Case Studies

The Chicago Community Trust


For more than 100 years, The Chicago Community Trust has served  as a central convener and issue-area expert for Chicago philanthropy. Through the donor-advised funds it hosts and its organizational initiatives, the Trust helps donors connect their philanthropy to impact, leading to meaningful change in the Chicago region and beyond. To this end, the Trust unveiled a 10-year strategic plan in 2019 with the goal of addressing the root cause of many of Chicago’s ongoing challenges: the racial and ethnic wealth gap. Currently, 12 of Chicago’s 13 most economically stressed communities are majority Black or Latinx. The Trust is working to address this systemic imbalance through short-term emergency relief and long-term  systems change.

One on-the-ground example of this work is the Trust’s initiative We Rise Together, which is committed to making sure that as Chicago’s economy recovers from the COVID-19 pandemic, Black and Latinx communities are not left behind. Launched  in October 2020, We Rise Together is a coalition of corporate and philanthropic funders and communities focused on spurring development in disinvested neighborhoods, promoting employment resilience, and strengthening businesses owned by people of color.


Since its launch, the We Rise Together initiative has received more than $44 million in donor commitments and has awarded more than $18.6 million in grants. And through its Fund for Equitable Business Growth, the Trust
has funded business support organizations that have uplifted more than 1,000 Black- and Latinx-owned small businesses, helping them create or retain more than 800 jobs. In addition, We Rise Together and the Corporate Coalition of Chicago launched 5/25 Move to Action, engaging 25 corporate partners to make commitments toward
a more inclusive business climate in Chicago.

How The Satter Foundation Has Helped

At the request of former Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel, the Satter Foundation has supported The Chicago Community Trust with a multi-year commitment to advance efforts to increase educational and job opportunities.

What's Next

Now three years into its strategic plan, the Trust continues to develop and launch initiatives to grow household wealth, catalyze neighborhood investment, and build residents’ collective power. One area of this work that will continue to grow in the coming years is the Trust’s focus on improving opportunities for home ownership. By promoting financing solutions, policy reform, affordable housing development, and community ownership models, the Trust will continue to help make sure homeownership is fully accessible to all.

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