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Changes to McGowan Fund LOI and Application Deadlines

Chicago, October 28, 2021—The McGowan Fund has introduced new grant deadlines and a new application process, effective November 1, 2021. These updates recognize the rapid changes our grantees are managing in their communities and give the board tools to better understand the work we support.

Here are the highlights:

First Steps

  • New deadlines for Letters of Intent (LOIs) are now the first of November, March, or July. This is a required first step for first-time applicants and returning applicants who haven’t received funding within the last three years.
  • Applicants who have submitted an LOI will receive a McGowan Fund response within two business days of their submission.


  • New application deadlines for all applicants are December 1, April 1, and August 1.
  • Returning applicants who have received funding within the last three years may begin with the application phase.
  • Documents should be received by 11:59 pm central time on the due dates noted. If the due date lands on a weekend or holiday, submit by 11:59 pm central time the next business day.
  • There’s a new online eligibility quiz integral to the application process. For new applicants, it assesses potential for alignment with the Fund’s goals and directs applicants to the LOI. For returning applicants, the quiz will guide you to the appropriate process for consideration.

The new process is designed to improve the application experience for both prospective grantees and the Fund. Questions should be addressed to Grants Program Director Jennifer Merriman, [email protected].