Top 5 Giving Foundations in Illinois

Now that we are close to Christmas and the end of the year 2016 arrives, it is time for us to take a look at the foundations that gave the most to support different causes in Illinois. These foundations were classified by The Grantsmanship Center’s funding databases according to certain criteria they needed to meet, like having a staff and issuing Requests for Proposals (RFPs) from those interested in obtaining a grant.

Despite the fact that some nonprofits’ budget was a bit short and some had to close down. Illinois continued to do and outstanding work to serve those in need and solve some of the most pressing issues affecting the state and the Midwest, in general, such as homelessness, education, and healthcare. Below, Yosef Meystel shares some of the top givers for this year.


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1 . John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation

Total Grant Amount: $209,859,152

This foundation is one of the largest and most influential philanthropic institutions in the United States. It serves different organizations located worldwide. Its main goal is to support creative people and meaningful institutions which are working for the sake of a better world. The John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation believes that through small actions progress and change are possible in a way that some of the most pressing social issues are addressed and solved.

The John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation mainly focuses on problems related to over-incarceration, nuclear risk, globular climate change and increasing capital for the social sector. The organization works as one of the largest nonprofit foundations in the United States with offices in different states, as well as in Mexico, India, and Nigeria.

2 . The Rotary Foundation

Total Grant Amount: $168,093,702

The Rotary operates as one of the largest organizations worldwide committed to tackling some of the world’s biggest challenges. With more than 1.2 million members around the globe, the Rotary Foundation aims to reach those who live in communities that are in need. By uniting leaders from different backgrounds, continents, and occupations, the Rotary Foundation allows individuals to gather and take action in different communities around the world.

In Illinois, the Rotary Foundation has had a major impact in terms of giving grants to different social causes since the organization is open to supporting a wide variety of projects and scholarships. The Rotary helps individuals plan their projects, acquire the resources to implement them and finally, this entity gets involved in the execution of each project in order to minimize the risk of it not being successful after all.


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3 . The Caterpillar Foundation

Total Grant Amount: $55,998,836

The motto of the Caterpillar Foundation is “We are stronger together”. This organization believes that through teamwork and cooperation it is possible to eradicate extreme poverty. This is why the foundation created the Together Stronger platform as a tool that reunites businesses, nonprofits, citizens and the government to help over 50 million people stand out of extreme poverty by the year 2020.

The foundation has done its share in Illinois by contributing to preserving the environment. Due to its considerable footprint, Caterpillar has been committed to environmental causes since 1952, and Illinois in not an exception. The foundation makes millionaire contributions to environmental causes every year in the Midwest to mitigate the impact of their job as manufacturers. This may not seem like the best way to go, but is a neat solution for potential problems that could take place in Illinois.

4 . Robert R. McCormick Tribune Foundation

Total Grant Amount: $51,055,275

Located in Chicago, the Robert R. McCormick Foundation is committed to helping citizens and community leaders work to make life better in every neighborhood and community in Chicago. Since 1955, the foundation has worked as one of the largest foundations in the United States with over 1 billion dollars in assets. It focuses on working with well-educated citizens that are willing to engage with social causes in Chicago.

At first, the foundation started as a charitable institution working for literacy, education, and the prevention of cruelty or abuse to children or animals. In time, it became an important institution supporting childhood education, youth civic engagement, journalism, assistance for vulnerable communities and veterans. Providing grants to meet the needs of those living under disadvantaged circumstances.

5 . The Joyce Foundation

Total Grant Amount: $41,476,494

Bases in Chicago, the Joyce Foundation believes that through community work they quality of life can be improved. Striving to promote community vitality and the building and growth of a fair society, this foundation trusts in grants as a tool for individuals to obtain what they need in order to make their communities stronger.

The foundation is involved with children education, reducing poverty and expanding economic opportunities for workers under disadvantaged conditions. Also, it supports policies related to the environment conservation, the reduction of violence and the promotion of artists and colorful communities filled with cultural contents.