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Organizational Capacity Building Grants OCB Flexible Fund Grants

OCB Flexible Fund Grants — Overview

The Retirement Research Foundation provides OCB Flexible Fund Grants to respond to immediate capacity building needs for Chicago-area nonprofits.  OCB Flexible Funds are available to help organizations identify their capacity building priorities or receive short-term technical assistance:

  • Readiness Assessments – Funds may be used to engage a consultant who will work directly with your organization to identify and prioritize capacity building opportunities, and the steps needed for organizational improvement or growth.
  • Targeted Consultations – Funds may be used to engage an expert in nonprofit management to provide short-term, focused technical assistance on an emerging issue related to legal, fiscal, human resources, or other areas.

Limited funds are also available to address unanticipated, short-term emergency needs.  Contact RRF for more information.

OCB Flexible Fund Grants are awarded up to a maximum of $5,000.

OCB Flexible Fund Grants — Eligibility

OCB Flexible Fund Grants are provided to nonprofit organizations that are:

  • Tax exempt under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code
  • Located in Cook, DuPage, Kane, Kendall, Lake, or McHenry counties in Illinois
  • Placing a high priority on providing services to older adults, ages 65 and older

A successful applicant generally will have been in operation for at least three years and have annual revenue of at least $75,000, excluding in-kind donations and services.


RRF’s OCB Flexible Fund Grants do not support:

  • Financial deficits
  • One-time events that do not build long-term capacity (such as fundraising events or conferences)

OCB Flexible Fund Grants — Apply

To respond to immediate capacity building needs for Chicago-area nonprofits, RRF has a streamlined application process for its OCB Flexible Fund program.  Please note that:

  • Applications for OCB Flexible Fund Grants are accepted on a rolling basis throughout the year
  • Funding requests must be $5,000 or less
  • Decisions on OCB Flexible Fund Grants are generally made within four to six weeks

The OCB Flexible Fund Application is available electronically as an online application form.

Please provide the following in your application:

  • Short-term need to be addressed
  • Amount requested and how the funds will be used
  • Project bid or scope of work from proposed consultant
  • Authorized signatures of your organization’s CEO and Board Chair (Download Here)

Attachments – Please include the following:

  • Minutes from the last three Board Meetings (attach as one file)
  • IRS 501(c)(3) designation letter
  • Most recent audited financial statement



  • Using the Print function in your Internet Browser, print these instructions for reference.
  • CAUTION: Use Edge, Internet Explorer or Firefox as your Internet Browser to minimize issues while working in your online application account. Google’s Chrome will not work properly with RRF’s online application form.

A. Steps to Create an RRF Online Application Account and Obtain a New Application Form:

1. Click on this button:

CAUTION: Only click on this button ONCE to create an RRF Online Application Account and to secure an application form.Clicking on this button more than once will result in multiple blank application forms, which may cause confusion.

2. The Please Sign In screen from The Retirement Research Foundation will display. The first time you apply, you will need to click on the New Applicant? button located below the E-mail field to create your account.
New Applicant Button Image

3. The New Applicant? screen will then display. Enter your email address and create your password according to the instructions on the screen. Then click on the Continue button at the bottom of the screen to create your account.

4. A blank online application form will display. You may now start filling in the application form. Once you finish a section of the form, click on the Next button displayed at the bottom of the screen to begin the next section of the form. If you need to stop working on the form, click on the Save & Finish Later button, so that you can return to the application at a later date. We recommend saving your application regularly (every thirty minutes) to avoid timeout errors.
Save And Finish Later Button Image

5. A screen listing your application form will display. Notice that your application form will have a unique five-digit ID number. You will enter that ID number in your application form where indicated. Also, make note of that number, because it may be useful when corresponding with RRF after submission of your application.

B. Tips For Continuing To Work On An RRF Standard OCB Grant Proposal Online Application Form:

(Please note that the software program will purge unfinished applications following 120 days of inactivity.)

1. To continue working on an RRF online application form, click on this button:

2. NOTE: If you save the following web address to your Favorites in your Internet Browser, you can use it to continue filling in your application; then you will not have to return to the RRF website to access your application.

3. The Please Sign In screen will appear. To log into your account, type in the email address and password that you used to create your account and then click on the Login button.
Login Button in the Please Sign Screen

4. Upon opening your online application account, you will see a listing of your online application forms that are in progress. To open the application form that you are currently working on, click on the listing with its five-digit ID number.

5. If you have multiple application forms listed, please delete each blank, unneeded form by clicking on the garbage can icon displayed to the right of the application form’s listing in your online account. Deleting these unnecessary application forms will help avoid confusion about which application you are working on.

6. If you need help, please contact The Retirement Research Foundation at 773-714-8080 or via this email address: