The Dunham Fund gives grants for both programs and capital projects. The Fund primarily supports grant proposals for new or uniquely enhanced projects or programs in the focus areas of Education and Community Development.
Grants are ordinarily made for one year only and are currently limited to $1 million, though some requests are for as little as $5,000.
Organizations seeking Dunham Fund support should submit a Letter of Inquiry prior to February 1 (Grant Cycle I) or prior to June 1 (Grant Cycle II). Organizations that have proposed projects of interest to the Dunham Fund will be extended an Invitation to Apply for a grant.
The following organizations have received grant and scholarship funding for 2012:
John C. Dunham STEM Partnership School at Aurora University/$2,350,000 grant to be paid over a four year period ($835,000 in 2012, $500,000 due on June 1st of 2013, 2014 and 2015)
This Dunham Fund grant will help to build a $12 million dollar STEM Partnership School on the Aurora University campus to implement an innovative and collaborative mathematics and science educational program for 3rd through 8th grade students from Aurora West 129, Aurora East 131, Indian Prairie 204, and Oswego 308 School Districts. By naming the school in John Dunham's memory, the institution will celebrate the role of the Dunham Fund in prompting development of the STEM proposal and serving as the project's inaugural donor. The partnership school will be the culmination of a three-year planning process spearheaded and coordinated by the Institute for Collaboration that also includes an Aurora Mathematics and Science Education Center Committee made up of additional Aurora and Chicago-area collaborative government, business, school district, educational, and social service organizations and funders.
The STEM Partnership School concept was authorized by the Illinois legislature with the passage of special legislation that had bipartisan support. The STEM program addresses the documented need to promote math and science education to middle school age students with the hope of increasing STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) education interest at the local high schools. The program also provides for teacher development opportunities in STEM through the graduate program at Aurora University and the opportunity for the university’s undergraduates majoring in education to receive enhanced classroom experiences at the partnership school.
RiverEdge Park Dunham Pavilion/$500,000 third installment of a three year, $2,000,000 grant ($1,000,000 in 2010; $500,000 in 2011; $500,000 in 2012)
This $500,000 grant is the third installment of a $2,000,000 Dunham grant which will name the Dunham Pavilion, the concert and entertainment venue that will be an integral part of the first Music Garden phase of the new five-phase RiverEdge Park and Nature Conservancy project conceived by the City of Aurora, Illinois Downtown Redevelopment Commission to enhance the quality of downtown community and commercial life and to revitalize the environment along the banks of the Fox River.
Dunham Fund Joseph Corporation Home Rehab and Refill Program/$500,000 second installment of a two year, $1,000,000 Program Related Investment ($500,000 in 2011; $500,000 in 2012)
Click on logo above to learn about the Dunham Fund's Program Related Investment to Joseph Corporation Home Rehab and Refill Program totaling $1,000,000.
CASA Kane County Grow a Healthy Child Program and Operational Endowment Fund/$158,449 (Out of a total $400,000 Dunham Challenge Grant which ends December 31, 2012)
CASA was awarded a $100,000 outright grant from the Dunham Fund in 2010 to help launch the Grow A Healthy Child Program and Operational Endowment Fund. The grant included an additional challenge match of up to $400,000 of 40 cents on every additional $1 received by CASA for this project by December 31, 2012.
This program will offer the human support and educational tools to CASA clients ages birth through 21 who are in juvenile court due to abuse/neglect or private guardianship. One hundred percent of these children are appointed a trained community CASA volunteer to advocate for them throughout the duration of their case. The funds raised for this initiative are held in an Endowment Fund at the Community Foundation of the Fox River Valley and the interest is used to support the ongoing operational needs of this program.
Dunham Scholarships within the Community Foundation of the Fox River Valley/$180,000
$180,000 was allocated to the Dunham Scholarship Fund, within the Community Foundation of the Fox River Valley, for six $30,000 scholarships to be awarded to high school students in the Dunham Fund service area in 2013.
Paramount Theatre/$125,000 first installment of a two-year $200,000 grant ($125,000 in 2012, $75,000 in 2013)
$125,000 of this $200,000 grant to the Paramount Theatre will provide the Season Sponsorship by the Dunham Fund of all City of Aurora-sponsored performances for RiverEdge Park’s inaugural season, from June through September 2013. Estimated attendance at these dates combined will be between 60,000 and 90,000. Another $75,000 grant will be paid in 2013 to secure a contract with an additional world-class artistic and inspirational performer for an otherwise financially unobtainable cultural performance in the Dunham Pavilion at RiverEdge Park for its inaugural season.
United Way of the Fox Valley’s SPARK (Strong, Prepared And Ready for Kindergarten) Program/$125,000 second installment of a two year, $250,000 grant ($125,000 in 2011; $125,000 in 2012)
This program was formerly known as the Aurora Early Learning Initiative.
