Segal Family Foundation: Grants for Chicago

OVERVIEW: The Segal Family Foundation is the philanthropic vehicle of Crate and Barrel founders Gordon and Carole Segal, who support Northwestern University, their alma mater, as well as health, education, youth, human services, arts and culture, and Jewish causes.

FUNDING AREAS: Education and youth, arts and culture, health and human Services, Jewish causes

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

PROFILE: Established in 2000, the Segal Family Foundation is a family foundation based in Northbrook, Illinois, a suburb of Chicago. Chicago area couple Gordon and Carole Segal founded Crate and Barrel as a family business in 1962. Today, Crate and Barrel is one of the most successful furniture and housewares retailers in the nation. The Segals have put some of their wealth towards philanthropy and move their charitable contributions through the Segal Family Foundation, which steadily supports Chicagoland organizations. Grantmaking includes education and youth, arts and culture, health and human Services, and Jewish causes.

The foundation does not have a website to guide grantseekers. However, the family strongly supports Northwestern University, from where Carole and Gordon graduated. The school is home to the Segal Design Institute, and Carole has served in several leadership positions at Northwestern. The Segals, via their family foundation, have also supported Chicago schools like Art Institute of Chicago, DePaul University, Illinois Institute of Technology, and Music Institute of Chicago. The foundation's grantmaking has also touched places like After School Matters, which works with teens, Chicago Foundation for Education, and Accelerate Institute.

The Segals also support arts and culture in Chicago. Grantees have included Chicago History Museum, Chicago Lyric Opera, Chicago Shakespeare Theater, Field Museum, and Lincoln Park Zoo. The Segals also support Jewish causes, and in Chicago, the family has supported the Congregation Bene Shalom, Illinois Holocaust Museum & Education Center, and The Jewish United Fund of Metropolitan Chicago. Health and human services are two other interests of this family in Chicagoland. Grantees have included Children's Memorial Medical Center, Lurie Children's Hospital, United Way of North Shore, and University of Chicago which has received particularly large sums of late towards a pancreatic cancer research initiative. The family also has supported Chicago Council on Global Affairs, Chicago Community Foundation, and several public media organizations.

Most grants of late have been less than $50,000. In a recent year, the foundation gave away around $2.3 million. Review the funder’s recent tax records to learn more about past grantees. Foundation giving is not exclusively restricted to the Chicago area, but this is where much of the couple’s giving takes place. However, the foundation occasionally funds Jewish causes outside of its home region.

The foundation does not appear to accept unsolicited grant applications from nonprofits. To get in touch, the foundation’s phone number is 847-380-4440.


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