Giving in Chicago

Giving in Chicago, a study conducted by the Indiana University Lilly Family
School of Philanthropy for The Chicago Community Trust,
is the first comprehensive study of individual, corporate and foundation
giving in the six-county Chicago region. It examines patterns
of charitable giving by households and corporations in the region in 2013,
and grant making by foundations and public charities
in the region for 2012, the latest year for which data are available.


Total Donations from the Chicago Metro Area (2013)

Chicago metro area households, grant makers and corporations
gave an estimated total of $10 billion to recipient entities
in the region and elsewhere in 2013.


Households – 71% ($7.1 billion)
Foundation and Grant Making Public Charities – 24% ($2.4 billion1)
Corporations and Corporate Foundations – 5% ($0.5 billion)

1This total excludes grants from corporate foundations.

Total Donations from the Chicago Metro Area to Recipients in the region (2013)

Approximately 67 percent of the total contributions made
by Chicago metro area donors of all types remained in the region,
reaching an estimated $6.7 billion.

$ 0. 0 BILLION

Households – 83% ($5.5 billion)
Foundation and Grant Making Public Charities – 14% ($0.9 billion1)
Corporations and Corporate Foundations – 3% ($0.2 billion)

1This total excludes grants from corporate foundations.

Individual Giving

Chicagoans are generous

% of Chicago Metro Area Households (2013)% of U.S. Households (2010)

Donated $25 or more


Donated $100 or more


Donated $500 or more


Donated $1,000 or more


Source: National data from the 2011 Philanthropy Panel Study (PPS), the most recent year with available data.

Giving Time and Talent

Approximately half (49 percent) of Chicago-area households volunteered in 2013. Among those who volunteered, about half (47 percent) volunteered once a week or more. Nationwide, about 25 percent of adults volunteered in 2013.

Taking Care of Our Own

A large majority—nearly four-fifths, or 78 percent—of charitable dollars donated by Chicago metro area households stayed within the region in 2013.

Chicago is Motivated to Help Those in Need

The largest share of Chicago-area household donors cited “helping individuals meet their basic needs” as the top major motivation for giving.

Helping individuals meet their basic needs


Feeling that those who have more should help those who have less


Personal values or beliefs


Chicago-Area Households are Most
Likely to Support Basic Needs


Basic needs (food, shelter, or other basic necessities)


Religious organizations


Health nonprofits

Chicagoans Give to Nonprofits

Chicago metro area donor households contributed 3.1 percent of their annual income to nonprofits.

Grant Making

Grants made by foundations and public charities

Grant Making Plays a Key Role

$ 0. 0 BILLION1

More than 2,000 grant making organizations located in the Chicago
metro area made nearly 39,000 grants of $4,000 or more in 2012, with an estimated total of $2.6 billion.

1 Totals reflect local, national and international grant making from all types of grant makers.

Million-Dollar-Plus Grants


In 2012, Chicago metro area grant makers made a total of 107 grants of
$1 million or above to support recipient entities in the Chicago region.

Most Grant Making Comes from Cook County

Grant makers in Cook County contributed a vast majority of grants
made by Chicago metro area grant makers in 2012.



Grant Dollars


Total Amount of Grant Dollars

(Made to nonprofits in the Chicago region)


In terms of grant dollars, education received the most at $235 million with human services following at $224 million.

Number of Grants

(Made to nonprofits in the Chicago region)

0, 0

Human services and education received the largest shares of number of grants awarded at 28 percent and 22 percent, respectively.

Corporate Giving

Chicago Corporations Give Back

The vast majority of surveyed companies — 97 percent, or 68 companies —
reported making charitable donations to nonprofits in fiscal year 2013.
Of the companies that made charitable donations, 81 percent donated to organizations in the Chicago metro area.

Surveyed Companies View Human Services as a Priority


Nonprofits providing human services


Nonprofits serving a combination of purposes


Educational organizations (excluding higher educational institutions)

Goals for Corporate Giving


Giving back to the communities where the company operates


Supporting company’s mission and values


Building and enhancing corporate reputation

Corporate Giving Estimated Total

0, 0GRANTS $ 0,000


The total reflects 3,548 grants of $4,000 or more made in 2012 by corporate foundations in the Chicago region and an estimate of other charitable giving and community investments made by local companies.

1 Totals reflect local, national and international grant making from all types of grant makers.

Strong communities are built on our compassion and readiness
to help our neighbors in their time of need, and this study is
a reflection of how Chicagoans across the region are contributing to make that happen.


The Chicago Community Trust

For the past 100 years, The Chicago Community Trust has connected the generosity of donors with the needs of our community. The Trust, together with its donors, awards grants in many areas that impact community, from arts and basic human needs to economic development and health. The Trust also works to improve the quality of life in the region by convening key leaders and organizations to respond to important issues, and by developing initiatives to inspire civic engagement among Chicago-area residents.

The Trust’s Centennial year begins on May 12, 2015. Starting on this date and for the entire year after, the Trust will celebrate how philanthropy in all its forms – time, treasure and talent – strengthens our region and impacts the lives of others in countless ways. As the Trust pursues its Centennial vision of making Chicago the most philanthropic region in the country, this comprehensive study sets a benchmark to show where the region is today and help plan for the future.

Indiana University Lilly School of Philanthropy

The Indiana University Lilly Family School of Philanthropy is dedicated to improving philanthropy to improve the world by training and empowering students and professionals to be innovators and leaders who create positive and lasting change. The school offers a comprehensive approach to philanthropy through its academic, research and international programs and through The Fund Raising School, Lake Institute on Faith & Giving, and the Women’s Philanthropy Institute.