Robert R. McCormick Foundation: Grants for Early Childhood Education

OVERVIEW: Working mainly in Illinois, the Robert R. McCormick Foundation supports communities, democracy, education and veterans. Its education program prioritizes the first eight years of life.

IP TAKE: McCormick partners with organizations and agencies in Illinois in an effort to develop a comprehensive early childhood system of care and education for the state of Illinois. It runs an ongoing, open application program.

PROFILE: Based in Chicago, Illinois, the Robert R. McCormick Foundation was established in 1955 following the death of its namesake, the longtime editor and publisher of the Chicago Tribune. The foundation aims to foster "communities of educated, informed and engaged citizens" through its communities, democracy, education and veterans initiatives.

The McCormick Foundation supports EEC in Illinois through its education funding program, which prioritizes "the first eight years of life," with the goal of helping all children to "arrive at kindergarten fully prepared to thrive in school" and "to be on track in literacy in math by 3rd grade." To this end, the foundations supports ongoing efforts in Illinois to develop a "comprehensive early childhood system." McCormick's grantees include the Big Shoulders Fund, which supports Catholic Schools in underprivileged areas of Chicago, and the Illinois Network of Child Care Resources & Referral Agencies, a collaborative organization that helps families find affordable childcare and education options. Nationally, the foundation supports Zero to Three, which runs programs for babies, toddlers and parents focused on providing strong basic care and emotional connections. 

While the Robert R. McCormick Foundations works mainly with organizations in Chicago, it does not set any geographic limitations to its funding. Applications for grants of less than $50,000 are reviewed on an ongoing basis, and applications for larger grants should be submitted in the fall for review at an annual grants meeting in May. Most education grants range from $200,000 to $355,000.

Grantseekers' initial contact with the foundations should be in the form of a brief email, which is described in the foundation's application process section. This funder welcomes applications on an ongoing basis.


Search for staff contact info and bios in PeopleFinder (paid subscribers only).