Together We Rise

We are resolved: This time, economic recovery for the Chicago region will mean inclusive, resilient growth.

The pandemic has dealt the Chicago region a devastating set of interrelated health, economic and social crises. Nowhere are its effects felt worse than in Black and Latinx communities, where disparate financial and health outcomes were already the norm after decades of disinvestment, systemic racism and structural inequities.

If economic rebuilding shuts out Black and Latinx families and communities once again, we cannot, in all truth, call it a recovery. And we will all pay a steep cost for it.

TOGETHER WE RISE is an unprecedented coalition, uniting partners from across philanthropy, business and communities. We share two goals:

           • Accelerate equitable economic recovery for Black and Latinx communities by pooling and distributing philanthropic resources.
          • Reform and re-envision policies and business practices to ensure our region invests more equitably moving forward.

Together We Rise responds to the pandemic recession with a force that’s proven and powerful: Chicago’s determination, energy and ambition.

When recovery is truly equitable and just, nothing can hold us back.

This is the deepest and most unequal recession in modern history. But it is also our opportunity to build back in ways that advance prosperity for all. Equitable recovery is not just the right thing to do. It’s the smart thing to do.

– Helene D. Gayle, President & CEO, The Chicago Community Trust.


  • BMO Harris Bank
  • The Chicago Community Trust
  • The Coleman Foundation
  • Corporate Coalition
  • Crown Family Philanthropies
  • Field Foundation
  • Jewel/Osco
  • John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation
  • Joyce Foundation
  • JPMorgan Chase
  • Northern Trust
  • PepsiCo
  • PERT Foundation
  • Polk Bros. Foundation
  • Pritzker Traubert Foundation
  • Robert R. McCormick Foundation
  • United Way of Metro Chicago
  • Vistria Group

$25 million

Your donation to Together We Rise will advance equity across our region and ensure that no community is left behind in our economic recovery.


To learn more about how your company or organization can partner with Together We Rise, contact Joan Garvey Lundgren at

Read our press release and news coverage to learn more.


  • What is Together We Rise?

    Together We Rise is uniting partners across philanthropy, business, government, nonprofits and communities to help our region build back better, stronger and more just following the crises of 2020. It seeks to harness the Chicago region’s energy and generosity to tackle the disproportionate impacts of COVID-19 and the deep-seated inequities amplified by the pandemic. Hosted at The Chicago Community Trust, the initiative consists of three complementary and interconnected efforts:
    1. A philanthropic fund for making catalytic grants and investments;
    2. Galvanizing private-sector actors to adopt equitable business practices; and
    3. Identifying public policy and systems changes to achieve and sustain results that advance equity in our region.

  • What will donations made to the Together We Rise fund support?

    To achieve our shared vision, Together We Rise will focus on key priorities, including, but not limited to, increasing employment, strengthening small businesses and spurring catalytic development in disinvested neighborhoods.

    The initiative will provide financial support through the fund to solutions that address priorities such as those noted above and support the business practices and policies necessary to sustain results.

  • Can individuals apply for resources from the fund?

    It is expected the Together We Rise fund will make investments in and partner with organizations. Individuals are not eligible to receive funding.

  • How can an organization apply to the fund?

    The Steering Committee will finalize processes for grantmaking, which is expected to involve solicited and unsolicited applications and be periodic, depending on each priority issue area’s strategies.

  • When will the first round of grants be distributed?

    Together We Rise aims to make an initial set of illustrative grants in December 2020.

  • What geography will this fund support?

    Funds will be directed primarily to efforts in Chicago and Cook County, although the fund may support initiatives beyond the metropolitan region that impact the region.

  • Will all of the donated money go to the community or be granted out?

    A minimum of 97 percent of donated funds will be directed to organizations and initiatives promoting equitable economic recovery. No more than 3 percent will be directed to Together We Rise’s operations, including staff, fundraising and administration.

  • Can donations be earmarked for a specific use or particular neighborhoods?

    Together We Rise will support neighborhoods and communities that have long been underinvested in and that have been disproportionately affected by COVID-19. We will maximize resources by pooling donations and investing them in the most impactful way, as well as filling gaps between other initiatives. For that reason, we generally will not accept donations earmarked for particular neighborhoods.

  • How can people donate to the fund?

    All donations are welcome, and we can process check, credit card, wire transfer and ACH transfer of securities.

  • Is this fund associated with the Chicago Community COVID-19 Response Fund?

    The Chicago Community COVID-19 Response Fund was focused on meeting people’s immediate needs at the onset of the pandemic, such as food, shelter, and access to direct cash assistance. The Together We Rise initiative is focused on long-term economic recovery. It aims to ensure Black and Latinx communities are not left behind and to establish more equitable ways for our region to invest and do business moving forward.