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.

Emerging Philanthropists Fund Update August 2020

Emerging Philanthropists Fund Membership Commitment

  • Individual Membership: Minimum annual contribution of $100.
  • Couple/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. You may submit your payment in full, or through quarterly or monthly payments via credit card. (Please note: quarterly and monthly payments are received as recurring payments. You may stop recurring payments by logging into your Network for Good account.) 

  • 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
  • Finally, click here to send an email to the Community Foundation of Central Illinois to indicate you have joined Emerging Philanthropists

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


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 2019 grant cycle, there will be $5,000 in available funds. Nonprofits can apply for up to $5,000. Funds will be available in August 2019 and may be used through July 2020.

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 2019.

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"I love being part of the Emerging Philanthropists Fund because I can see how my donation is put to work in the community.  Fund members can be involved throughout the whole grant process, and it is empowering to have a vote to help decide which important local nonprofit will be awarded our grant."

-Jennifer Weaver, CPA
Tax Manager- RSM US LLP


August 24, 2020

Emerging Philanthropists advisory Council members

Monica Ray, Chair
Audrey Kamm, Vice Chair
David Wiest , Immediate Past Chair
Blake Barnard
Erik Christian
Nick Derrick
Adam Lofgren
Mark Mason
Ryan Miller
Jordan Parr
Brent Rynearson
Victoria Smith
Jennifer Weaver

2019 Emerging Philanthropists Fund Grant Recipient

Dream Center Peoria is the 2019 Emerging Philanthropists Fund Grant Recipient.  They were awarded $4,500 to support their “DCP Coffee Program”.  As part of their Jobs Skills After-School Program, professional volunteers mentor the participants who roast, package, and sell their own line of coffee.  “It’s coffee with a purpose.”


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.

2020 Emerging Philanthropists Fund Grant Application

2020 Applications due by midnight on September 2nd. Please note, if the deadline falls on a weekend or holiday, applications will be accepted the next business day by midnight.

Emerging Philanthropists Fund Grant Evaluation

2019 Emerging Philanthropists Fund Grant Evaluation Form – Due August 30, 2020


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