Christopher L. and M. Susan Gust Foundation

OVERVIEW:  The Christopher L. and M. Susan Gust Foundation’s Chicago grantmaking largely supports inclusive education opportunities for students, as well as select human service and health causes.

IP TAKE: The foundation keeps a low public profile, which limits information available on its grantmaking priorities and activities.

FUNDING AREAS: Education and youth, health, human services

PROFILE: Established in 2001, the Christopher L. and M. Susan Gust Foundation is steered by financier Christopher Gust and his wife Susan, who are based in the Chicago area. One of the foundation’s aims is to support inclusive education opportunities for students. Overall, grantmaking areas of interest are education and youth, health, and human services.

The foundation does not have a website to guide grantseekers. But per a recent IRS Form 990, Gust lists three grantmaking activity areas, which focus on supporting inclusive education at select area private schools and public schools. The Gust Foundation partners with “private educational institutions, providing funds for study scholarships, and services for students with disabilities,” among other efforts. It has worked with St. Ignatius College Preparatory School and St. Benedict Preparatory School. The Gust Foundation also works with Chicago Public Schools to support children with learning disabilities. Its past grantees include an inclusion facilitator position at both Jahn Elementary School and Ravenswood Elementary School. Gust also has supported an educational conference that focused on fostering an inclusive environment. In addition to its investments in education, the Gust Foundation also supports health and human services in Chicago. This includes the Greater Chicago Food Depository, Chicago Autism Connection, and Heartland Alliance, an antipoverty organization.

Grants range from $1,000 to $400,000. Review the funder’s recent tax records to learn more about past grantees. Grantmaking does not appear to be exclusively restricted to the Chicago area, but this is where the foundation awards a majority of its grants. Gust largely provides general operating support, but also supports educational positions and scholarships. Its tax filings suggest that Gust only awards a handful of grants annually.

A recent Form 990 indicates that the foundation accepts written requests, which should include purpose and use of funds. However, the form does not provide details if there are any submission deadlines, restrictions, or limitations on awards. The foundation’s phone number to get in touch is 312-391-6354.

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