Data-Driven Grantmaking for Economic Empowerment

Course Details

Grants can be intimidating for new or inexperienced applicants. Applying for a grant can require a steep learning curve, even when the applicant already has a fully planned project that meets the grant's goals and objectives. Faced with limited staffing and demands to see immediate results, how does a grant program ensure accessibility to a diverse set of new and known applicants; select ready, feasible, maximum-impact projects; and support those projects to completion?

The Chicago Planning Department ARP program uses different strategies to build a pipeline of community and economic development projects of all shapes and sizes. Learn how to mitigate barriers for grant applicants, use technology and subject-matter experts to select the strongest and best projects, and leverage data collected over the course of the program to ensure goals are met.

Learning Outcomes

  • Consider novel approaches to designing an inclusive economic-development and neighborhood-investment grant program that supports community-led projects and minimizes barriers for local applicants.
  • Design a ARP grant application that minimizes educational barriers and collects the information required to determine the feasibility, readiness, and long-term sustainability of the proposed project.
  • Establish a project-selection strategy that incorporates the assessments of diverse subject-matter experts and mitigates individual reviewer bias.