Grant Summary

The Alliance for the Great Lakes’ Chicago Young Professional Council will award grants that strengthen the role of visionary leaders and community groups working in the Chicago metropolitan area on projects benefiting the Great Lakes. Ranging from $500 to $5,000, grants will fund innovative ideas that transform or enhance Lake Michigan. This includes local waterways, watersheds, wetlands, and water systems or the community’s access or use of these resources.

Priority Funding Areas

The following is a list of our priority funding areas. However, the Young Professional Council believes that the next big idea is one we haven’t heard of yet. We strive to champion and celebrate creative, unconventional, or outside-of-the-box approaches. As such, we encourage applications that may not appear to fit well within our priority funding areas.

Priority funding areas include efforts that are focused on:

    • Engaging millennials, communities of color, and/or underserved communities;
    • Addressing Great Lakes issues, including, but not limited to, water resource management, resource awareness, or recreational experiences;
    • Environmental stewardship activities with a community engagement or volunteer component;
    • Engaging people in outdoor experiences that encourage awareness and exploration of the Great Lakes;
    • Promoting equal access to the Great Lakes;
    • Utilizing the arts or technology to bring attention to or heighten awareness of the Great Lakes;
    • Generating income for a community through a social enterprise or community effort tied to the Great Lakes; or start-ups, expanding projects, organizations, or companies in need of seed funding to support growth or secure larger funding sources.

General Information

If chosen, funding will be received in June 2018. Reach out with questions to YPC co-chairs Chad and Sarah at

During the grant review process, the Chicago Young Professional Council will be looking at the mission of the group/individual applying, the expertise to implement the project, the clear purpose of the project, the demonstrated need of the project, a detailed budget, a detailed explanation of the way the community and the Great Lakes is impacted, a direct connection to our priority areas, and overall goal alignment with the Council.

To Apply, Click Here.

Interested in learning more about the grants that were awarded last year? Click here.




Keep In Touch

Learn more about the Young Professional Council and other initiatives from the Alliance for the Great Lakes by signing up for our email list.

Sign Up