Rehabilitation Institute Sees Funding Drop

The Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago is struggling to move forward with construction plans after falling $35 million short of its key fundraising milestone. Major foundations, like Chicago Community Trust, have historically accounted for over 75% of the funding for the city’s rehab specialty hospital. The Rehabilitation Institute has been trying to raise $550 million to build a new twenty-seven story hospital in the Streeterville neighborhood. However, it seems that the city's philanthropic foundations simply aren't giving enough.

Plans for the new research hospital include 242 rehabilitation patient beds, 691 parking spaces for medical staff, updated traffic signals, and publically-accessible bicycle parking. Construction of the building would employ 1,500 construction workers and upon completion, the new facility would create 350 new jobs. However, if the city's foundations don't step it up, the project could be delayed or even fall through.

After giving $5 million in one year, Chicago Community’s Trust’s giving to the Rehabilitation Institute has decreased dramatically to just $25,000 in recent years. Fortunately, individual donors like Nancy Ertle Tarika have been picking up some of the slack. The former President of Viskase Corporation's estate dictated that a "substantial philanthropic gift" be awarded for the new Rehabilitation Institute after her death.

If the Rehabilitation Institute hopes to open its doors to patients by the target date of March 2017, its fundraising professionals will need to start targeting Chicago's foundations most interested in healthcare grantmaking. If your organization is experiencing similar difficulties, Crown Family Philanthropies, Washington Square Health Foundation, Lloyd A. Fry Foundation, and Chicago Community Trust may be a good place to start looking for grant funds. Each of these Chicago-based foundations have well-established health grant programs and a vested interest in the welfare of the city's residents. Now hopefully someone at Chicago's Rehabilitation Institute is reading this article.