NET WORTH: Unknown
SOURCE OF WEALTH: Driehaus Capital Management
FUNDING AREAS: Arts and Culture, Historic Preservation, Economic Opportunity, Investigative Reporting.
OVERVIEW: Richard Driehaus has been engaged in philanthropy for years, and established his Richard H. Driehaus Foundation in 1983. His philanthropy focuses on his native Chicago, with arts and culture, and historic preservation leading his several key interests. Driehaus has supported his alma mater, DePaul University, including a $30 million pledge to the school for its College of Commerce, which was renamed the Richard H. Driehaus College of Business. Chicago is home to the Driehaus Museum. The foundation awards about $5 million annually, a part of which is granted in partnership with the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation.
BACKGROUND: Richard H. Driehaus was born and raised and educated in Chicago. He received his undergraduate and master’s degrees in business from DePaul University. From 1968 through 1973, Driehaus developed research ideas for the institutional trading department at A.G. Becker & Co., and in 1973, became director of research for Mullaney, Wells & Co. He founded Driehaus Securities in 1979, followed by Driehaus Capital Management in 1982 and Driehaus Mutual Funds in 1996. It's unclear how much Driehaus is currently worth.
ARTS & CULTURE: Recent grantees include the Chicago Contemporary Circus Festival, Storycatchers Theatre, Gene Siskel Film Center, Oil Painters of America, and Lawyers for Creative Arts. When Driehaus makes grants to national organizations, it often still has a regional slant. For instance, a grant to Oil Painters of America went for the Dorothy Mellin Fellowship for Midwestern Artists. Meanwhile, a grant to Sing London, an outfit way out of Driehaus' orbit, supported Taking Statues Chicago, a public art project that asks the question, "If statues could talk, what stories would they tell?" In addition, the foundation partners with the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation to provide general operating support to Chicago-area arts and cultural organizations with annual budgets up to $500,000.
HISTORIC PRESERVATION: The Driehaus Foundation's "Built Environment" program focuses on "historic preservation, public interest design, and open space." Recent grants have involved Historic Chicago Bungalow Association, Preservation Action Foundation, and Landmarks Illinois. Driehaus also runs a Preservation Awards program. The Richard H. Driehaus Prize for Classical Architecture, meanwhile, is administered through the University of Notre Dame.
Last decade, Richard Driehaus founded the Driehaus Museum, restored from the Gilded Age home of banker Samuel Mayo Nickerson. The museum focuses on "historic preservation, offering visitors an opportunity to experience through its architecture, interiors, collection, and exhibitions how the prevailing design philosophies of the period were interpreted by artists, architects, and designers at the waning of the 19th-century and the dawn of the 20th-century."
ECONOMIC OPPORUNITY: The goal of grantmaking in this area is to "further economic opportunity for the working poor." Recent grants have gone to the Sargent Shriver National Center on Poverty Law, Center for Economic Progress, and Woman Employed.
INVESTIGATIVE REPORTING: The foundation states that it "supports serious journalistic inquiry, mostly to Chicago journalists, on many levels—from long-form writing to photography." Recent grants have gone to the Better Government Association, Community Renewal Society, Chicago Public Media, ProPublica, and Community Media Workshop.
LOOKING FORWARD: Now in his 70s, Driehaus has a long philanthropic track record that has focused on Chicagoland. It's unlikely that his geographic preferences will change.