Funding Priorities

From 2008-2023, the Pierce Family Foundation supported nonprofit organizations providing essential social services and opportunities for people experiencing homelessness. We primarily supported organizations in the City of Chicago. We believed 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 funded range from small, neighborhood-based efforts to region-wide organizations. They worked on a harm-reduction, housing-first model, and addressed a range of needs—in-house or through partnerships—such as workforce development, mental and physical health, and legal assistance. Other agencies that we funded focused on housing counseling or legislative advocacy for homeless people and affordable housing. Key to us was whether the Foundation’s support would help the organization get to whatever they defined 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 and has ceased operations as of December 31, 2023.