Gorter Family Foundation: Chicago Grants

OVERVIEW: The Gorter Family Foundation was established in 1976 by Goldman Sachs veteran James Gorter and his wife Audrey. The foundation primarily directs its efforts to the needs of in Lake County, Illinois in the Greater Chicago area, with an eye towards education and youth.

FUNDING AREAS: Education, Youth, Human Services

IP TAKE: The foundation has a full website and accepts LOIs. Those working outside of this funder's geographic area will have an uphill climb.

PROFILE: Born in 1929 in Baltimore, James P. Gorter went on to work for several decades at Goldman Sachs. The Gorter Family Foundation was established in 1976 by Gorter and his wife Audrey. Initially, the foundation describes itself as "reactive,"responding to "requests from charities in the Chicago area and elsewhere." In 2006, the Gorter Foundation decided to take a more proactive approach to its giving, and after conducting research, decided to direct its efforts to the needs in Lake County, Illinois with an eye towards education. 

The foundation engages in several initiatives, including North Chicago Community Partners (NCCP). The Gorter Foundation provided seed capital for the outfit. NCCP works in conjunction with some 50 organizations to provide "after school enrichment activities, lunchtime tutoring and mentoring programs, family engagement and education opportunities, Saturday programs" and more.

One of the foundation's priorities is to provide comprehensive support to Lake County organizations to better enable them to grow and meet their strategic goals. This is often accomplished through a venture philanthropy model, often providing a multi-year grant.

Through the years, the Gorter Family Foundation has supported nonprofits like Advance Illinois, Bernie's Food Bank, College Bound Opportunities, Kohl Children's Museum, Most Blessed Trinity School, Partnership for College Completion, and Waukegan to College. From this sample, organizations run the gamut of human services, schools, and youth organizations.

Grantseekers should makes sure their project aligns with the GFF mission, and then should submit an LOI, including financial information, to Cheri Richardson at cheri@gorterfamilyfoundation.org. LOI’s are accepted through February 1st for grants awarded in June and through August 1st for grants awarded in December.

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