Community First Capacity-Building Grant Program Open

  • August 2, 2021

FHLBank Chicago is now accepting applications for its 2021 Community First® Capacity-Building Grant Program. Now in its fifth year, the Capacity-Building Grant Program provides flexible grant funds to nonprofit, non-depository lenders that support affordable housing, economic development, and small businesses in Illinois and Wisconsin.

Application Process
Qualifying nonprofit, non-depository lenders can apply for up to $50,000 in grant funds in partnership with an FHLBank Chicago member institution. The application and supporting documentation should be submitted as one PDF to by September 3, 2021. Select applicants will be invited to submit additional information, and awards will be announced in November.

Important Dates

  • Application Round Opens | August 2, 2021
  • Application Deadline | September 3, 2021
  • Notification and Request for Additional Information | September 24, 2021
  • Additional Information Deadline | October 22, 2021
  • Awards Announcement | November 19, 2021

Evaluation Criteria
Applicants must have a compelling strategy to increase and/or strengthen community development lending within FHLBank Chicago’s district and must demonstrate how the grant funds will help achieve this strategy. Additional factors considered include the strength of the organization’s mission, lending programs, geographic footprint, proposed uses of funds, and anticipated outcomes.

Organizations selected to receive funding through the Capacity-Building Grant Program are required to request disbursement of funds and submit impact reporting within an established timeframe, which will be shared at time of award.

For questions and technical assistance, please contact a Community Investment team member.

Annie Kraft: or 312.552.2724
Michal Czopczyc: or 312.552.1208

Contact Us

Please direct all media inquiries to:

Casey Reidy 
Director, Communications

Heather Bockstruck
Assistant Director, Communications