We’ll give away $72,000 through our grant programs this fall!

Deadline is October 31st. Apply today!


Application window: October 3 – 31, 2017
Grants will be randomly drawn on November 16, 2017.
COMPACT GRANTS are for small projects up to $250.00 and are randomly drawn. We awarded 23 Compact Grants in September 2016.

Click HERE to apply online.


Application window: October 3 – 31, 2017
Selected grants will be announced on November 16, 2017.
Competitive Grants are for medium sized projects. This year we have added a third funding level to the competitive grant category. Professional licensed educators and/or professional licensed school support personnel can apply for up to $2,000.00 when they partner with multiple school(s).

You may partner with another school(s) in your own district or with a school(s) in either District 116 or Unit 4. Competitive Grants are selected based on classroom innovation, creativity, and student ownership of learning. We awarded 13 Competitive Grants in September 2016.

To apply online use the links below:

  • $500.00 single applicant online application click HERE.
  • $1,000.00 (2) partner applicants online application click HERE.
  • $2,000.00 multiple school partners online application click HERE.
  • Click HERE for a list of 2016 Competitive Grant Recipients.



We’ve extended the deadline for Collaborative Grants to October 31st.
Selected grants will be announced on November 16, 2017.
Application window: August 17 – October 2, 2017
Selected grants will be announced on October 12, 2017.

Collaborative Grants are for large cross district projects up to $5,000.00. They are selected using criteria listed on the grant application. Projects must serve both Champaign Unit 4 and Urbana School District 116. We will be awarding at least three NEW COLLABORATIVE GRANTS in the 2017-2018 school year.

Download Application HERE.

LEARN MORE about our 2016-2017 Collaborative Grant recipient.
LEARN MORE about our 2015-2016 Collaborative Grant recipient.



The Gift of Music and A Gift for the Fine Arts

Application window: October 3 – 31, 2017
Selected grants will be announced on November 16, 2017.

For more information and grant forms click HERE

Thanks to the generosity of a private donor, CU Schools Foundation is able to offer two new grant programs: The Gift of Music and A Gift for the Fine Arts.

The Gift of Music’s goal is to support and enhance K-12 music education in Champaign Unit 4 schools, and A Gift for the Fine Arts’ goal is support and enhance fine arts education in Urbana School District #116 elementary schools. Both grant programs have a spring and fall application window.

A selection committee reviews proposals and recipients are announced in May and December. Activities considered for funding include student attendance at a performance, guest artist or artist-in-residence programs, instrument purchase, fine arts focused field trips or school related performances.

Congratulations to our latest GIFT GRANT recipients!

A Gift for the Fine Arts
Meagan Tipton | Yankee Ridge Elementary | Gamelan Engagement
Lane Cannon-Gjerde | Dr. Williams Elementary | Exploring Theater
Rusty Clevenger | Dr. Williams Elementary | American Landscape
Audrey Vallance | Wiley Elementary | Drums for Wiley
Cara Maurizi | King Elementary | Opera for the Young

The Gift of Music
Karinsa Moline | Southside Elementary | Krannert Center Youth Series Field Trip
Nick Schulze, John Currey and Christi Lohrberg | Central High School, Centennial High School, Jefferson Middle School | Bringing Jazz to Life: Using Performance to Bring Jazz History to the Modern Jazz Student
Abby Crull | Westview Elementary | Uke Can Do It
Emily Kuchenbrod | Kenwood Elementary | An American In Paris, Kenwood in Chicago


Cross District Career Awareness Grant

Launched in the fall of 2016, this new grant category is designed to enhance and support career awareness opportunities for public school students in grades 6-10. LEARN MORE about our 2016-2017 Career Awareness Grant recipient.


Other CUSF Grants

Bob Smith Grant—Supports special activities or efforts to benefit the music program at Booker T. Washington Elementary School in Champaign. ($2,900 available)

Cupcake Grant—CUSF’s Peer Recognition Award Program encourages teachers to nominate fellow teachers whose exemplary service, extra efforts, enthusiastic attitude and innovative ideas noticeably benefit their students. ($500-$1,000) CLICK HERE FOR NOMINATION INFORMATION