2015-2016 Biennial Impact Report

The Field Foundation of Illinois


The Field Foundation of Illinois seeks to provide support for community, civic and cultural organizations in the Chicagoland area, enabling both new and established programs to test innovations, to expand proven strengths or to address specific, time-limited operational needs.

A Word from our Chairman – Lyle Logan

The Field Foundation has a nearly eighty-year history of supporting a broad set of nonprofit organizations doing ambitious work inside of one of the greatest cities in the world. Our board and staff take this responsibility to heart. Each proposal receives a sound review, and Field has built a reputation for leaving the confines of our offices to cross the city and sit with our nonprofit leaders. We seek to understand what isn’t written in a proposal. We want to see, learn, and experience the work that is happening in the city’s trenches and that is at the core of making Chicago work.

Our funding has traditionally fallen across six focus areas: Culture, Community Welfare, Education, Environment, Health, and Urban and Community Affairs. Within these areas we seek to alleviate some of the critical issues facing Chicago, from homelessness and affordable housing to workforce development and public school support. We also work with organizations that are tackling environmental policy and providing needed healthcare opportunities within our neighborhoods. Finally, we support the arts – whether that’s in schools or in galleries, we know Chicago’s heart beats to the rhythm of creativity and ingenuity.

As a lifelong Chicagoan, I’ve grown up and raised a family within the neighborhoods of this city. As a product of the Chicago Public School system, I see the transformational impact of education. It has been my great honor to serve on the Board of the Field Foundation for the past twelve years, three as Chairman. I am honored to serve with Judith Block, Gloria Castillo, Marshall Field V, Rita A. Fry, Stephanie Field Harris, Kym Hubbard, Jamee Field Kane, Oliver Nicklin, George A. Ranney, and our life Trustee, Philip Hummer. We want to collectively give a heartfelt thank you to Aurie Pennick for her tenure leading the Field Foundation. Her deep commitment to and admiration for Chicago brought about a new understanding of Chicago communities and led the foundation to important places.

The board also is excited to have Angelique Power join us as our new President. She brings more than twenty years of experience with her from nonprofit and corporate and foundation philanthropic work. As a born and raised Chicagoan as well, she too has a deep and longstanding relationship with our city. Her work within racial equity, the arts, strategic planning, and community building suits the foundation and Chicago’s needs well. She is also raring to go, to meet with folks, to bring new ideas, and to continue the Field Foundation’s legacy of listening and responding to Chicago’s greatest needs.

There is a great saying attributable to many communities: "If you want to move fast, then go alone. If you want to move far, move together. If you want to transform, we must collaborate and be patient.” Applying this saying to the work we’ve accomplished these last two years, or to the current state of Chicago, or as the reason we do what we do – our transformative ability lies in being able to collaborate and work together.

Lyle Logan

a note from our new President - Angelique Power

Much about our city has made the news. The political stalemate downstate, the gun violence ticker that hits new levels every day, the new Obama library that is coming, and the other museum that is not. We are a city of dreamers and doers. We are as bold as our skyscrapers and as grounded as our vast parks and green spaces. There are thousands of nonprofits in the city of Chicago and most have been supported by the Field Foundation in some way, shape, or form in our history. As Lyle mentioned, at the Field Foundation we aim to support a wide swath of Chicago’s needs and to understand the complexity of the issues that face us.

Welcome to our new electronic biennial report. It is meant to give you a sense of who we are, what we fund, and most importantly what is happening inside of some of the most entrepreneurial organizations inside of the city of Chicago. Over the past two fiscal years, The Field Foundation has made grants to 192 organizations totaling more than $4.7 million in grant making. Of these, 68% were renewals and 32% were new grantees. We’ve also been doing work outside of a stated focus area to try and confront the multi-layered ways to alleviate violence in our city. From restorative justice measures and intervention tactics to transformative programs, we are seeking to support those whose work is literally a matter of life and death.

What follows are stories that don’t often make the news – stories of people, organizations, and actions that are making a critical difference everyday in our lives as Chicagoans. We hope you enjoy reading about some of these hometown heroes while understanding there are so many more stories to tell.

Angelique Power

Addressing Violence

Every day, local, regional, and national news outlets feature stories of Chicago’s violent crime, its inequitable criminal justice system, and its struggling neighborhoods.

The Field Foundation of Illinois believes that there is an equally powerful story behind deterrents from and alternatives to the rising violence. Since 2007, we have supported a range of organizations that address the issue of community violence in a number of ways; from trauma-informed training at Family Focus to a parent organizing initiative with Chicago’s Black Star Project. We have supported peace and leadership councils with Mikva Challenge, restorative justice hubs with Community Justice for Youth Institute, and the disruption of the school-to-prison pipeline in Chicago’s South Shore neighborhood through the Umoja Student Development Corporation.

In addition, the Field Foundation has provided support to a number of nonprofits as they create new opportunities for discussion around the issues of community violence and viable solutions to addressing it. We have supported organizations such as the Seventh Circuit Bar Association for its program Rethinking the War on Drugs, the Juvenile Justice Initiative for a summit on counsel for children during police interrogations, and an Illinois Justice Project-led forum (formerly Metropolis Strategies) titled The $2 Billion Question: Can Illinois Spend Less on Incarceration and Improve Public Safety?

And yet there is work to be done. Our interest in the prevention of community violence stems from a belief that solutions cannot be a one-size-fits-all approach. Due to the need for multiple strategies to solve violence issues, since 2008 the Field Foundation has dedicated over $3.1 million to Chicago nonprofits that address issues of community violence in creative and critical ways.


Montessori School of Englewood

The Field Foundation’s 2015-2016 Biennial Report highlights the work of the Foundation’s recent grantees and features several programs and initiatives that the Foundation has supported these past two years. While there is never enough time to shine a light on every organization that the Field Foundation supports, we have highlighted the work being done by a handful of organizations. We asked them to talk about their work, their impact on Chicago, and what their experience with the Field Foundation means to them. In the stories below, you will learn about what they shared with us and what we hope you will share with others.

View All Stories

2015-2016 grant AWARDS

The following is a summary by program area of all 2015-2016 grant payments made.



© 2016 Field Foundation
All photos by Olga Lopez