CodeNow Honored with Chicago Community Trust Inspiring Philanthropy Grant

[Press Release] This grant will support training and professional development in effective fundraising for CodeNow’s board & senior staff members.

Chicago, IL – August 22, 2017: In June of 2017, The Chicago Community Trust awarded its first Inspiring Philanthropy grants, and Chicago-based CodeNow was one of the inaugural recipients!

Envisioned by the Trust in 2016, Inspiring Philanthropy grants focus on development training for boards, executive directors and other key staff, with an end goal of stewarding and strengthening philanthropy.

Beginning with On the Table in 2014, and through many successive conversations over the next two years, one prevailing message came through: To build more philanthropy in Chicago, nonprofits needed help.

Specifically, development training for nonprofit boards and staff members was identified as the single most effective method to inspire philanthropy across the region. While development training certainly exists, many nonprofits — especially those in a growth phase — lack the resources to consistently provide such training.

CodeNow is an example of a nonprofit in a growth phase experiencing this exact situation. Founded in 2011, CodeNow began as a coding school for teens from underrepresented backgrounds and, in five years, taught nearly 2,000 students in the Bay Area, Boston, Miami, New York City, Salt Lake City, Seattle and Washington, DC how to code. In 2016, the organization brought on a new CEO, Neal Sales-Griffin, moved its headquarters to Chicago, and expanded its program and curriculum to include design thinking and problem solving.

“As the learn-to-code movement gained momentum, we noticed that students weren’t just hungry to learn how to code, they wanted — and needed — to learn how to answer challenges with design, and how to effectively manage the development of their product,” said Sales-Griffin.
“Through our new, four-phase, year-long program, students don’t just learn to code; they design and build apps that address social problems that are impacting themselves, their families, and their communities.”
“This grant is of tremendous value to CodeNow at this pivotal time of growth and expansion, and we are honored the Trust had faith in our mission,” said Mike McGee, Director of Programs for CodeNow.
“We are looking forward to using the funds from this grant to develop a fundraising strategy, train staff, and develop foundation and individual giving.”

About CodeNow

CodeNow, Inc. (, transforms underserved youth into coders, designers, and product managers by teaching them to solve meaningful problems in their communities with software. To date, CodeNow has taught over 2,000 underserved high school students how to code and engaged 500 volunteers for a total of nearly 13,000 volunteering hours. CodeNow has run programs in Chicago, Miami, New York City, Salt Lake City, Seattle, Washington D.C., and the Bay Area.

CodeNow’s new year-long, four-phase program model, launched in 2017, immerses students in coding, design thinking, and product management as they work alongside CodeNow staff and volunteers from technology partners such as Adobe, Bloomberg, Basecamp, Galvanize, Infosys, and Visa. For more information visit our website:


  • Harsha Murthy, Director of Operations
  • 872–356–1036

About The Chicago Community Trust

The Chicago Community Trust, our region’s community foundation, partners with donors to leverage their philanthropy in ways that transform lives and communities. For the past century, we have connected the generosity of donors with community needs by making grants to nonprofit organizations working to improve metropolitan Chicago. Since our founding in 1915, the Trust has awarded approximately $1.8 billion in grant funding to more than 11,000 local nonprofit organizations — including more than $198 million in 2015.

Our region is home to people passionate about their neighborhoods. People committed to making a difference. People divided by a legacy of segregation, separated by lines of class and race and opportunity — but there is much more that unites us than divides us. As the Trust continues our next century of service, we pledge to bridge these divisions and to champion the common good, creating a place where no one is left behind.