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Community Programs Accelerator Now Accepting Applications

8/29/2018, noon | Updated on 8/29/2018, noon
The University of Chicago’s Community Programs Accelerator is currently accepting applications for this year’s program cycle. The initiative supports non-profit ...
That University of Chicago’s Community Programs Accelerator is currently accepting applications for this years program cycle. The initiative supports non-profit organizations that are based in, or serve, Chicago’s Douglas, Grand Boulevard, Greater Grand Crossing, Hyde Park, Kenwood, Oakland, South Shore, Washington Park, and Woodlawn neighborhoods. Photo Credit: Provided by the University of Chicago’s Office of Civic Engagement

Community Programs Accelerator Now Accepting Applications

BY KATHERINE NEWMAN

The University of Chicago’s Community Programs Accelerator is currently accepting applications for this year’s program cycle. The initiative supports non-profit organizations that are based in, or serve, Chicago’s Douglas, Grand Boulevard, Greater Grand Crossing, Hyde Park, Kenwood, Oakland, South Shore, Washington Park, and Woodlawn neighborhoods.

The Community Programs Accelerator is an initiative out of the Office of Civic Engagement at the University of Chicago and provides multiple levels of tailored assistance to strengthen the selected organizations based on their needs by connecting them with University resources and partnerships.

“The Community Programs Accelerator, as I see it, is a unique opportunity to create a front door to the resources that the University of Chicago offers for community-based non-profits in the nine neighborhoods that surround the University.,” said Ryan Priester director of community programs in the Office of Civic Engagement.

The Accelerator’s core program provides funding, in the form of grants, and human support, meaning access to faculty, staff, and students from the University of Chicago, for non-profit organizations along with customized support based on what the organization’s specific needs are for up to three years.

Associates Level organizations in the Accelerator program will receive capacity building support to help fulfill a core function in several relevant projects over the course of a year. Special Projects organizations will receive discrete technical assistance through staff support and student engagement to address a specific issue or project over the course of 10 to 20 weeks, according to a press release from the University of Chicago’s Office of Civic Engagement.

“We provide both the material incentive through the grant that we offer, which is up to $50,000, to these organizations, but equally important, we are gathering together the intellectual and human capital in terms of people who are willing to engage these organizations and help to increase their infrastructure,” said Priester .

The Community Program Accelerator is aimed at community-based organizations that reside in the nine neighborhoods surrounding the school or have a majority of their participants coming from those nine neighborhoods, but there is also a magnet category in the application process that is designed for organizations that want to bring services to the area to fill a service gap.

“I think organizations that are looking for a way to grow and develop their organizational capacity are the ideal candidates. People that are interested in investing in the long-term strength of the organization,” said Priester .

Community organizations that are interested in accessing resources from the University of Chicago, but aren’t quite ready for the full Accelerator program are still welcome to apply and the odds are that the University will still be able to find a way to engage with them. The application is simply “the central portal for support,” according to Priester .

The application for the Community Programs Accelerator is available online at communityprograms.uchicago.edu and will be accepted until August 31.

That University of Chicago’s Community Programs Accelerator is currently accepting applications for this years program cycle. The initiative supports non-profit organizations that are based in, or serve, Chicago’s Douglas, Grand Boulevard, Greater Grand Crossing, Hyde Park, Kenwood, Oakland, South Shore, Washington Park, and Woodlawn neighborhoods. Photo Credit: Provided by the University of Chicago’s Office of Civic Engagement.