Critical Response Fund

Critical Response Fund

Grant Information Sheet


Crossroads Fund and the nation are witnessing a tumultuous time in history – the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) has caused significant harm to people around the world. This harm is the direct result of structural failures and institutional negligence in underfunding public health departments, limiting access to healthcare, and ignoring warnings from directly impacted people. As such, Crossroads Fund re-affirms our commitment to supporting grassroots groups working to reduce the harm of these failures and are working to mobilize resources to communities in Chicago.


To continue the legacy of responding quickly and centering the leadership of people who are most directly impacted, including people of color, women, the LGBT community, we are encouraging current grantees to apply for the Critical Response Fund. Given the political moment, the fund will provide organizations with funding to protect, empower and support community members in this time of crisis. In addition, we seek to support work that radically reimagines community care, expands our notion of what is possible, and orients toward building the world we need.


Support the Critical Response Fund


Funding Criteria

Priority will be given to existing Crossroads Fund grantees (from the last 3 years) that have a track record of working collaboratively with other organizations across issues, race and geographical location.


Funding requests can be for the following:

  • ***Community-based mutual aid efforts (Click here for more info on mutual aid)
  • Unexpected policy changes that place community members in harm’s way, and that require an immediate response
  • Training and convening people to strategize, build their power, promote healing and create community solidarity (including virtual strategies)
  • Forward-thinking initiatives focused on long-term transformation, new experiments in building the world that we want
  • Building organizational capacity to do strategic base building that grows our organizing community, and also to build new coalitions and partnerships
  • Supporting an organization’s digital infrastructure



  • Applicants may request between $3,000 - $10,000. Organizations with budgets of $300,000 or less will be prioritized.
  • Organizations with budgets of over $300,000 should contact Crossroads Fund staff to discuss the request.
  • Applications will be accepted on a rolling basis with a response time of 10 working days or less after grant submission.
  • Funding should be used within 6 months.



Application Questions


  1. What is the nature of the emergency OR how has your organization been impacted by COVID-19?
  2. What are the planned activities, strategies, and impact in the next 6 months? 
  3. Who are your partners in this work?
  4. What is your total budget for your project? Who else are you seeking funding from?


Download a full report on the impact of the Critical Response Fund.  

Application Procedure


Write an email to Lizette Garza, Program Manager ( and attach a one-page document with answers to the above questions.

Submit a simple final report after 6 months.


Opens: August 9, 2021

Deadline: November 15, 2021