This grant has funded the first two years of a five-year $1,250,000 plan to support the creation of the Aurora Early Learning Initiative (now SPARK) which will increase access to quality early learning services for young, at-risk children in the Aurora area. This initiative will be a collaboration of United Way of the Aurora Area, City of Aurora, local school districts 129, 131, 204 and 308, YWCA Child Care Resource and Referral, local child care providers and other organizations interested in promoting school readiness skills, including socialization, early literacy, math and vocabulary skills for the at-risk, pre-school child. This grant will prepare the Aurora area to benefit from future federal and state investment in early childhood, including the recently announced $500 million federal "Race to the Top" Early Childhood Challenge fund.
North Central College Teach First Program/$100,000 ($100,000 in 2011; $100,000 in 2012)
Teach First was developed by North Central College to recruit and retain first-generation students who aspire to be teachers and to provide the mentorship and resources to launch these students into a successful teaching career. This multi-faceted mission is fulfilled through partnerships with high-need elementary and secondary schools in Aurora, where Teach First students engage in educational outreach projects, obtain field experience and complete teaching internships, and, in some cases, are hired as full-time teachers. This program is in partnership with East Aurora School District 131 to encourage East graduates to pursue the field of teaching with the hope they will return to the home school district as teachers. North Central College will match this second $100,000 Dunham Fund grant to expand this program well into the Dunham Fund Service area. $75,000 of this grant has been allocated by North Central for the 2012-2013 academic year to North Central’s Dunham Scholarship Fund for First-Generation Students within the Dunham Fund's service area.
Friends of Aurora's After-School Reading Mentor Program/$75,000 second installment of a two year, $155,000 grant ($80,000 in 2011; $75,000 in 2012)
This Dunham Fund grant will expand and enhance the Communities In Schools administered Friends of Aurora's After-School Reading Mentor Program which currently provides reading instruction by trained high school and college mentors to over 250 elementary school children with little or no knowledge of the English language for 25 weeks after school during the school year and 6 weeks during the summer. These mentors live in the same neighborhoods as the children they instruct and utilize specialized reading materials and offer take-home books during extended hours in area school libraries. This program is in partnership with East and West Aurora School Districts to help bring children in second grade, to grade level in reading before they enter the third grade. The program has plans to expand to other sites and will also provide scholarship support for new and seasoned reading mentors in the Peer to Peer Mentoring Program.
The grant will fund a Point of Sale computerized system to facilitate credit and debit card charges for food and beverage purchases at the theatre during performances and special events.
Rebuilding Together Aurora/$40,000
Rebuilding Together Aurora brings volunteers and communities together to improve the homes of low-income homeowners so that they may live in warmth, safety, and independence. This grant was awarded for RTA's Year-Round Repair Program which will provide smaller scale, more immediate repairs to an additional 12 to 18 low-income seniors and disabled homeowners, focusing on ADA modifications and fall prevention services. For the Repair program, RTA has partnered with Quad County Urban League's YouthBuild program that teaches youth, ages 16 to 24, construction trade skills in a classroom and real life setting.
Between Friends Food Pantry/$36,675
This Dunham Fund grant will provide equipment, outside lighting, and additional emergency food assistance for the clients of this Food pantry located in Sugar Grove, Illinois.
Provena Mercy Medical Center/$30,000
Provena Mercy Medical Center provides low-cost to no-cost educational and interventional diabetes healthcare services to the community through its Center for Diabetic Wellness. This Dunham Fund grant supports the continuation of the “A-List Achieving Good Health” diabetes prevention pilot program.
Joseph Corporation is a community-based nonprofit organization that focuses on affordable housing and counseling programs for homeowners. This grant was given specifically to provide Joseph Corporation clients with home foreclosure counseling. The foreclosure program now offers a new option called “Illinois Hardest Hit”, which provides qualified applicants with a grant to bring their loans current.
A+ Foundation Pathways Program/$25,000 Matching Challenge Grant
This $25,000 Dunham Fund matching challenge grant has been awarded to the A+ Foundation to seed this Pathways program. The West Aurora, East Aurora, Indian Prairie and Oswego School Districts, the City of Aurora, and Waubonsee Community College are collaboratively considering engaging Jobs for the Future (JFF) in partnership with Harvard Graduate School of Education to complete an asset mapping of the Aurora community. This program is also in partnership with the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity, the Illinois Manufacturing Association, Valley Industrial Association and regional employers. The goal is to provide educators support for engaging students with pathways to employment and improving the readiness of students for the workplace. The asset mapping process would include all stakeholders and would be completed by the Harvard and the JFF team.
Kaneland Community Foundation/$25,000
The Kaneland Foundation is a nonprofit organization that has contributed for decades to the educational needs of the students of Kaneland Community School District 302. The Kaneland Foundation sponsors an annual arts festival for the educational benefit of area school children, their families, and the community-at-large. This grant provided funding for the 2012 Kaneland Fine Arts Festival and the Kaneland Community Madrigal Singers.
