Emerging Philanthropists Fund

The Emerging Philanthropists Fund is an initiative designed by the Community Foundation of Central Illinois (CFCI) to invigorate emerging community leaders to join together as philanthropists. The group is comprised of a cross section of professionals in the community who like to have fun, but who also want to positively impact the quality of life in central Illinois.

Together, members build the Emerging Philanthropists Fund, an endowment which addresses community needs through grantmaking.  The Emerging Philanthropists Fund offers a unique opportunity to its members by providing them with a vehicle for strategic giving, information about the grantmaking process and the ability to learn more about the many nonprofit organizations in central Illinois.

The Fund’s giving circle model allows members to be philanthropic without having to be wealthy. By pooling together yearly membership contributions, as well as additional donations, the Fund grows. Each year, a portion of the fund is granted back into the community through a grantmaking process. Emerging Philanthropists Fund members ultimately vote on which nonprofit organizations receive grants from the Fund.

In addition to grantmaking, members will gain basic philanthropic skills and be connected with established philanthropists in the community.

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“The Emerging Philanthropists Fund is an amazing organization and it has been a wonderful experience being a part of it. Through my membership, I have been exposed to many local non-profits that are changing our community for the better and have been inspired by their efforts. By participating in the EP Fund with others, I feel like I can play a meaningful role in supporting innovative non-profit programs. The check presentation each year for he winning non-profit is such a rewarding experience. In addition to the charitable efforts, the EP Fund has provided me opportunities to make new friends and build relationships with like-minded colleagues. I cannot say enough about the EP Fund or the Community Foundation of central Illinois.”

– David Wiest, Advisory Council Chair

November 10, 2018

Emerging Philanthropists Fund Membership Commitment

  • Individual Membership: Minimum annual contribution of $100.
  • Family Membership (per household): Minimum annual contribution of $200.
  • Must be committed to working together for the common good of our community.

Emerging Philanthropists Fund Membership Benefits

Invitation Only Events: Learn about community issues, promote grantmaking, forge leadership skills and build camaraderie.

Networking: Meet leading community leaders and philanthropists and learn about their philanthropic strategies.

Enhanced Skills Set: Learn about the grantmaking process and what local nonprofits are doing to meet community needs.

Tax Advantages: All donations qualify for the maximum available deduction for charitable contributions.

Charitable Impact: Members vote on the issue area where they would like to direct the annual grant each year.

How to Become a Member

There are two ways you or your family can become a member:

1. Check: Print and download a membership form and mail with payment to CFCI. Checks can be made payable to “Community Foundation of Central Illinois.”

Mailing address:

Community Foundation of Central Illinois
ATTN: Emerging Philanthropists Fund
3625 North Sheridan Road
Peoria, IL 61604

2. Online: Sign up online through Network for Good (click here). With a credit card, submit your payment in full, or through quarterly or monthly payments*.

  • Under the designation field enter “Emerging Philanthropists Fund.”
  • Under the dedication field enter how you would like your name to appear on the membership listing.
  • Next click here to send an email to the Community Foundation of Central Illinois to indicate you have joined Emerging Philanthropists


Each year, as the Emerging Philanthropists Fund grows, a portion of the fund will be regranted into the community. All 501(c)(3) nonprofits are encouraged to submit an application.

For the 2018 grant cycle, there will be $5,000 in available funds. Nonprofits can apply for up to $5,000. Funds will be available in August 2018 and may be used through July 2019.

The Emerging Philanthropists Fund Grants Committee will review and narrow down the applications and select up to five finalists. Of the finalists, based on funding available, the Emerging Philanthropists Fund membership will then vote on one or several recipients. Recipients will be notified in August of 2018.

Questions? Contact the Community Foundation at 309-674-8730.

Emerging Philanthropists advisory Council members

David Wiest – Chair

Erik Christian

Sean Garrett

Adam Lofgren

Bill McKay

Bryan O’Neal

Monica Ray

Brent Rynearson

Jennifer Weaver

2018 Emerging Philanthropists Fund Grant Recipient:

Camp Big Sky is the 2018 Emerging Philanthropists Fund Grant Recipient.  They were awarded $5,000 to support “The Wind at Our Back; Powering Camp Big Sky into the Future.”  The Wind at Our Back enables Camp Big Sky to power their off grid Learning Center & Lodge with the installation of a donated wind turbine, tripling their capacity to generate electrical power to operate their new facility, serving people with disabilities from the entire CFCI region, not just Peoria.

Emerging Philanthropists Fund Grant Guidelines

Click here to download the Emerging Philanthropists Fund Grant Guidelines to review prior to applying for an Emerging Philanthropists Fund Grant.

2018 Emerging Philanthropists Fund Grant Application

2018 Applications due by midnight on June 13th.

Emerging Philanthropists Fund Grant Evaluation

2018 Emerging Philanthropists Fund Grant Evaluation Form – Due August 30, 2019

Please note, if the deadline falls on a weekend or holiday, applications will be accepted the next business day by midnight.

*Please note, quarterly and monthly payments are received as re-occurring payments. To stop re-occurring payments, you will need to log into your Network for Good account to do so.

Questions? Please contact CFCI Director of Grants and Community Initiatives, Sarah Fletcher at 309-674-8730 or sarah@communityfoundationci.org.

Annual membership is tax-deductable. Checks can be made to “Community Foundation of Central Illinois.” Credit card donations are accepted through Network for Good.