NET WORTH: Unknown
SOURCE OF WEALTH: Grosvenor Capital Management
FUNDING AREAS: Education & Youth, Arts & Culture, Jewish causes, Policy, Health, Chicago Community
OVERVIEW: Michael Sacks and his wife Cari move their philanthropy through the Sacks Family Foundation, which gave around $4.8 million in a recent year. Sacks is vice-chairman of the World Business Chicago and the couple's giving strongly focuses on the Chicago area. Michael and Cari also support their schools. Another interest is the arts, where Cari often takes the lead.
BACKGROUND: Michael J. Sacks was born in Chicago and received a B.A. in economics from Tulane University in 1984, as well as an MBA and a J.D. from Northwestern University. He also attended London School of Economics. He spent two years at Harris Associates, L.P. and joined Grosvenor Capital Management in 1990, where he was named the firm’s managing partner in 1994 and is currently CEO.
EDUCATION & YOUTH: Sacks supports his alma maters Tulane University (home to the Michael Sacks Fund for Social Entrepreneurship) and Northwestern University. The couple gave a $5 million gift early in the decade to Northwestern, $3.6 million of which endowed scholarships for Chicago Public Schools (CPS) graduates. The couple 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 continued her arts education at SAIC.
The couple have also supported Erikson Institute, a graduate school in child development that's home to the Cari B. Sacks Scholarship. Cari attended the school and sits on the board. Other grantees include After School Matters, Chicago High School for the Arts, Evans Scholars Foundation, Ounce of Prevention Fund, and University of Chicago.
ARTS & CULTURE: Cari is an art collector and patron who cofounded Curate, an art-centric mobile app that directs some profits to SAIC scholarships. She's also a trustee of Museum of Contemporary Art, which the couple supports. Other grantees have included JFK Center for the Performing Arts, Institute of Contemporary Art Los Angeles, Chicago Children’s Museum, Harris Theater for Music and Dance, and the Field Museum, where Sacks sits on the board.
JEWISH CAUSES: Grantees include synagogue Am Shalom, Birthright Israel Foundation, Illinois Holocaust Museum & Education Center, Jewish Council for Youth Services, Tulane Hillel, and Hillel Foundation University of Wisconsin (the couple are UWisconsin parents).
POLICY: Michael and Cari have given at least $1 million to the Obama Foundation, and have supported the Clinton Foundation.
HEALTH: Grantees include For Autistic Kids Foundation and Northwestern Memorial Foundation.
CHICAGO COMMUNITY: Via their foundation, the Sacks couple have supported Black United Fund of Illinois, Chicago Council on Global Affairs, Chicago Community Foundation, and Center on Halsted, "the Midwest's most comprehensive community center dedicated to advancing community and securing the health and well-being of the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Queer (LGBTQ) people of Chicagoland."
LOOKING FORWARD: Expect the Sacks' robust and steady giving to continue, with a particular eye towards Chicago.
The Sacks Family Foundation accepts letters which should include the name of organization, mission statement, amount requested and contact information.
1850 2nd St., Ste. 201
Highland Park, IL 60035
Telephone: (312) 506-6501