What matters to you most? We can help you achieve it.
Every day, we work closely with individuals and families just like you, as well as with your trusted financial advisors, to ensure that your charitable giving gives you the control, the flexibility, and the impact you’re looking for.
Meet the Team
Our expertise and service help transform your vision of change into powerful, meaningful philanthropy. Contact us to learn more about your options.
The Trust can help you translate cash, bequests or other assets into lasting community impact. There are a variety of options, and the Trust can work with you to create the giving vehicle that is right for you.
Donor Advised Funds
Donor advised funds make your grant making simple and effective. Donors create a personal, named fund with a minimum gift of $10,000, then make grants from the fund to charities of their choosing. The Trust provides administrative support and oversight of the investment of your assets.
Fund holders have the option to access their account online, adding money or making grants from anywhere in the world, 24/7, through our online portal called Instant Impact.
In addition to awarding your charitable grants, a donor advised fund also gives you access to easy ways to get involved in the community—like locally-focused impact investing, or joining together with neighbors in shoring up our community safety net through the Unity Fund.
A supporting organization can be an alternative to a private foundation. It is recognized as a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt organization. You may select board members to govern your investments and grant making policies. With a gift of $3 million or more, the supporting organization becomes an affiliate of the Trust.
Private Foundation Conversion
For many donors, the administrative and other burdens of managing a private foundation can overshadow their primary desire to do good. A donor advised fund with the Trust offers a welcome alternative.
Planning an Estate Gift
A planned gift through The Chicago Community Trust can create lasting support for the charitable areas that matter to you. A planned gift can also reduce your income tax liability. Working with your advisors, the Trust can offer you several options to create a lasting philanthropic legacy for yourself and your family. We provide expert counsel on charitable gifts that include:
- Life insurance policies
- Retirement accounts
- Charitable trusts or charitable gift annuities
For more insight on these services, contact Tim Bresnahan, senior director of gift planning, at firstname.lastname@example.org or (312) 616-8000 x158, or Abbe Temkin, director of major & planned gifts, at email@example.com or (312) 616-8000 x133.
The Trust offers a number of opportunities to direct your charitable giving into our local community—from impact investing, to giving circles that unite likeminded donors for greater philanthropic power.
Strong communities are built on our humanity and readiness to help our neighbors in their time of need. Donating to Unity Fund ensures that funding reaches nonprofit organizations that serve as lifelines in the community for so many individuals and families seeking the basic needs of life: shelter, food, clothing, health services and job training.
Since 2009, generous donors like you have helped Unity Fund award nearly $14 million to benefit 200 nonprofits providing critical services in our community. Please join us.
- Quick link: Donate to the Unity Fund
Identity Focused Funds
Identity-focused funds are groups of donors united by a shared heritage or common interest. They offer an efficient way to support a specific group of people and the nonprofits that aid them by leveraging contributions by giving collectively. Minimum contributions vary by group, starting as low as $250. Learn more about our Identity Focused Funds:
- Quick link: Donate to the African American Legacy
- Quick link: Donate to the Asian Giving Circle
- Quick link: Donate to the Disabilities Fund
- Quick link: Donate to the Latino Giving Circle
- Quick link: Donate to the LGBT Community Fund
- Quick link: Donate to Nuestro Futuro
- Quick link: Donate to the Pillars Fund
- Quick link: Donate to The Young Leaders Fund
The Chicago Community Trust is affiliated with regional community foundations whose objectives align with those of the greater metropolitan area. Through their affiliation with the Trust, these foundations allow donors to leverage contributions by giving collectively, gain hands-on introduction to grant making and enjoy greater economies of scale. Learn more about our Geographic Affiliates:
- Quick link: Donate to The Lake County Community Foundation
Our Great Rivers
Imagine a river system in Chicago where communities, habitats and industries prosper together. In 2015, The Chicago Community Trust secured the approval of Mayor Emanuel to work with partners on the city’s first-ever vision for its complex river system, made up of 150 miles of land along the Chicago, Des Plaines and Calumet rivers and tributaries.
The Our Great Rivers Fund will support sustainable development projects to make this bold vision a reality, creating a river system in the future that is as vibrant and beloved a resource as our signature lakefront is today.
Local Impact Investing
Benefit Chicago is a powerful collaboration that aims to mobilize $100 million in impact investments for nonprofits and social enterprises working throughout the Chicago region.
Through a donor advised fund at The Chicago Community Trust, you can purchase Chicago-targeted Notes. The pool of combined capital from the purchase of these fixed-income securities will make low-interest loans and other investments to nonprofits and social enterprises providing education, access to healthy food, quality affordable housing, job training and more. Learn more
Online Giving - Special Funds
To make giving simple, the Trust accepts donations from all major credit cards. Gifts by credit card incur a processing fee (2.598 percent plus $2.76 per transaction). You can make a gift to your own donor advised fund through our online giving service, Kintera.
The Trust also houses and administers the funds for a number of the region’s charitable and civic initiatives. Supporters of the following funds can make their donations online:
Forms & Resources
Our staff provides personalized service for your giving needs. In addition to helping you choose a giving plan, we are here to help with making sound investments, maximizing your tax benefits and handling the paperwork along the way.
We offer donor advised fund holders online access—add money or make grants from anywhere in the world, 24/7 through our online portal, Instant Impact.
We also host donor events throughout the year, like our signature series of Impact Chicago briefings on timely topics in philanthropy and community.
Sign up for the Trust’s quarterly email newsletter, created just for donors—you’ll find practical tools for giving through the Trust, plus insights into community impact and the business of philanthropy.