Brian and Julie Simmons Foundation: Chicago Grants

OVERVIEW: The Brian and Julie Simmons Foundation is the philanthropic vehicle of financier Brian Simmons and his wife Julie. The couple's Chicagoland philanthropy focuses on education, health, human services and more.

IP TAKE: The foundation keeps a low profile but appears to accept applications. Getting a handle on exactly what the Simmons couple looks for in their grantees, however, is hard to ascertain.

FUNDING AREAS: Education, Youth, Arts & Culture, Health, Human Services

PROFILE: Brian P. Simmons is a founder of CHS Capital, a private equity investment firm based in Chicago. A component of Simmons' and his wife Julie's giving through their Brian and Julie Simmons Foundation involves select Chicago area organizations.

In a recent fiscal year, the foundation gave away a little under $250,000. Individual grants rarely exceed $25,000 and in many instance are much lower. The foundation has a minimal web presence, but appears to accept applications per recent tax records.

One area of interest for the Simmons couple in Chicagoland is education. The foundation's grantmaking has supported places like Chicago Public Education Fund (Simmons is on the board of directors), Urban Alliance, KIPP Chicago, Latin School of Chicago, and Golden Apple, an organization that "works to inspire, develop and support teacher excellence in Illinois, especially in schools-of-need.

The couple also supports arts and culture organizations in the Chicago area like Lincoln Park Zoo (where Simmons is a life trustee),  and Chicago Botanic Garden. Another interest is health and human services, and Julie is a member of the women's board of University of Chicago Medicine Comprehensive Cancer Center, which the couple has helped fund. Other grantees have included Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago, and Greater Chicago Food Depository, where Simmons once served as board chair.

Given the low-profile nature of the couple's charity, it's tough to say exactly what this couple look for in their Chicago grantees.


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The Brian and Julie Simmons Foundation accepts applications that include the recipient's name and address, tax exempt status, and amount requested. Applications should be addressed to:

Brian P. Simmons
10 S. Wacker Dr., No. 3175
Chicago, IL 60606
Telephone: (312) 876-1840