Guidelines Now Available: 2017 Social Emotional Learning at Home Grants

January 3, 2017

Bright Promises Foundation is currently accepting Letters of Intent Forms from child (0-18) or parent-serving non-profit organizations seeking funding to support the Social and Emotional Learning (SEL) of children by teaching parents and caregivers to intentionally promote social and emotional intelligence, development and character at home.  2017 is the second year of the SEL at Home grant program. BPF will make grants to first-time recipients through 2019 and renewal grants for 2 additional years. Please note that consideration for the SEL At Home grant program will primarily be focused on organizations located in the greater Metropolitan Chicago Area.

Grant funding will be available for 501(c)3 nonprofit organizations that serve children and families to:

Interested organizations should complete a Letter of Intent form that describes their SEL programming or organizational practice and why they believe they are best positioned to educate and train parents/caregivers in evidenced-based SEL practice.  Selected organizations will be contacted to submit a full proposal.  This form’s purpose is to state interest in applying for a grant in 2017 – it is not a proposal. 


SEL is integral to a child’s internal wellbeing, such as the ability to cope with stress in a healthy way and to have positive self-esteem.  SEL also teaches children conflict resolution, how to have positive interpersonal relationships and self-control – all skills that are necessary for children to thrive in childhood and throughout the course of their lives.  Research has consistently shown that these skills are learned and not innate. Illinois is one of only two states (along with Pennsylvania) that has adopted and implemented state-wide social emotional learning standards in schools. 

However, children do not always learn these skills at home and there is not much continuity between the social emotional learning that occurs at school and outside of school. Research has also repeatedly proven that children are much more likely to achieve academic and non-academic success when parents are engaged with their children’s education. Most SEL programs and curricula are currently delivered either directly to children at schools and in some after school and summer programs. 

Through our Focus Process (outlined below), Bright Promises determined that there is a lack of and a need for programming that trains parents how to intentionally teach their children social emotional skills.  Bright Promises believes that if parents and caregivers are equipped to promote these positive life skills at home, children will be exponentially more likely to lead happy, successful and fulfilling lives.


Every four years, we convene Focus Panels of experts in various fields of childhood to select a single emerging issue which greatly impacts vulnerable children. After researching the topic, Bright Promises decides on strategies to address the root of the issue with the goal of supporting programs that create permanent and positive changes in practice that will benefit children for the rest of their lives. 

From 2008 – 2012, Bright Promises funded programs that decreased childhood obesity and improved health outcomes for low-income and other at-risk children. From 2012-2017, the Funding Focus has been on promoting resilience in children who have experienced traumatic stress.


Deadline to submit Letter Of Intent: January 27 at 5:00 pm

Organizations selected to submit a full proposal will be notified by:  February 10

Deadline to submit full proposal: March 24

Grant decisions will be announced June 16