Aurora Historical Society/$25,000
This Dunham Fund grant provided the Aurora Historical Society with the funding for the production of historical videos highlighting prominent historical figures and events in the Aurora area. These videos will be presented on the Society’s website and used for community presentations.
Breaking Free’s Dunham Student Assistance Centers provide training, technical assistance, and counseling services at their own treatment centers and onsite at Aurora area schools to reduce the barriers that prevent young people from receiving the services they need to address emerging drug or alcohol problems. This Dunham Fund grant was made to assist Breaking Free in the continuation of these youth services.
Community Foundation of the Fox River Valley/$25,000
This Dunham Fund grant will provide the production costs for up to fifty videos created by the Community Foundation of the Fox River Valley to recognize and record the community leadership of Aurora area families. The Dunham Fund sincerely thanks the Community Foundation for sharing these important stories so generously. The videos may be viewed on the Community Foundation website.
This grant will provide the funding for additional computers, supporting software, and licensing for both the Larkin Center’s Reading Laboratory and the online Extra Learning curriculum provided to Center students functioning with reading skills well below their grade levels due to traumatic life experiences and the educational gaps that are a result of those challenges. The grant will also provide updated textbooks in the areas of math, science, social studies and English. Larkin Center is a nonprofit residential and day treatment center for emotionally disturbed children and adults.
Aurora Police Department/$24,000
The Aurora Police Department was awarded scholarship funding for police officers to attend the Harvard Professional Development School for the Senior Executives in State and Local Governments three-week training program.
Sugar Grove Fire Protection/$23,000
This Dunham Fund grant was placed in the Sugar Grove Fire Protection District fund at the Community Foundation of the Fox River Valley and designated for the purchase of water safety equipment.
This Dunham Fund grant was provided for the continuation of Mutual Ground's domestic violence shelter which offers a unique program in the Fund's service area for women and children in need of protective emergency services.
Association for Individual Development/$20,000
With this Dunham Fund grant, AID will expand their community-wide recycling and job training program.
Center for Healthcare Innovation/$20,000
This grant will provide start-up funding for the Center for Healthcare Innovation programming in Northern Illinois, including the Aurora area. The grant will support research and implementation of the Regional Clinical Trial Exchange, Regional Medical Simulation Lab, and the Working Group on Innovation & Interoperability projects to improve access to healthcare for all in the region, lowering costs for patients, and providing objective solutions for the life sciences and health care industries.
Donors Forum/Illinois Nonprofit Conference/$20,000
The Dunham Fund was the Conference Sponsor for the Illinois Nonprofit Conference October 15th and 16th, 2012 in Springfield, Illinois. The sponsorship provided five conference registrations and five Public Policy Institute registrations for nonprofit leaders in the Aurora area. These leaders came to the conference to strengthen their organizations’ capacity, to collaborate with their peers and to leverage the collective impact of the nonprofit sector in Illinois. The Dunham Fund is a member of the Donors Forum and submits annual dues to the organization for its participation.
Aurora Regional Chamber of Commerce/$15,000
This grant will provide the funding for the development of curriculum for a community leadership development program.
Bobby Wright Center/$10,000
This grant will replace the cooling compressor for one floor of the Bobby Wright Center’s residence which houses individuals with mental health, substance abuse, and developmental disability issues and provides services to children and adolescents.
Community Foundation of the Fox River Valley/$10,000
Through this grant to the Community Foundation of the Fox River Valley, the Dunham Fund will collaborate with the Community Foundation in its financial support of the Kane County Health Department’s efforts to address the diagnosis and treatment of tuberculosis in the Greater Aurora Area. Hesed House, a local homeless shelter, is working in cooperation with the Health Department and other area healthcare organizations and hospitals to reduce the increasing incidence of TB among the area’s homeless population.
Family Focus Aurora/$10,000
This Dunham Fund grant will support half the salary through June 20, 2013 for a Program Assistant who will facilitate intake and referrals for the agency’s Family Support programming that offers community-specific and culturally appropriate customized classes, support groups, and further referrals for families/parents in low-income communities needing assistance with their children from infancy through adolescence.
SciTech Hands-On Museum/$5,750
This Dunham Fund grant was made to the SciTech Hands-On Museum for operational needs. SciTech's program is unique to the community and provides "hands on" science and technology programming to school-age children in the school districts and general admission for families in the Aurora area.
The Gloria Taylor Foundation/$3,000
The Gloria Taylor Foundation will utilize this Dunham Fund grant for their Active Body, Active Mind program which promotes health education to disadvantaged youth in the Dunham Fund service area.
For twenty-five years, the Chicago Sinfonietta has served as a national model for inclusiveness and innovation in classical music through the presentation of the highest quality orchestral concerts and related programs. The Chicago Sinfonietta aspires to remove the barriers to participation in, and appreciation of classical music through its educational and outreach programs that expose children and their families to classical music, and by providing professional development opportunities for young musicians and composers of diverse backgrounds enabling new, important voices to be heard. This Dunham Fund grant will provide support to the Sinfonietta youth educational programming.