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Our Mission Statement

The Shirk Family Foundation supports charitable, educational, religious, scientific and athletic related organizations that encourage the building of strong, moral youth in McLean County, Illinois.


By providing grants to local institutions, the Foundation seeks to promote the programs and initiatives that support the arts, education, athletic excellence, leadership and spiritual growth.


Our Vision

The Shirk Family Foundation, established by Russell and Betty Shirk in 1994, is a private family foundation committed to honoring our founders' wishes of supporting organizations in McLean county—the community which so graciously supported us.


We strive to promote the values of honesty, integrity, a competitive spirit and a strong worth ethic; values which we were raised on and hold high.


Through local support of the arts, athletic excellence, leadership and spiritual growth, it is the goal of the Board to remain committed to McLean County. Applications from this area will always be given the highest priority for funding if their requests match the mission of our foundation.


Recent Grantees

The following are some of the organizations that have been awarded grants by the Shirk Family Foundation based on their mutual mission and proven successes in our community:


Beyond the Books

Community Cancer Center      

Marc First   

Pratt Music Foundation    

McLean County Arts Center    

Illinois Wesleyan University    

David Davis Mansion    

University of Illinois 

ISU Foundation    

YMCA of Bloomington-Normal    

McLean County Museum of History    

American Red Cross of Heartland    

Heartland Community College    

Special Olympics Illinois Heartland

Prairie Fire Theatre

Our Grant Process


The Shirk Family Foundation utilizes an online application process.  Grant applications will not be accepted in hard copy. All grants over a $500 must be filed through this web site.

* The Foundation does not accept unsolicited proposals from outside McLean County and does not support individuals or political advocacy.

* Grant reviews will be conducted annually by December 1st.  All grant submissions must be completed before October 15th to be considered.

*Your organization MUST have a 501(c)3 Tax filing status.


Step One: Click on ‘Online Application’ below to begin filling out a Letter of Inquiry (LOI). You will be prompted to register your organization or sign into your account and provide a brief description of your organization and grant request. The Board will review the LOI and notify you and your organization with a decision as to whether a full grant proposal will be invited.


Step Two: Once approved, an e-mail invitation will be sent to you  and your organization to continue with the full application process. The following materials must be completed and submitted to be considered a full application:


•Completed Online Grant Application

•Project Budget and Cash Flow Projections

•Current Operating Budget, including in-kind services and volunteer hours contributed

•List of current Board of Directors

•Current financial report or tax return 

•Funding sources and amounts applied, received or pledged

•Internal Revenue Service Tax-Exempt 501(c)(3) determination letter

After Submission

Review: The Board conducts grant reviews annually. Site visits may be requested to further evaluate and understand your organization's needs. You and your organization will be notified once the Board has determined the grants awarded in the current cycle.


Grant Acceptance Agreement: Once awarded a grant, your organization needs to complete a Grant Acceptance Agreement. This agreement will be e-mailed to you for signing and must be returned to the Shirk Family Foundation to receive the grant funds. 


Grant Report Form: In order to help monitor our grant process, and as stated in your Grant Acceptance Agreement, the Shirk Family Foundation requires follow-up information to help understand the impact of the grant. Submission must be completed within a year of receiving the grant or upon completion of the project, whichever comes first. Future grants to your organization will not be considered if a Grant Report is not submitted by the deadline.


Jo-Anna Ramsay Grant Expeditor


Mailing Address:

P.O. Box 1549

Bloomington, IL  61702-1549

Board of Trustees

James Shirk

Cindy Shirk

Stephen Shirk

Lacey Shirk Glandon

Andy Shirk

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