Community Benefit Fund Accepting Applications

Champaign/Urbana IL – The UC2B Community Benefit Fund is accepting applications focusing on improving digital inclusion and digital equity for low- to moderate-income people in the Champaign -Urbana area. In 2018, The UC2B Board anticipates awarding a total of up to $150,000 (collectively) in grants to community-based applicants. Single grants between $2,000 and $25,000 are encouraged, though applicants will not be limited to that range. In this first year of the Community Benefit Fund Grant Program, the UC2B board hopes to allocate up to $100,000 (in total) to cover one-time expenditures and up to $50,000 (in total) for recurring, multi-year expenditures.

  • All applicants are encouraged to attend the Technical Assistance Application Training on Wednesday, November 1, 2017 at Stratton Elementary School (902 N. Randolph St, Champaign) from 5:30 pm – 6:30 pm.
  • All applications must be submitted electronically as an email attachment sent to the following email address:   Deadline for submission of this application is Wednesday, November 15, at midnight Central Time.
  • UC2B board members will select winning grant applications by mid-December and funding will be disbursed beginning January 15, 2018.

You may download a pdf to apply for a grant. Instructions to assist you in applying are here.

For additional questions concerning the grant documentation and review process please contact Paul Hixson, Community Benefit Fund (CBF) Committee Chair at (217) 377-0559

 or Grant Coordinator Brian Bell at


Update: 11/13/17

We’ve received a few questions from people considering making an application, and since these matters were not clear to that party, it seemed prudent to share our answers with everyone who may apply.

Q: It was mentioned in the meeting that there will be 9 years of ongoing funds. Do you want applications to budget out multiple years of ongoing expenses, or just the first year, and then we re-apply yearly after that if successful? And does our first year ongoing funding ask lock us into that amount for future years?

A: In your budget, separate it into one-time expenditures and multi-year, recurring expenditures. On the multi-year, recurring side, please budget out 3 years. During those three years, you will not have to re-apply, but there will be an auditing process each year to confirm that in the year just completing that the funds have been expended in the ways that were approved. After that is confirmed, the next years funds will be disbursed. If your project envisions recurring needs beyond 3 years, you will need to make a new application on year 4.

Q: There’s not really a straightforward way to fully fit a joint project into this application structure. The primary agency for our project will be XXXX, but ZZZZ will have a big part in supporting and executing the plan. Should our contributions to the plan go into a letter of support?

A: Yes, a letter of support from your contributing partner would be helpful and should be included with the application.

Q: Does the midnight on the 15th application deadline mean when the clock rolls over from 11:59 on the 14th, or at the end of the day on the 15th?

A: Midnight on the 15th means at the end of the day on the 15th — i.e., when the clock rolls over from 11:59 pm on the 15th. If someone submits the application at 12:01am on the 16th, it will have missed the deadline by a few seconds.

Q: Does the $2k-$25k request range apply only to the first year of combined 1-time + ongoing expenses, or is it meant to be the full cost of the 3-year proposal? 3 years of ongoing support for anything tends to add up quickly, and I wasn’t sure if we are talking about different pools of funding here for the subsequent years or not.

A: The $2k – $25k suggested range applies only to the first year of combined 1-time expenses and ongoing expenses (that will occur in the first year). It does not include year 2 or year 3 multi-year funding. We realize that funding for years 2 and years 3 will have to come out of Community Benefit Funds that are allocated to each of those outlying years.