Other Special Projects

On occasion, the Pierce Family Foundation will engage in a special project for its grantees, or collaborate with other funders on issues affecting the nonprofit sector. Examples include:

  • An IT collaboration with another foundation to target the most critical needs for a group of grantees. In focus groups, grantees told us that the IT need that would most improve their operations, but one they could never fit into their budget, was donor management software. Working with Support Specialist W4Sight, 4 grantees received new donor management software, and support with implementation and training. Another 2 grantees received training to maximize their current software.

  • Real Talk About Real Costs. Created by Foundation grantee Donors Forum, the Real Talk About Real Costs initiative encourages funders, nonprofits, and individual donors to “shift the focus away from arbitrary limits on overhead and other organizational expenses in order to focus on measures of nonprofit effectiveness such as outcomes and impact.” The Pierce Family Foundation was a premiere sponsor of this initiative, and several of its staff members participated in roundtables and planning committees. Real Talk About Real Costs is part of a nationwide effort to change the discussion around this important issue, which is now championed by such influential organizations as Guidestar, BBB Wise Giving Alliance, and Charity Navigator.

  • Supported roundtable research and discussion over twelve months regarding jail and mental health policies, specifically how Chicago can divert people with serious mental illness, when picked up for minor street crimes, from being sent to county jail and instead to treatment facilities.

  • Co-sponsoring, with The Chicago Community Trust and Coleman Foundation, a conference on housing and disability, which had more than 100 attendees.

  • Hosting a roundtable of housing granteees to provide input on the art exhibit, House of Cards, that was created by Art Works Projects for Human Rights for the National Public Housing Museum.


The Pierce Family Foundation gave our first grant in 2008.
The Metropolitan Planning Council (MPC) is partnering with the Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning and the Metropolitan Mayor's Caucus in
In April 2018, the Pierce Family Foundation convened several grantees for a conversation regarding the unique opportunities and challenges facing these agencies in working with staff teams that inc