NET WORTH: Unknown
SOURCE OF WEALTH: Golder Thoma Cressey Rauner (GTCR)
FUNDING AREAS: Education & Youth, Environment, Health & Human Services, Jewish causes, Policy
OVERVIEW: Bruce Rauner and his wife Diana move their philanthropy through the Rauner Family Foundation. The charity keeps a low profile and does not appear to accept unsolicited proposals. The Rauners, via their foundation, support a range of causes, including education reform in Chicago and environmental organizations.
BACKGROUND: Born and raised in Illinois, Bruce Rauner graduated from Dartmouth College and received an MBA from Harvard. After his 1981 graduation, Rauner joined Golder Thoma Cressey, which was eventually renamed Golder Thoma Cressey Rauner (GTCR), a private equity firm. Last year, Rauner began serving as the 42nd Governor of Illinois.
EDUCATION & YOUTH: According to a Chicago Magazine profile, Rauner has donated more than $20 million to public education in Chicago, a cause that galvanized his foray into politics. Rauner once reportedly wrote that "teacher evaluation is critically important, but in a massive bureaucracy with a hostile union, where 50% of principals are managerially incompetent and half of teachers are virtually illiterate, a complete multi-dimensional evaluation system with huge subjectivity in it will be attacked, manipulated and marginalized — the status quo will prevail."
The Rauners via their foundation have directed funds to Chicago International Charter School, Chicago Public Education Fund, City Year Chicago, Educational Choice Illinois, Teach for America, and Learn Charter School.
Another important grantee here is Ounce of Prevention Fund, an educational nonprofit for at-risk young children, where Diana serves as president. Diana, by the way, holds a Ph.D. in developmental psychology from the University of Chicago. Other grantees have included OneGoal, "an innovative college persistence program working to make college graduation possible for all students."
Rauner and Diana also support their respective alma maters, Dartmouth and Yale. A special collections library at Dartmouth bears the Rauner name and the couple's daughters also went to the Ivy League school.
ENVIRONMENT: Away from their Chicagoland base, the family also has a home in the west. Rauner philanthropy includes environmental organizations Montana Land Reliance, Yellowstone Park Foundation, Nature Conservancy, NRDC, The Wilderness Society, and National Fish & Wildlife Foundation.
HEALTH & HUMAN SERVICES: The Rauners have given several million to American Red Cross—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 have included South Side Community Economic Development Center, Roger Baldwin Foundation (which works for reproductive rights), Rush University Medical Center, and Shriners Hospital for Children - Chicago.
JEWISH CAUSES: Diana was raised in a Jewish family in the New York City area. The couple via their foundation has supported AJC, Jewish United Fund of Metropolitan Chicago, and the Holocaust Memorial Foundation of Illinois.
POLICY: Rauner is a Republican governor and on the policy front he and his wife have supported Heartland Institute, a libertarian think-tank, and the Illinois Policy Institute, which "supports limited government and free-market principles."
OTHER: The foundation has given fairly large grants to Navy Seal Foundation. As well, a component of this couple's philanthropy involves global outfits like Opportunity International.
LOOKING FORWARD: Expect the very active Rauner to continue direct money towards philanthropy, despite his many other engagements. Rauner's role in education reform in Chicago should be watched carefully.
The Rauner Family Foundation does not provide a clear avenue for getting in touch with the couple but below is an address:
Rauner Family Foundation
720 Rosewood Ave.
Winnetka, IL 60093