FHLBank Chicago Accepting Capacity-Building Grant Applications

  • April 6, 2020

The Federal Home Loan Bank of Chicago (FHLBank Chicago) is now accepting applications for its 2020 Community First® Capacity-Building Grant Program. The program launched in 2017 to support nonprofit lenders promoting affordable housing and economic development in the FHLBank’s district of Illinois and Wisconsin.

Application Process
Qualifying nonprofit community development financial institutions, community development loan funds, and community development corporations can apply for up to $50,000 in grant funds through Friday, May 1. Applications must be submitted through one of FHLBank Chicago’s member institutions. The application and supporting documentation should be submitted to ci@fhlbc.com.

Evaluation Criteria
Applications are evaluated based on how well the organization’s mission aligns with the grant program, the strength of each organization in meeting its mission and objectives, types of lending programs, uses of funds, outcomes, and geographic footprint. After initial review, the FHLBank Chicago will request additional information from select applicants. Grant recipients will be announced in August.

Uses of Funds
Grant funds are intended to help organizations build their financial, operational, and human capital.

Eligible uses of funds include:

  • New program or product development
  • Market research
  • Marketing and branding
  • Professional development
  • Policies and procedures
  • Strategic planning
  • Information technology and systems
  • Reporting

Ineligible uses of funds include:

  • Lending capital
  • Loan loss reserves
  • Salaries, wages, stipends, and/or benefits
  • Administrative overhead
  • Litigation
  • Lobbying


For questions and technical assistance, please contact Annie Kraft and Michal Czopczyc.

Annie Kraft                         Michal Czopczyc
akraft@fhlbc.com               mczopczyc@fhlbc.com
312-552-2723                     312-552-1208

Contact Us

Please direct all media inquiries to:

Casey Reidy 
Director, Communications 

Heather Bockstruck
Assistant Director, Communications