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We invest in organizations building thriving Chicago communities

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$1.8 Billion Granted

Since 1955, the Robert R. McCormick Foundation has invested more than $1.7 billion to build thriving communities where all have the resources and opportunities to succeed. We envision a Chicagoland with educated and informed individuals who are engaged in improving their communities.

When Colonel Robert R. McCormick died in 1955, he directed that a substantial portion of his estate be used to establish a charitable trust. Over the decades, we’ve supported youth and families, strengthened civic institutions, improved civic engagement, supported a free press, and supported military service. We also maintain Cantigny, the Colonel’s 500-acre estate in west suburban Wheaton, Illinois, for public learning and recreation.

1955 – 1980

In its first quarter century, the Foundation focused on education, journalism, health, and youth. It establishes Cantigny Park and the First Division Museum.

1981 – 2005

The Foundation expanded its scope, investing with partners across the country while continuing to strengthen civic and educational institutions close to home. Early childhood education becomes a major priority.

2006 – PRESENT

Today, the Foundation continues to invest in early childhood education and journalism. It focuses on the Chicagoland region, particularly on Chicago’s South and West Sides, and is deepening its partnerships in Englewood, Little Village, and several other communities in partnership with the United Way of Metro Chicago.

A Legacy of Service

For much of the first half of the 20th century, McCormick was one of the most influential men in America. War hero, municipal reformer, and strident defender of a free press, McCormick was the longtime editor and publisher of the Chicago Tribune and his media empire included the New York Daily News, Washington Times-Herald, TV and radio stations, and 7,000 square miles of Canadian timberland. When he died in 1955, The Colonel created a philanthropic foundation that reflects his core values.

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Enduring Commitment

The Colonel’s former estate, known today as Cantigny, is an expression of the Foundation’s mission to offer educational and recreational opportunities to the public. More than 450,000 visitors a year enjoy gardens, natural areas, a golf complex, the First Division Museum, and year-round events across 500 acres in west suburban Wheaton.

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Help Chicago Communities Thrive

Support the Robert R. McCormick Foundation’s Communities Fund and provide hope and opportunity for fellow Chicagoans who face daily challenges most of us never experience.

100% of your donation, plus the Foundation’s 50% match, goes directly to local nonprofits working with children and families in Englewood and Little Village, two communities where there is both great need and great potential.

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