Rauner Family Foundation: Grants for Illinois

OVERVIEW: The Rauner Family Foundation is the philanthropic vehicle of Chicago area couple Bruce and Diana Rauner. The foundation supports education reform in Chicago, as well as health and human services, policy, and Jewish causes.

FUNDING AREAS: Education reform, youth, health and human services, policy, Jewish causes

IP TAKE: The foundation keeps a low profile and does not appear to accept unsolicited proposals. 

PROFILE: Established in Illinois, the Rauner Family Foundation is the foundation of Bruce and Diana Rauner. Born and raised in Illinois, Bruce Rauner amassed wealth as part of private equity firm Golder Thomas Cressey Rauner (GTCR). Bruce is the governor of Illinois. Bruce and his wife move their philanthropy through the Rauner Family Foundation, a low-profile vehicle which gave away around $2.4 million and just over $1 million in recent fiscal years. Grantmaking areas of interest are education reform, youth, health and human services, policy, and Jewish causes.

The Rauners actively support education reform in Chicagoland. Rauner has donated more than millions of dollars towards improving public education in Chicago. The couple via their foundation have directed funds to groups like A Better Chicago, Chicago International Charter School, Chicago Public Education Fund, Noble Network of Charter Schools, City Year Chicago, Educational Choice Illinois, and Learn Charter School. Another important grantee is Ounce of Prevention Fund, an educational nonprofit for at-risk young children, where Diana serves as president.

The family also supports health and human services in Chicago. The Rauners have given millions of dollars to American Red Cross, and the American Red Cross of Greater Chicago is home to the Rauner Center. The family also supports YMCA, the site of the Rauner Family YMCA of Greater Chicago. Other grantees include Rush University Medical Center, Shriners Hospital for Children Chicago, and the South Side Community Economic Development Center. The funder also supports policy organizations in Chicago, such as the Heartland Institute and the Illinois Policy Institute, and Jewish organizations, including like Jewish United Fund of Metropolitan Chicago, and Holocaust Memorial Foundation of Illinois.

Most foundation grants are under $100,000. Since this foundation does not have a website, grantseekers can learn more about its funding by examining recent tax records. Grantmaking is not restricted to Chicago or Illinois, but much of the funder’s grantmaking stays within the city and state.

It does not appear that the Rauner Family Foundation accepts unsolicited grant requests. The foundation is based in suburban Winnetka, Illinois, and its phone number is 847-501-5848.


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