For over a century, the Trust has partnered with donors, nonprofits, and other stakeholders to strengthen the Chicago region. If you think about it, that’s essentially what a community foundation is: a group of people coming together to support a place they love.
While the Trust has always collaborated with our donors, we are now offering specific opportunities to do so in a more intentional way: We are inviting donors to deepen their partnership with us by directly supporting our strategic work to close Chicago’s racial and ethnic wealth gap.
Our Region’s Greatest Challenge
The Trust’s strategic focus on the wealth gap was informed by months of conversations with donors, nonprofit leaders, and community members back in 2019. Through those dialogues, we recognized that every issue facing our region—from homelessness to food insecurity to public safety challenges—is rooted in racial wealth disparities.
Not having wealth doesn’t just make it difficult to afford life’s basic needs. Too often, it keeps people from getting a quality education, pursuing a meaningful career, buying a home, and living in a thriving and safe neighborhood.
In the years since we adopted our strategic plan, we’ve had many conversations with donors who are eager to join with others to invest strategically in causes that advance wealth equity, and to make a meaningful, measurable impact for our region and all who call it home.
Our donors’ generosity and enthusiasm to partner couldn’t be more welcome, as closing the wealth gap will take the most significant investment of resources, ideas, and energy our region has ever seen. The only way we’ll meet this ambitious goal is by working together.
Finding Your Impact Match
To help more donors like you make your desired impact, the Trust provides opportunities to learn about and support our strategic initiatives for closing the racial and ethnic wealth gap. Our initiatives cover a wide variety of funding areas, so it’s a good idea to speak with your Trust advisor to find the opportunity that best fits your interests.
“Your philanthropic advisor will sit down with you to discuss the giving areas you’re most passionate about. Then we’ll work with you to match your passions to the initiatives you’d be most interested in supporting,” says Adele Nandan, interim senior director for resource development.
For one donor, the right match was committing to make a significant annual grant to We Rise Together: For an Equitable & Just Recovery from her donor advised fund. The initiative focuses on accelerating our region’s equitable economic recovery from the challenges created by Covid.
“I decided to donate annually to the We Rise Together initiative when I learned that Black and Latinx communities were hardest hit during the pandemic, and also falling behind white communities post-pandemic. I also like that it is such a collaborative effort, with business and government, as well as community organizations in the region, working together,” she said.
Opportunities for Impact
While we partner with donors on a wide range of issues, we have identified several initiatives at the Trust that you can immediately connect with to support our communities and move the needle on closing the wealth gap. Each funding initiative is developed by the Trust’s team of subject-matter experts, centered on the communities we seek to impact, and grounded in research and data. In addition to We Rise Together, a few examples are:
Community Safety– Supporting community-led strategies for building tight-knit communities, disrupting violence, and keeping people and neighborhoods safe.
These initiatives are organized around our three core strategies for closing the wealth gap at the household, neighborhood, and community levels.
You may also wish to consider making an estate gift to the Trust to address the most pressing needs of our region in the future. Donors who make the Trust part of their legacy also become members of our 1915 Society with invitations to exclusive events and the annual 1915 Society luncheon.
Together, we can build a more equitable, thriving region.
No matter where you are in your charitable journey, the Trust is ready to help you transform your goals and passions into impactful giving strategies. It’s what we’ve always done and will always do.
If you are interested in maximizing your impact on our region by working alongside the Trust and our partners to tackle the wealth gap, please contact your Trust advisor to get started.