This is our declaration of purpose.

The Chicago Community Trust is built on its inextricable connection to the region and the people who call it home. This makes us uniquely prepared to rise to one of the most critical challenges of our times — closing the racial and ethnic wealth gap to achieve a thriving, equitable and connected Chicago region. Thank you for partnering with us and committing to making a difference where it’s needed most.


Dear Friends,

Equity. Opportunity. Prosperity.

These three words encapsulate perfectly what The Chicago Community Trust stands for.

For more than 100 years, the Trust has served as a platform for change—a place where philanthropy and impact come together to create a stronger Chicago region. Last year, our work took on a new and urgent focus when we announced a 10-year commitment to closing Chicago’s racial and ethnic wealth gap.

We are zeroing in on this critical issue because it is at the root of so many other challenges facing our region. Violence, homelessness, health disparities, and other social and economic issues stem from wealth inequities and would be lessened if the gap were closed.

The reality of the gap’s impact is sobering: experts estimate it costs the region $4 billion annually.

Addressing it will require strategic, collaborative action at a scale our community has never seen.

But the Trust and Chicago have proven over and over again that we have what it takes to rise to a challenge.

To close the racial and ethnic wealth gap, we must address economic inequities at their root causes. You will see the Trust working in new ways to accomplish this—such as advocating for policies that advance equity and using data more rigorously to drive strategies.

At the same time, many things will remain the same. The Trust platform will always support our region’s broad base of critical needs and help our generous donors achieve their philanthropic goals.

We thank our 2019 Executive Committee chair Linda Wolf and the entire board for their vision and leadership during this extraordinary year of transformation for the Trust.

And of course, we thank you for continuing to believe in and partner with us. Working together, we can and will achieve our vision to make Chicago a place where equity, opportunity and prosperity abound.

Helene Gayle
President & CEO

Mary B. Richardson-Lowry