Charitable Trust

Application information, checklist and deadlines
Contributions from the Charitable Trust will support program, general operating, capital, or endowment priorities. Grants usually are confined to programs and agencies that focus on advancing the well-being of disadvantaged women and children, and people with disabilities. Priority is given to programs or agencies that serve the following Chicago neighborhoods: Chatham, Englewood, Humboldt Park, Logan Square, Loop, Washington Park, and West Town.

Grants from the Charitable Trust may be awarded for three consecutive years, with one year off before an organization is eligible to apply again. General operating grants are not renewed automatically, and there are no multi-year gifts for operating.

The Northern Trust Charitable Trust does not make contributions to:

  • Organizations located outside the specified Chicago neighborhoods
  • Individuals, including those seeking scholarships or fellowship assistance
  • Organizations without 501 (c) (3) tax-exempt status
  • Organizations/agencies that receive 5% or more of their funding from the United Way
  • National health organizations (or their local affiliates) or research/disease advocacy groups
  • Fraternal groups
  • Fundraising events
  • Advertising or marketing activities
  • Political, labor, or fraternal organizations or civic clubs; this includes advocacy, government agency, and political entities
  • Religious organizations for sectarian purposes
  • Individual pre-K through 12 schools (public or private)
  • Sports, athletic events or athletic programs
  • Travel-related events, including student trips or tours
  • Development or production of books, films, videos or television programs
  • Memorial campaigns
  • Organizations less than two years old
  • Multi-year operating requests
    This list is not all inclusive.

In addition to grants made through the Charitable Trust, Northern Trust also makes a limited number of direct contributions for various community activities.

If you already have an established account but have not submitted your application, please click here to complete or edit it. If you have not established an account, please follow the instructions below.

Please review the following information before submitting an application:

Application Process

Letter of Inquiry
A letter of inquiry is required if your organization has not received funding from the Northern Trust Charitable Trust in the last 12 months, or if you are a new applicant. After completing a brief eligibility questionnaire and meeting our general guidelines, your organization will be invited to complete a letter of inquiry. A letter of inquiry needs to be submitted online before 5:00 p.m. Central Time prior to the application deadline. You will be notified by e-mail within 72 hours of receipt of your Letter of Inquiry regarding its disposition. If approved, your organization will be invited to complete the Charitable Trust Application.

Charitable Trust Application for Current Grantees
If you are an organization that has received funding from the Northern Trust Charitable Trust in the last 12 months, a Letter of Inquiry is not required. Applications must be submitted by 5:00 p.m. on the deadline date listed below. Your organization should complete the appropriate application for current grantees:

Multi-Year Contributions Annual Grantee Report
This form is required for grantees that have been approved to receive multi-year funding, and must be completed on an annual basis to receive funding. This report documents the progress of your organization toward meeting the grant objectives. Your organization should complete the Multi-Year Contributions Annual Grantee Report.

Application Checklist
After receiving an invitation to apply, you will be sent an online application to complete.

In addition, be sure to upload the following information with your application:

  • A copy of your organization's IRS 501(c)(3) notification letter
  • Your organization's operating budget and specific project budget if applicable
  • Financial information for the previous two years, with an audited financial statement
  • A list of Chicago-area corporate and foundation contributors and the amount each contributed in the last and current years
  • Current list of board members, with affiliations
  • A list of the organization's management staff and their qualifications

Applications, including all material specified in the preceding checklist must be received in the Community Affairs office before 5:00 p.m. on the deadline date. Deadlines for requests for funding are determined by area of service, as follows:

Letter of Inquiry Deadline*
Completed Application Deadline
Social Welfare
Thursday, November 16, 2017
Thursday, January 04, 2018
Arts, Culture & Education
Thursday, March 08, 2018
Thursday, May 10, 2018
Social Welfare
Thursday, June 14, 2018
Thursday, August 09, 2018

* Letters of inquiry need only be submitted by new applicants (those that have not received funding in the preceding 12 months).
Applications are reviewed in late March, July and October.

Remember, all applications and letters of inquiry must be received no later than 5:00 p.m. on the deadline day.

Deborah Liverett

Deborah Liverett

Director of Community Affairs
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Deborah Liverett

Deborah Liverett

Director of Community Affairs
Deborah A. Liverett is a Senior Vice President at The Northern Trust Company, Chicago. Deborah manages the Community Affairs Division, which is responsible for Northern Trust’s philanthropic initiatives and funding globally. In this role, she is also responsible for the development and coordination of board placements for senior and executive management as well as employee volunteerism efforts in civic, cultural, educational, social service and community development activities. Since assuming the role of Director of Community Affairs in 2004, Northern Trust's has given in excess of $100 million dollars to some of Chicago’s neediest individuals as well as underserved areas around the globe.

Deborah currently serves on the Executive Committee for the Women In Leadership initiative and has served on the Northern Trust Black Business Resource Council (BBRC) as the Vice President of Professional Development. She is also a board trustee for Rainbows for All Children.

Deborah joined Northern Trust as an Officer in July 1993, was named a Second Vice President in January 1995, and a Vice President in July 1999. Previously, she was associated with Cole Taylor Bank and First of America Bank.

Deborah received a B.S. degree from North Carolina Central University where she graduated magna cum laude.
For more information contact
Chas Davis
Program & Employee Engagement
Community Affairs