A. Montgomery Ward Foundation: Grants for Chicago

OVERVIEW: The A. Montgomery Ward Foundation supports arts, culture, humanities, and education in Chicago and the surrounding communities.

FUNDING AREAS: Arts, culture, humanities, education

IP TAKE: This is an active grantmaker in Chicago, which prioritizes arts and culture groups of all shapes and sizes.

PROFILE: Established in 1959, the A. Montgomery Ward Foundation is a private foundation in Illinois. Marjorie Montgomery Ward Baker, the daughter of A. Montgomery Ward, established this foundation in his name to support the local community. A. Montgomery Ward was an Chicago-based entrepreneur who founded Montgomery Ward & Company in 1872 and had the revolutionary idea of a retail mailing catalog. He passed away at the age of 70 in 1913 and left a large portion of his estate to local higher educational institutions. Managed by Bank of America’s Illinois office, the foundation’s grantmaking supports arts, culture, humanities, and education.

This funder aims to support the current and future residents of the Chicago areas in a variety of ways. It commonly supports local charitable groups that provide cultural programming and educational opportunities. Many grants also support museums, recordings for the blind and dyslexic, programs for children from birth to age five, and treatment for families that have experienced child abuse and neglect. The funder also regularly funds social service programs that benefit women, youth, and families. Past local grantees include the Chicago Botanical Garden, Margaret’s Village, Sit Stay Read, and Neumann Family Services.

Foundation grants often range between $5,000 and $25,000. Learn more about this funder’s local giving by examining its recent tax records. Grantmaking focuses on Chicago and the Greater Chicago area. Its grants are typically for one-year periods.

This foundation accepts unsolicited grant applications from nonprofits. The annual application deadlines are April 15 and October 15, and applicants can expect to hear back with a funding decision by June 30 and December 31 following these deadlines. Grantseekers must use the Bank of America online system to apply for a grant. Direct general questions to the staff at ilgrantmaking@ustrust.com or 312-828-2055.


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