Our unique structure helps us maintain the agility to assist thousands of individuals, families, businesses, and organizations.
The needs of our community and the interests of our donors are ever changing.
Our structure includes both trust and corporate entities. In the trust entity, the majority of The Chicago Community Trust’s assets are administered under the Declaration of Trust signed in 1915. The trust entity serves solely Cook County, and six Chicago-area banks serve as trustees for these funds.
The corporate entity, The Chicago Community Foundation, offers flexibility with respect to the funds’ investment management and has a broader geographic area of concern. The Executive Committee of the Trust serves as the board of directors for the corporate entity.
Diversity in Asset Managing
At The Chicago Community Trust, we believe in using the financial levers at our disposal to advance equity. In particular, we are actively working to diversify the asset managers we work with to manage or $4.7 billion investment portfolio. Today, between 25% and 30% of the assets that we manage internally are invested with diverse managers, and we continue to achieve our investment return objectives. We began this work over a decade ago and realize it is an ongoing journey.
We also help lead the Financial Services Pipeline Initiative, a collaboration of 20 Chicago-based financial firms working to strengthen recruitment, retention and promotion of diverse financial managers in Chicago financial institutions.
While we have seen gains through these efforts, there’s still a long way to go. Overcoming years of exclusion and disparity in the investment world cannot be achieved overnight.
In 2020, the Trust launched our Impact Investing Program, which enables donors to recommend investments in social impact opportunities before making grants from their donor advised funds, thus amplifying the impact of their charitable dollars. Investment opportunities at the Trust are focused on providing non-traditional access to capital in order to build social and economic resiliency and mobility in underserved areas of Chicago, as well as bridge capital for agricultural enterprises in developing economies.
2021 Financial Highlights
Consolidated Assets: As of September 30, 2021, the Trust’s consolidated assets totaled more than $4.7 billion.
New Gifts: During the fiscal year, the Trust received $1.7 billion in new gifts.
Grant Commitments: During the fiscal year, the Trust made combined grant commitments totaling $1.4 billion.
For complete financials on the Trust’s fiscal year, click here.
The investment pool combines a number of charitable funds into a single portfolio of investments. By combining the funds into one portfolio, it allows participating funds broad diversification and access to managers that would traditionally be unavailable or cost-prohibitive due to the size of the individual fund. The investment pool is managed by multiple investment firms who are selected based on their expertise in a particular asset class. The pool contains nationally renowned firms including those that are local and minority owned.
The Finance Committee, with the assistance of professional investment consultants, monitors the fund’s performance on a quarterly basis and oversees the investment policy.
The investment pool has a long-term horizon with a strategy designed to achieve superior returns while moderating risk.
The investment pool is broadly diversified across asset classes and investment styles in order to enhance investment results in various market environments. Each asset class is divided between two investment managers in proportions determined by the Finance Committee.