Your browser does not support JavaScript


Tiana Fund Information

Purpose and Philosophy:

The Tiana Fund program began in 2008. Serving any resident of Illinois and other selected areas the program seeks to provide assistance to persons or families that will strengthen their ability to care for themselves, enhance their stability and security, and improve their quality of life or their ability to contribute to the community. Applications may be submitted by any hospital or trusted source of the Cornerstone Foundation and their partners. Demonstrated cooperation between entities to address the problem, dealing with the family’s underlying needs, and a commitment to provide follow-up afterwards are all elements that improve an application’s chance of success.

What Needs Are Considered?

  1. Applications seeking to fund items that will address a family’s need and lead to an improved quality of life over the longer term or assist in reducing or eliminating suffering are encourage.

  2. The family’s efforts to resolve the difficulty and the role of the requesting organization in providing assistance and services to the family must be clearly explained in the application. Applications that demonstrate a collaborative effort to resolve a problem on the part of both the applying entity and the family over a period of time are more likely to be favorably reviewed.

  3. Applications frequently relate to a particular hardship situation. Examples have included:
    1. Assistance after disasters such as flood or fire.
    2. Medically related needs not covered by insurance or other assistance
    3. Items that will contribute to a family member’s ability to be or continue to be employed
    4. Mortgage and living expenses (electric, water, gas)
    5. Miscellaneous items that will be approved by the committee on a case by case basis.
    6. Discussion of the application with the family and their participation in addressing any underlying concerns is important. All applications must be accompanied by the signed release of information before they can be reviewed.

  4. Applications are generally for a one time need. Applications for recurring expenses on a periodic basis must address how the next cycle of expenses will be met. This is especially important if costs related to housing are being requested. One payment in these situations is frequently a patch on a much greater underlying problem. The program is more interested in addressing the underlying problem than in providing patches.

  5. For repairs of any kind, the normal life of the item will be consideration and should be stated in the application. The Tiana Fund does not cover car repairs or gas cards. We would consider assisting with other bills/expenses to allow for the family to alleviate some stress in other areas.

  6. Resource availability from other programs varies considerably. Eligibility for any state, county or community programs in a particular area should be checked before an application is made.Persons that are eligible for government programs including food stamps and medical assistance should be helped to apply. The application should show these efforts.

Application Requirements:

Applications must be complete, all the questions answered! We will no longer accept applications with blanks!! Typed and on the prescribed form. Persons completing the application need to state clearly how the proposed items will help the family, explain the family’s need and the past efforts they have made. It is important to explain any budgetary discrepancies, excesses of income over expenses or expenses over income in relation to the need. When necessary, another sheet, not to exceed one page, may be attached to more fully explain the circumstances. Applications not meeting these standards will be returned for further completion and delay the process.

Applications ARE NOT TO BE FILLED OUT BY THE APPLICANT OR THE FAMILY. The Tiana Fund as a program, does not have a staff to initiate or direct services for clients. An intermediary, the applying organization, who will provide direct contact and follow-up services with the family is required.

Those placing applications need to be sure that the completed application is approved and signed by appropriate supervisory staff and that an accounting for the money can be provided. (i.e. receipts, invoices or bills) If the application is turned in without a copy of the bill or the proper documentation, the application will be returned and slow the process. It is extremely important that if support for a certain bill is requested, the information below is included with the initial documentation.

If items are being purchased, two bids should be submitted with the application to assure that the item costs are reasonable and being purchased at a competitive cost. Applications where the vendor is willing to discount the cost will be given higher priority.  

Returned Checks!!  Double check all addresses, if a check is returned we will have to deduct a $25 fee from the Tiana Fund to cover the cost of the cancel check in order to reissue a new check.

Review Process:

A committee reviews these applications and makes recommendations. Applications may be approved as submitted, further information may be requested, specific suggestions to assist the family may be made, conditions for approval of the request under the Tiana Fund Program may be stated, or clearly inappropriate applications may be denied. Normally, the committee is processing applications within 1 month unless there are questions.

Please not this timeline is significantly changed if ALL information requested is not provided. The committee that assists with this process has many responsibilities and if the application is sent in and you do not hear back, we ask that you reach out to confirm the delivery. We will reach out to you for more questions or notify you if the application has been approved. While the program accepts applications throughout the year, it is limited to the funding available at the time the application is received.

Distribution of Funds:

Payments will be made directly to the vendor. Applications must include a copy of the request, i.e., the statement or invoice from the physician, utility company, landlord, mortgage company or store where an item is being purchased.

Every landlord MUST fill out a W-9 and return it with the application before we will cut a check. There will be no exceptions made. 
Download the W9

Rent payments to landlords will be heavily scrutinized and may require extra steps to help prevent fraud, management companies are preferred. We will not issue checks to a landlord if the address is the same as the Tiana Fund recipient and are more likely to request we pay other bills to help free up some money for that family.


Applications should be returned via the website, please do not print off and mail or fax. We will not receive those applications.

Note: If in doubt about an application, you are encouraged to apply unless the item or items are the responsibility of another agency, the government or another group offering assistance. Applications for health care items covered by Medicare, Medicaid or private insurance are not likely to be approved. Items previously purchased, whether on credit or with cash, are not eligible under this program.

Follow this link to fill out the form.



Executive Board


Contact Info

Charles Tillman Cornerstone Foundation
736 N. Western Ave #322
Lake Forest, IL 60045
Contact Us