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Two distinct funding programs are available at The Driehaus Foundation: 

Driehaus Foundation Grants

Driehaus Foundation grants (described below)

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The MacArthur Funds for Arts and Culture at The Richard H. Driehaus Foundation

The MacArthur Funds for Arts and Culture at The Richard H. Driehaus Foundation grants (scroll down for information about this separate MacArthur-Driehaus grants program.)

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Driehaus Foundation Grants

The Richard H. Driehaus Foundation makes grants in four program areas: Built Environment, Arts and Culture,* Investigative Journalism for Government Accountability, and Economic Opportunity for the Working Poor.

Application Procedures

The Richard H. Driehaus Foundation does not accept unsolicited proposals. If, after carefully reading our grantmaking guidelines in the relevant program area, you believe your organization might be eligible for support, please contact a program officer by email and clearly indicate which funding area you are applying to (Arts and Culture, Built Environment, Investigative Journalism for Government Accountability, or Economic Opportunity for the Working Poor). Your email should cover topics such as the purpose of the proposed project, how it aligns with the Foundation’s guidelines in the chosen funding area, the audience, estimated full cost, requested amount, and timeline.

Application Deadlines

If your organization has been asked to submit a full proposal or if your organization is a current Driehaus Foundation grantee applying for renewal funding, the current deadlines are:

  • March 1, 2017
  • July 5, 2017
  • December 6, 2017

Do NOT submit a proposal unless you are invited to do so.

*The Driehaus Foundation also partners with the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation to provide general operating support to arts and cultural organizations in Chicago with annual budgets up to $500,000. Scroll down for the application procedures for this separate funding program.

The MacArthur Funds for Arts and Culture at The Richard H. Driehaus Foundation

The Richard H. Driehaus Foundation partners with the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation to provide general operating grants to Chicago arts and cultural organizations with annual operating budgets up to $500,000.

Application Deadlines

There are two deadlines, each for different disciplines and budget thresholds. You may apply to only one category. 

  • January 17, 2017  Deadline extended to January 24; see note below.
    Small theater and dance organizations with annual operating budgets under $150,000
  • May 1, 2017   
    Midsize theater and dance organizations with annual operating budgets between $151,000 and $500,000. Other arts and culture organizations with annual operating budgets between $0 and $500,000.

It should be noted that these grants are highly competitive, and there are always more qualified applicants than can be supported by the Funds.

Organizations may submit one application a year. Successful first-time grantees will be awarded a one-year grant. Thereafter, a grantee may reapply for a two-year or three-year grant. There is, however, no promise of renewed funding. Grants range from $3,000 to $20,000 and are typically based on 10 percent of an organization’s annual operating budget.

Application Procedures

Note: Beginning in January 2017, the Foundation will move its current grantmaking processes online. Following our transition to an online system, paper-based submissions will not be accepted.

Our new online application portal will open by Tuesday, January 17 and will remain open until 5 pm on Tuesday, January 24. All applicants are required to register before submitting a proposal. It will take one business day for us to verify your registration information and activate your account.

For a smooth transition, please feel free to register anytime starting January 17. You will be able to work on your application after you have registered and continue to do so until 5 pm, January 24, when it must be submitted.

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Proposal Review Process

Once a proposal has been accepted for consideration, your organization will be notified if further information is needed. The Foundation will assign a program officer who will schedule a conversation and, where applicable, attend a performance.

The entire review process takes approximately five months.

Annual Reporting Requirements

A report is required after each year of the funding cycle. The deadline(s) is (are) indicated in the grant agreement.

Note: The Foundation will move its current grantmaking process online in January 2017. If your current grant is scheduled to expire in 2017, you will submit your required report online through the new grantee portal. Following our transition to the online system, paper-based and e-mailed reports will no longer be accepted.

If your report is due in January 2017, please plan to submit it online following the launch of the new system unless otherwise advised. Foundation staff will contact you with instructions for doing so.

In addition to the MacArthur Funds for Arts and Culture at The Richard H. Driehaus Foundation, the Foundation has a separate grantmaking program in Arts and Culture. In most cases, organizations that are funded under the Foundation’s Arts and Culture program cannot also be funded by the MacArthur-Driehaus Funds. Please review the guidelines for both programs to determine which is the best fit for your organization.