Hamill Family Foundation: Chicago Grants

OVERVIEW: The Hamill Family Foundation's Chicago grantmaking strongly centers on supporting environmental organizations. Other areas of interest include arts and culture, education, and human services.

FUNDING AREAS: Environment & Animals, Arts & Culture, Education, Human Services, Health

IP TAKE: The foundation keeps a low-profile, and does not appear to accept unsolicited proposals. Networking will be key for getting on this Chicago family's radar. 

PROFILE: The Hamill Family Foundation is the philanthropic vehicle of Segall Bryant & Hamill cofounder Jonathan C. Hamill and his sisters, Elizabeth, and Nancy. The family's parents loom large in the foundation's grantmaking, particularly its environmental giving. The late Corwith "Corky" Hamill was once president of the Chicago Zoological Society and Joan Smith Hamill was considered a driving force in the creation of the Illinois Prairie Path.

Hamill, Elizabeth and Nancy have continued in their parents' footsteps. Hamill sits on the board of Openlands and is a trustee emeritus of the Illinois chapter of The Nature Conservancy. Elizabeth is a founding board member at Barrington Area Conservation Trust, a land conservation and preservation organization in Barrington, Illinois. The Hamills via their foundation have strongly supported Chicago Zoological Society, home to the Hamill Family Wild Encounters. Other big winners include Openlands, a Chicago organization that supports "community gardening, biking and paddling trails, farmland protection, and many other conservation initiatives"; Environmental Law and Policy Center; and The Conservation Foundation.

The Hamils through their foundation have also supported Chicago area arts and culture outfits like Field Museum of Natural History. In education, Northwestern University (Hamill's alma mater), Elgin Academy, and Strategic Learning Initiatives, which schools to "dramatically improve classroom practice and district results," have been among the foundation's grantees.

The foundation's Chicago grantmaking also supports health and human services in the region. Grantees have included Robert H. Lurie Cancer Center, ACLU of Illinois, and Chicago Coalition for the Homeless. 

In a recently reported tax year, the foundation gave away around $5.6 million. Many individual grants are under $25,000. 


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The Hamill Family Foundation does not provide a clear avenue for getting in touch with the family, but below is contact information:

Hamill Family Foundation

200 W. Madison St., Ste. 3400
Chicago, IL 60606
Phone: 312-676-0300