Supporting Home and Community-based Health Services for Chicago’s Medically Underserved

20th Anniversary

2016 is our twentieth year as a private foundation making grants to nonprofit agencies in metropolitan Chicago. Here are some reflections on lessons we have learned, and taken to heart, over those twenty years. The lessons are listed chronologically, five years at a time; please check back quarterly to see additional lessons learned from our two decades as a grantmaker.

February 18, 2016


1. For Grants, More (Often) is Always Better

2. For Want of a Nail

3. While Developing New Solutions, You Still Need Soup on the Table

4. Bring the Mountain to Muhammad

5. It’s Worth the Risk: Foundations Should be Trailblazers


6. Grantor & Grantee: Partners in Progress

7. It Pays to Reinforce the Backbone

8. The Best Help May Not Involve Grant Dollars

9. Outcome Measures Have Value Beyond the Immediate Grant

10. Two is (Good) Company


11. Spelling Counts, But Not for Everything

12. Even a Small Investment, Well-Placed, Can Make an Impact on an Entrenched Problem

13. Nurses are Winners, and We Made it Official

14. Smaller Staff = Bigger Grants

15. What’s Good for the Grantee is Good for the Grantor


16. Watering the Roots so the Grass May Grow: the Benefits of Funding Agencies “of and for” the Community

17. The Best Results are Achieved by a Careful Blend of Reactive and Proactive Grantmaking

18. There Will Always be the Medically Underserved and They Will Always Need Help

19. Small = Nimble and Communicative, Yes; Bureaucratic and Silent, No

20. There is No Reward without Risk, but in this Instance That’s OK

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