The Duchossois Family Foundation

OVERVIEW: This funder supports cancer care, health, arts and culture, and children and youth, primarily in Chicago and the surrounding suburbs. Grant requests are invitation-only.

FUNDING AREAS: Cancer care, hunger, health, arts and culture, children and youth

IP TAKE: DFF is a family-run affair, and grantees tend to have close connections with the Duchossois family and foundation board.

PROFILE: The Duchossois Family Foundation is based in Chicago and was founded in 1984 by first- and second-generation family members. DFF is interested in wellness and education, and provides support to programs that give people the opportunity to reach their potential and contribute to the community. Family member R. Bruce Duchossois passed away in 2014, enabling the foundation to increase its endowment and take a more active role in philanthropy.

Duchossois provides a range of community grants in areas the family values. Local grants have gone to the Boys and Girls Club of Chicago, Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Greater Chicago Food Depository and WTTW Chicago Public Media. Other grants have gone to Adler Planetarium, Junior Achievement of Chicago, the Barrington Area Community Foundation, and the United Way of DuPage. Many grants focus on Chicago and its suburbs, although an occasional grant has a national focus.

Cancer research is a big part of this foundation’s mission due to family history with the disease. For example, a $50 million donation went to University of Chicago Medicine to match a separate $50 million donation that Craig and Janet Duchossois made in 2017. The Duchossois Family Institute at the University of Chicago Medicine opened in October 2017 to focus on immune system disorders, bodily bacteria, and how genetics can be used to reduce disease. Family matriarch Beverly Thrall Duchossois received cancer care at this hospital in the late 1970s. DFF has consistently supported the institution.

Craig Duchossois is the chairman and CEO of The Duchossois Group and serves on many nonprofit boards, including the Culver Educational Foundation, Illinois Institute of Technology, University of Chicago, Kellogg Graduate School of Management, University of Chicago Hospitals, World Business Chicago, and the Chicago Council on Global Affairs. Craig is also the treasurer of DFF, and Janet is the secretary.

In a recent year, the foundation granted over $3.3 million. That year, it also awarded over $1.1 million in gifts to match personal giving of the family and board members. Total net assets have exceeded $11.5 million in recent years. Grantseekers should know that DFF accepts grant requests by invitation only.

Grantseeker questions should be directed to Mary Ann Roeser, the executive director, at 312-586-2010 or The other staff member at DFF is the president, Ashley Duchossois Joyce, and there are eight board members. The address is 444 West Lake Street, Suite 2000, Chicago, Illinois 60606.


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