in order to provide investments that support research and technical assistance projects under EDA’s Research and Evaluation and National Technical Assistance programs. Grants and cooperative agreements made under these programs are designed to leverage existing regional assets and support the implementation of economic development strategies that advance new ideas and creative approaches to advance economic prosperity in distressed communities.

Eligibility: Units of state or local government, institution of higher education, public or private non-profit organization, etc.

Funding amount: No minimum amount. Award ceiling: $1,500,000

Due date: Accepted on an ongoing basis. No submission deadlines.

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Research-oriented Grants

Funding Organization: National Science Foundation

Description: Encourages submission of proposals to lay the foundation for interdisciplinary research to answer fundamental questions related to novel approaches and solutions to climate change and reduce GHG emissions and concentrations. Topics may include improved or new approaches that reduce energy use and energy waste relevant for manufacturing, recycling, and upcycling; strategies for reducing nitrous oxide and methane emissions; reduction in energy use and increased energy efficiency in manufacturing; new smart technologies for homes, cities, communities, power grids, etc. Also supports projects to host conferences, workshops.

Eligibility: Researcher or Investigator, Non-Profit Organization, Faculty Member, Research Institution or Organization, Small Business, For-Profit Organization, Higher Education Institution, Laboratory

Max funding request: $100,000 ($50,000 to host a conference or workshop).

Due date: Applications accepted on a rolling basis.

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Funding organization: US EPA

Description: Seeking applications proposing community-engaged research that will address the drivers and environmental impacts of energy transitions in underserved communities. 5 topic areas.

Eligibility: Public and private nonprofit institutions/organizations, public and private institutions of higher education, and hospitals located in the U.S. and its territories or possessions; state and local governments; Federally Recognized Indian Tribal Governments; and U.S. territories or possessions are eligible to apply.

Funding cap: $1-1.25M for 4 years

Due date: April 28, 2022

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Funding organization: ComEd

Description: Through Emerging Technologies, the ComEd Energy Efficiency Program seeks opportunities to invest in innovative projects that explore ways to make energy efficiency more accessible, affordable and effective for everyone.  They support projects that benefit a range of audiences, including small and large business, residential, public sector and economically vulnerable customers.

Eligibility: National labs, small outreach groups, economic institutions, etc.

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Websites for Finding Funding Opportunities

Not interested in the funding opportunities listed above? Our list is far from comprehensive. Check out the websites below to find more grants and funding opportunities for your organization.