Connecting Philanthropy to Impact


With more than a century of experience addressing the Chicago region’s most pressing needs, the Trust leads with expertise to help donors make their impact. Our deep history of commitment to local communities, and our experience in facilitating philanthropic gifts from the simple to the complex, mean that we serve as a trusted partner and advisor to individuals, families and businesses striving to build a better Chicago.

Moving forward, we will mobilize resources in more aligned and effective ways than ever, leveraging strategic investments into systemic impact that advances equity and opportunity for everyone in our region.


Inspiring, engaging opportunities

We will create and communicate philanthropic opportunities that invite funders—both institutional partners and individual ​donors—to understand our newly focused priorities, and encourage them to join us in making change at a greater scale than any of us can make alone.


Exceeding donors’ needs

We will create systems and processes that help us understand the unique needs of our diverse base of donors, and provide service that anticipates and surpasses those needs. We will continue to meet donors where they are, enabling them to give easily and effectively in ways that advance meaningful causes to meet their own charitable goals. Meanwhile we will launch new systems that respond to donors’ needs for greater flexibility, access to expert guidance and collective impact.


Deepening relationships

As we continue to partner with our donors, institutional funders and professional advisors, we will forge strategic, trusted long-term relationships based on knowledge of our shared interests and values. Additionally, we will broaden our capability to offer impact investing and other opportunistic methods for donors to make an impact with their philanthropic dollars.


Demonstrating ​impact​

We will hold ourselves accountable to sharing successes and outcomes from the Trust’s philanthropic investments with donors and other stakeholders. This insight can help guide future giving in the near term, while building a sense of connection and confidence in the Trust that fuels more aligned partnership and more philanthropic resources mobilized for the future of our region.


Back to the Strategic Plan overview