Interesting facts about Philanthropy in Chicago that will surprise you

Chicago is recognized not only for its architecture and culture but by the quality of people who always seeks to help those who need it. Their donations are arranged in a variety of sectors, including education, health, human services, arts, and more.

Giving in Chicago, It’s a recently done research that shows Chicagoans are more willing to donate than the national average. Only in 2013, were given 10 billion to recipient entities where household donations stand out from the rest with 71 %, followed by grantmakers with a  24%, and after that, corporations with a 5%.


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As if that weren’t enough, when comes the time for helping, the Chicagoans don’t content with doing the donation, they also take ownership of the situation. They also do constant checking to be sure that the aid reaches the right hands and they don’t make the donation without first searching for information . All this because they feel identified with the cause.

Philanthropy, defined as love for the human been which is expressed as helping others, has certain characteristics: it is non-reciprocal and is universalist . The first one means that the person who donates does not expect that the favor will be returned in the future because is something beyond convenience and it´s more identifying with the other. The second one talk about universalism, this means that the contributor has no relationship with the person that helps, because more than helping someone in specific, is to help and improve any situation.

In Chicago, the case where there are more donations is human services, which refers to the needs of human beings and their search to improve the quality of life. People who work in this gives guidance, counseling, treatment and provide the basic needs for the ones who are in crisis. The research shows that about 70 companies, the majority gives donations to this field.

Not only Chicago, but all United States is recognized as the country where philanthropy is more active, not only in a matter of numbers but also because of the improvement and development of its institutional forms. For American people, philanthropy it´s part of their values and they see themselves as one single thing, where if you help others, the country, in general, will improve.

According to Giving in the USA 2015, donations increase every year. For example in 2014, there was a 7.1 % growth with a figure of 358.38 billion dollars. For the United States, the percentages are 72% of individual donations , 15 % from foundations, inherited 8% and 5% of corporations.

Philanthropy in the United States had began to spread after the Second World War when the whole country joined together looking to eradicate poverty and inequality. The first acts of philanthropy were made by religion, but in individual cases, it shows out the case of John D. Rockefeller in 1910, when he decided to create an institution with the object of “promoting the welfare of humanity.” He invited everyone to not only worry about individuals healthy, also for social balance.

Since then, step by step, Chicago has been climbing to be noted in this area. The high productivity is also reflected in the web, where more than 900 thousand pages appear related to the topic, not just institutions or people who practice it but information and guides to know who, how and where to donate. The Internet shows a variety of causes seeking support, such as helping women, Africans, artists and more. In addition, some pages contain their own search engines so people can look for a specific situation. 

Related: The power of philanthropy: building social bonds in communities

Another thing to note is that Chicago nonprofit institutions have worked out to make the formalities every day easier and more safety when comes the time to do a donation, giving the contributor all the guarantees that their money is helping the cause.

At present, issues such as the environment have gained value for philanthropists in Chicago since there is more consciousness of the damage and the consequences to the planet. Many of these organizations not only seek for helping ecosystems but also the living beings that live on it, to prevent and save them from extinction. The most popular ones are related to thaw and climate changes, animals in danger of extinction and the protection of natural reserve. Some of these non-profit organizations that support this subject are in Chicago and they also talk about recycling, watershed projects, and urban gardening.


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However, there are many causes to support. The Chicagoans firmly believe that any help is valuable for others and love for the human being it’s for everyone. They also expect this trend to continue growing because, with the help of all, we will gradually mitigating the problems of society.