Chicago’s philanthropic spirit and the energy of our civic and corporate communities are second to none.

For over a century, Chicago-area residents who believe in our region’s potential for greatness have found a partner and ally in The Chicago Community Trust. The Trust is an enduring platform for change, a place where people come together to shape and pursue visions for our region’s future that none of us could realize alone. 

The work we do in partnership with our community partners, dedicated donors, and civic leaders is bigger than any one person, one institution, or one grant. Together, we pool our collective talents and resources to put equity and opportunity in reach for every resident of our region. 

Check back often as we spotlight the work + voices of those in our community building a stronger Chicago region, for all of us.

Episode 12: Closing the Homeownership Gap (September 2023)

In this episode of Trust Talks, we explore the work of 3C, how community-centered collaboration can help close the homeownership gap, and what role philanthropy plays in supporting these efforts. This episode is hosted by Shandra Richardson, director of strategic initiatives for The Chicago Community Trust, and features Lynnette McRae, program director for Connecting Capital and Community (3C); Joanna Trotter, executive director of global philanthropy at JPMorgan Chase; Mindy Rueden, program director at Habitat for Humanity Chicago; and Tim Swanson, founder of Inherent L3C.

A Podcast by The Chicago Community Trust

Each episode of Trust Talks highlights a different strand of The Chicago Community Trust’s strategic priority to close the region’s racial and ethnic wealth gap, including growing household wealth, catalyzing neighborhood investment, and building collective power, or its foundational commitments to addressing critical needs and connecting philanthropy to impact.

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Britney Robbins Receives the 2023 Donald Stewart Fellowship

On Monday, May 8, African American Legacy (AAL), an initiative of The Chicago Community Trust, hosted their Donald Stewart Fellowship award brunch at Taste 222 in Chicago. The event celebrated fellow Britney Robbins of The Gray Matter Experience for her leadership in Chicago’s Black Community. TGME is a nonprofit that aims to educate, empower, and assist Black students in creating their own businesses. The organization provides coaching, capital, curriculum, connections, and community support to help level the playing field for teens and young adults as they enter the entrepreneurial space.

“We are in hyper growth mode right now. This award will help us to continue to source great talent so that we can continue to deepen our impact in Chicago,” Robbins said.

Robbins is the fourth recipient of the fellowship established in honor of the late Donald Stewart, the first Black President and CEO of The Chicago Community Trust. After Stewart’s passing in 2019, the Trust established the $25,000 annual award. The fellow is selected by members of AAL from a pool of nominees and is reviewed and selected on the merits of exemplary leadership in the areas of education, entrepreneurship, and philanthropy.

AAL and the Trust offer heartfelt congratulations to Robbins and The Gray Matter Experience.

Learn More About Affinity Funds

Every day the Trust helps passionate donors connect their philanthropy to impact.

Learn how our donors are changing lives and strengthening communities.

Our Community in Action

From providing essential resources such as food and supplies in response to the COVID-19 pandemic to unlocking access to capital for entrepreneurs to expand their business, our committed nonprofit partners show that the Chicago region can be greater than the challenges we face.

The Chicago Community COVID-19 Response Fund

The Chicago Community Trust and United Way of Metro Chicago came together to establish the Chicago Community COVID-19 Response Fund (CCRF), with support from the City of Chicago, foundations, businesses, and individuals. By the time the fund closed in early 2021, we had raised more than $35 million from 6,000 donors to support more than 400 nonprofit organizations providing emergency services to people most impacted by COVID-19.

Community Perspectives on COVID-19 Recovery

In fall 2021, BECOME hosted seven Community Conversations with people living in the communities of Cicero, Austin, South Lawndale, Chicago Lawn, West Englewood, Dolton, Harvey, Humboldt Park, Roseland, Pullman, Riverdale, and Altgeld. The goal was to understand how the pandemic impacted Black and Latinx communities in the Chicago region and hear from residents what their community needs to recover and prosper. The project was commissioned by We Rise Together: For an Equitable and Just Recovery and The Chicago Community Trust, in partnership with New America Chicago, to help guide advocacy efforts for a more equitable and inclusive recovery.

PODER Learning Center

A Pre-Development Fund grant from the Trust will allow PODER to complete its plans for redeveloping the building into Chicago’s first community center combining immigrant integration and job services. Located at 55th Street and Homan Avenue, the center will be an economic catalyst, bringing beauty and vibrancy to this Gage Park corridor.

Neighborhood Housing Services of Chicago

Neighborhood Housing Services (NHS) creates opportunities for people to live in affordable homes, improve their lives, and strengthen their neighborhoods. They do this by educating and preparing new homeowners for success, lending to help people buy, fix and keep their homes, sustaining homeownership through foreclosure prevention services, preserving, rehabbing, and investing in housing, and building robust and enduring community partnerships.

Chicago United for Equity

Today, Chicago United for Equity (CUE) champions the use of community-led Racial Equity Impact Assessments. The organization has trained more than 200 people to use the tool in their own communities and works to encourage the use of REIAs by government agencies across Chicago.