NET WORTH: $2.1 billion
SOURCE OF WEALTH: Morningstar Inc.
FUNDING AREAS: Education, higher education, libraries, arts & culture
OVERVIEW: Joe Mansueto and his wife Rika established the Mansueto Foundation in 2009 and signed the Giving Pledge shortly thereafter. Although Mansueto Foundation grantmaking has been limited so far, Mansueto has made sizable personal donations to education, libraries and politics. He and his wife, Rika, made headlines by donating $25 million to their alma mater, the University of Chicago, in 2008, which led to a new glass-dome library in their name. The couple recently gave $35 million to UChicago, this time to create the Mansueto Institute for Urban Innovation.
BACKGROUND: With $80,000 in savings, Joe Mansueto, a Northwest Indiana native, started Morningstar Inc. at his kitchen table. Morningstar is a mutual fund rating service and provider of financial data on investment offerings based in Chicago. He took the company from a quarterly publication to a giant financial data firm and he’s also actively involved in Chicago media. He owns Inc. and Fast Company magazines, and is an investor in Wrapports, the Chicago media company formed to purchase the Chicago Sun-Times. More recently, he sold his stake in weekly magazine Time Out Chicago in 2013.
EDUCATION: Thus far, Joe and Rika Mansueto have kept their education grantmaking focused within the Chicago city limits. Grantees have included After School Matters, Chicago Public Education Fund, Francis W. Parker School, Teach for America, Munster Education Foundation, Junior Achievement of Chicago, and Art Institute Chicago.
HIGHER EDUCATION: Mansueto and his wife, Rika, donated $25 million to their alma mater, the University of Chicago, in 2008, which led to a new glass-dome library in their name. In 2013, Joe and Rika Mansueto also supported higher education by giving $25,000 to the University of Illinois. In early 2016, the couple gave $35 million to UChicago to create the Mansueto Institute for Urban Innovation.
ARTS & CULTURE: Although we have yet to see a large number of Mansueto arts & culture grants, the Mansueto couple does have interests in this area. In 2007, the Mansuetos awarded a $2,000 grant to Marwen Inspiration Art Opportunity, which provides free visual arts classes to underserved Chicago youth in grades 6-12. Marwen also provides free college and career counseling to high school students who are interested in visual arts careers. They've also supported Lincoln Park Zoological Society and local public media.
LOOKING FORWARD: Although Mansueto has signed the Giving Pledge, the Mansueto Foundation's grantmaking doesn't appear to have yet kicked into high gear. However, he’s been making donations individually, outside of the Mansueto Foundation. This is definitely one billionaire philanthropist to keep an eye on as he reaches retirement years.
“I spent the bulk of my career on building my company, and Morningstar is where the passion is. I'm a total newbie on giving,” Mansueto explained to USA Today in July 2013. “Teach for America has done a great job of where, in inner cities, one teacher can have a big impact on many lives. But I'm just finding it a totally different world, so I'm trying to understand non-profits. I do it very part time, and I'm a total rookie.”
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