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

All proposals are by invitation only. Unsolicited proposals and inquiries are not accepted or acknowledged. Organizations invited to apply are chosen through recommendations made by the Foundation’s founding family, the Foundation’s professional staff, and its grantee network. If your organization is invited to apply, you will receive an application via email from the Foundation’s Co-Executive Director.