Sacks Family Foundation: Grants for Chicago

OVERVIEW: The Sacks Family Foundation’s grantmaking includes support of educational and arts institutions.  

IP TAKE: The foundation keeps a low public profile, which limits information available on its grantmaking priorities and activities.

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

PROFILE:  Founded in 2001, the Sacks Family Foundation was established by Grosvenor Capital Management CEO Michael Sacks and his wife Cari, an arts collector. Sacks serves as vice-chairman of the World Business Chicago and the couple's giving prioritizes the Chicago area. While the foundation is not transparent preferring to not maintain a public presence or website, tax filings suggest that the Sacks Family Foundation prioritizes education and arts institutions, and also funds youth, Jewish causes, health, and human services.

The foundation does not maintain dedicated programs; however, its education grantmaking includes a $5 million gift early in the decade to Northwestern, where Sacks graduated. He also supports Tulane, where he is also an alumni. The couple have also endowed scholarships for Chicago Public Schools (CPS) graduates. The Sacks also gave a $1 million gift to School of the Art Institute of Chicago (SAIC), to establish the Sacks Family Scholarships to "provide need-based support to graduate and undergraduate students who are graduates of public high schools in Chicago."

Cari, an arts collector, continued her arts education at SAIC. The couple also gave at least $1 million to the Obama Foundation.

Grants range from $500 to $720,000, mostly to Northwestern University. However, past grantees also include After School Matters, Museum of Contemporary Art (Cari is on the board), Field Museum (Sacks sits on the board), Illinois Holocaust Museum & Education Center, Northwestern Memorial Foundation, and Chicago Council on Global Affairs. Review the funder''s recent tax records to learn more about past grantees.

Per a recent IRS Form 990, the foundation accepts letters of inquiry, which should include the name of organization, mission statement, amount requested and contact information. The foundation's phone number is 312-506-6501.


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