Mansueto Foundation: Chicago Grants

OVERVIEW: The Mansueto Foundation is the philanthropic vehicle of Morningstar CEO Joseph Mansueto and his wife Rika. 

FUNDING AREAS: Education, art, culture

IP TAKE: The Mansuetos were the first Chicago couple to sign the Giving Pledge. Giving thus far has been limited, but some of the grantmaking taking place here isn't just coming from the foundation. Mansueto has been humble about his philanthropic strategy, admitting he's still wet behind the ears. 

PROFILE: With $80,000 in savings, Indiana native Joe Mansueto started Morningstar at his kitchen table. Morningstar is a mutual fund rating service and provider of financial data on investment offerings based in Chicago. He took the company from a quarterly publication to a giant financial data firm and he’s also actively involved in Chicago media. Mansueto attended University of Chicago, where he received his B.A. and M.B.A. Mansueto's wife, Rika Yoshida, is a Morningstar analyst and also a University of Chicago graduate.

Mansueto and Rika established the Mansueto Foundation in 2009 and signed the Giving Pledge shortly thereafter. In fact, the billionaire couple were the first Giving Pledge signatories in Chicago according to the Chicago Sun Times. The good news about this funder for local groups is that Chicago appears to be where most of the Mansueto's money is going. As of now, however, at least through the foundation itself, grantmaking has been modest. At the end of a recent, the foundation held around $5.3 million in assets and gave away just under a million dollars that year. Assets and giving has remained fairly steady over recent years.

Looking at annual 990s, however, much of the couple's philanthropic dollars are held in the "Mansueto Family Fund," making it difficult to ascertain what exactly is receiving funds. We do know that education is an interest of the couple. They donated $25 million to their mutual alma mater University of Chicago in 2008, which led to the Joe and Rika Mansueto Library. In a past year, the couple continued their support of Chicago universities by giving $25,000 to the University of Illinois. The connection here appears to be Mansueto's father, an Italian immigrant of humble background who ended up attending University of Illinois College of Medicine before a long 50-year career in medicine. 

The Mansuetos have also funded Teach for America, which has sites in Chicago. In a past year, the couple gave at least $100,000 to TFA, and gave similar sums in 2011. Mansueto has been complimentary of TFA in interviews. The previous year, the Mansueto couple gave over $250,000 to the Chicago Public Education Fund. Smaller sums have gone to Ounce of Prevention Fund, a children's antipoverty outfit and Junior Achievement - Chicago. In the past, they've also given to Chicago’s Francis W. Parker School for a scholarship and to the Marwen Institute.

In addition, the couple has supported Chicago's arts and culture institutions. While in the past Mansueto has said that he wasn't particularly interested in accumulating a lot of board memberships, he does sit on the board of the Art Institute of Chicago, which has received modest funding. Mansueto has been in the process of building a large $22 million mansion in suburban Lincoln Park. Unsurprisngly, nearby outfits such as the Lincoln Park Zoological Society, and Lincoln Park Zoo have seen support. 

Health doesn't seem to be high on the couple's radar as of now, though in the past, the Northwestern University Hospital system received some rather large sums. Outside of Chicago, Network for Teaching Entrepreneurship (NFTE) in New York has received funding. Mansueto has said to the Chicago Sun Times that entrepreneurship is an area of interest. 

As of now, again, the grantmaking being done by the Mansuetos isn't overwhelming, and the foundation doesn't have a website or a process for applying for a grant. But this is a deep-pocketed Chicago area funder to keep a close eye on.


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Mansueto Foundation
231 S. LaSalle St., Ste. 1332
Chicago, IL United States 60604-1435