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Collaborative Innovation Fund

CLX is proud to serve a unique role as the only supporter across Chicago’s philanthropic landscape to support seed funds to inspire, test, and promote experimentation amongst the more than 200 youth-serving organizations in our community. CLX has consistently been impressed by how small innovations can have a big impact. Details on our grantmaking process are provided below.

Semi-Annual RFP

Support collaborative projects that leverage digital media or technology to create learner-centered experiences and opportunities.

The bulk of CLX’s grantmaking resources serve our community by offering semi-annual Request for Proposals (RFP) that foster youth interests, build supportive relationships with educators/adults, and/or use technologies to promote production and self-expression instead of consumption. CLX-funded projects provide an avenue for learners to gain “hard” digital skills and “soft” 21st Century competencies such as critical thinking, creativity, collaboration, and communication, etc. that are vital for the future of learning, work, and civic life.

CLX invests in organizations with project-based support through Glimmer-level grants (up to $5,000) and Spark-level grants (up to $15,000). Glimmer-level grants support individual organizational experimentation, and Spark-level grants support further testing through piloting or prototyping solutions with partners. Existing programs are eligible if they clearly demonstrate an innovation to programs or spaces. CLX defines innovation as adaptation of existing practices that are new to the innovator or entirely new approaches. CLX cares about all passions that young people might have including but not limited to STE(A)M, civic engagement, making, media production, games, and fashion.

LRNG: CHI Playlist Design Challenge

CLX supports organizations to create dynamic new learning opportunities for young adults in Chicago (16-24 years old) using LRNG: CHI, a digital learning and badging platform. These Playlists are innovative and engaging learning experiences, which connect young people to real-life pathways and opportunities while supporting the development of 21st-century skills for success in work and in life.

Winning organizations will receive mini-grants along with robust technical assistance provided by CLX.

Travel to Select Conferences

Although youth are often seen as digital natives, technology on its own is not enough. Educators and youth leaders are critical: they guide the learning process by incorporating technology and often serve as mentors and role models. Furthermore, research shows that in order for young people to have high-quality learning, educators need professional development and opportunities to grow. Therefore, CLX provides resources to educators, so they can continue to be lifelong learners as well as share their knowledge and leadership among others through conferences and other types of thought leadership.

Selected awardees will receive $1,000 of support to travel to a conference. Priority is given to individuals presenting.

Innovators Award

More information coming soon.