Diversity, Equity & Inclusion


The mission of The Chicago Community Trust is to improve the lives of the people in metropolitan Chicago. We believe that the diversity of our community is a fundamental strength of our region. Our mission is best fulfilled when we embrace diversity as a value and a practice.

We maintain that achieving diversity requires an enduring commitment to inclusion that must find full expression in our organizational culture, values, norms and behaviors.

Throughout our work, we will support diversity in all of its forms, encompassing but not limited to age, disability status, economic circumstance, ethnicity, gender, race, religion and sexual orientation.

Leading by example, we aspire to make diversity a core and abiding strength of the nonprofit sector.

A partner with nonprofits

The Trust believes that the board and staff composition of grant recipients should reflect the diversity and demographics of the community being served, and include diversity among its leadership at the board and senior staff levels to ensure the diverse perspectives needed at these decision-making levels.

Specifically, we require all grant applicants either to adopt the Trust’s Diversity Statement (above) or to have a similar policy adopted by their boards. In addition, the Trust asks that applicants provide demographic data on board and staff as well as clients/beneficiaries. Applicants are encouraged to provide a rationale or action plan to address lack of diversity in their organization. In aggregate form, these data provide an important profile of minority inclusion and leadership within our region’s nonprofit sector.

Elevated train tracks in Chicago, photographed from beneath

Around Chicago's Transit Stations, Equitable Communities Take Root

A resource for donors

We are proud to be a trusted philanthropic partner for individuals and families across the region who want to make an impact. Among the giving options we offer are several identity-focused funds: groups of donors united by a shared heritage or a common cause.

Honoring the rich traditions of caring and mutual support within many communities, these identity funds enable donors to power up the nonprofits advancing equity and inclusion in our region. Learn more:

Students sit in a circle in a brightly painted, multicolored room at the Academy for Scholastic Achievement

A West Side High School Where Peace Circles Reduce Violence, Build Success

A voice for communities

From its founding, the Trust has been dedicated to creating innovative efforts to build social cohesion and equity. 1920 marked the Trust’s first social survey, Americanization in Chicago—an effort to understand the city’s shifting racial and ethnic demographics in the wake of mass immigration, race riots and growing disenfranchisement.

Today, the Trust is home to a number of strategic task forces working to close opportunity gaps in our community:

Ensuring full inclusion of leaders with disabilities in Chicago’s civic and professional life.
ADA 25 Advancing Leadership is the nation’s first initiative of its kind designed to ensure that people with disabilities have access to the networks that facilitate entry to leadership positions.

Building a diverse, highly skilled, fairly paid workforce for Chicago.
The Chicagoland Workforce Funder Alliance collaborates with employers and other workforce stakeholders to increase employment, earnings and racial equity for underprepared workers in the Chicago region.

Addressing the diversity and inclusion deficits in Chicago’s financial industry.
The Financial Services Pipeline Initiative is a collaborative effort among the Trust and financial services firms to increase the representation of Latinos and African Americans, at all levels, within the Chicago-area financial services industry.

Professionals talking and laughing together in an office

Diversity Gap Widens in Chicago’s Financial Sector