Funding Priorities

The Pierce Family Foundation supports nonprofit organizations providing essential social services and opportunities for people experiencing homelessness. We primarily support organizations in the City of Chicago. We believe in:

  • Unrestricted general operating grants.
  • Supporting real costs and real needs, including “back office.”
  • Offering help beyond the grant, via numerous support programs.
  • Minimal application and reporting processes.
  • Practicing the principles of Trust-Based Philanthropy.

The direct service agencies we fund range from small, neighborhood-based efforts to region-wide organizations. They tend to work on a harm-reduction, housing-first model, and to address a range of needs—in-house or through partnerships—such as workforce development, mental and physical health, and legal assistance. Other agencies that we fund focus on housing counseling or legislative advocacy for homeless people and affordable housing. Key to us is whether the Foundation’s support will help the organization get to whatever they define as their next stage of development.

“PFF has influenced our foundation’s grantmaking, as we recently gave our first general operating grants based on their best practices advice. It is wonderful to have wise colleagues who are so willing to share their deep experience.” -foundation colleague

In January 2023, the foundation announced plans to sunset at the end of 2023. As such, PFF will be making final grants to current grantees and will not be accepting any unsolicited applications.