Grant Details

Robert R. McCormick Foundation (Chicago, Illinois)

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    Funder Type

    Private Foundation

    IT Classification

    C - Funds little to no technology


    Robert R. McCormick Foundation


    The Robert R. McCormick Foundation works with communities in Chicagoland and across Illinois to develop educated, informed, and engaged citizens. Their aim is to assist communities, to strengthen democracy, and help ensure that all families and children have the opportunities they need to flourish. The foundation focuses their grants and support on areas where some of the most significant challenges and disparities exist in Chicagoland: jobs and economic opportunity, health and wellness, and education. This focus was based on research and input from the communities we serve. By approaching them comprehensively, the foundation is able to address the root causes of Chicago's most significant problems.

    Communities Program: The mission of this program is to expand opportunities for all Chicagoans, regardless of ZIP code, race, or income, through partnerships with donors, local nonprofits, and community leaders.

    The Communities Program invests in programs that improve the education, health, employment, and economic opportunities for individuals living on Chicago's south and west sides and suburban communities where racial and economic disparities are prevalent. We raise money from individual donors, with local sports teams, and through philanthropic organizations, matching each donation at 50 cents on the dollar to maximize support of nonprofit organizations working in these communities.

    Community Justice Initiative: The mission of this program is to make Chicago a place where everyone feels safe, can thrive and is treated fairly.

    To create the conditions for a safe, peaceful, and more just city, the Community Justice Initiative focuses on three areas:

    • Reduce gun violence on the west and south sides of Chicago
    • Create positive connections for youth most vulnerable to exposure and engagement in violence
    • Reform criminal justice system to improve public safety, reduce undue incarceration, and improve outcomes for justice-involved individuals and their communities

    The foundation's approach calls for support of community driven solutions providing direct service to individuals at heightened risk for perpetrating or being victims of violence, policy and advocacy efforts that challenge systemic barriers, and research and evaluation of new and promising programs to surface novel solutions.

    Democracy Program: The mission of this program is to strengthen democracy in Illinois through informed and engaged citizens and communities, vigorous and independent journalism, and responsive systems of government.

    Goals of program:

    • Local journalism is vigorous, independent, and effective at informing the public and holding institutions accountable
    • Youth are informed, actively participate in their communities, and have healthy civic dispositions
    • Public institutions are inclusive, transparent, and accountable to the communities they serve

    Education Program: The mission of this program is to catalyze efforts to help Illinois' most vulnerable children to succeed through school, college, careers and life by ensuring the best possible start, beginning at birth.

    While committed long-term to building a strong early childhood system in Illinois, the Robert R. McCormick Foundation is also continuously adapting to changing political contexts, new leadership, and emerging opportunities to innovate.

    Veterans Program: The mission of this program is to make Illinois the best state for veterans and military families to thrive. 

    To help veterans identify their full potential, the Veterans Program focuses on three key areas:

    • Invest in employment programs which focus on creating pipelines into careers while integrating supportive services that mitigate barriers to employment faced by veterans
    • Identify and invest in behavioral health programs that address gaps in services that limit a veteran's ability to successfully reintegrate
    • Facilitate the collaboration and coordination of services so that veterans are able to navigate existing resources successfully

    History of Funding

    Since 1955, the McCormick Foundation has invested more than $1.5 billion in the areas of journalism, education, social services, civic engagement, and veterans' programs. Funded organizations can be found at

    Additional Information

    The Robert R. McCormick Foundation does not fund programs that advance a particular religious or sectarian purpose, partisan political or electoral activities, endowments, or individual scholarships or personal research projects. The foundation does not provide funding for individuals.

    Organizations interested in the Communities Program must apply through one of the Foundation's Fund Partners:


    Cornelia Grumman

    Cornelia Grumman
    205 N. Michigan Avenue, Suite 4300
    Chicago, IL 60601
    (312) 445-5062

  • Eligibility Details

    Nonprofit 501(c)(3) organizations that operate within one or more of thee described program areas and are located in Chicago are eligible to apply. Please refer to the official program guidance for additional information and restrictions.

    Deadline Details

    Application process varies by program.

    If a non-profit organization believes its work is a possible fit for a grant after it has reviewed the funding guidelines, it should e-mail

    Initial contact should briefly (2 or 3 paragraphs) outline the nature and purpose of the proposed work, the requested funding and the qualifications of the organization. All requests will receive a response.

    Mail Letters of Inquiry to:

    McCormick Foundation

    205 North Michigan Avenue

    Suite 4300

    Chicago, IL 60601

    Award Details

    Award amounts vary based on scope and size of projects.

    Related Webcasts Use the links below to view the recorded playback of these webcasts

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    • Funding Data-driven Workforce Development Projects - Sponsored by NetApp - Playback Available


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