Reflections On 2021
Letter from the CEO: Shelley Davis
I am proud and delighted to introduce the Coleman Foundation’s first Annual Report to our peers, partners, grantees and friends, and pleased to have this opportunity to share my thoughts on this extraordinary year of transition.
Like many of our peers in philanthropy, we are metabolizing the lessons we learned as grantmakers during a global pandemic. We asked our grantees about their biggest challenges to accomplishing their missions and in response we began adopting trust-based philanthropy practices: streamlining our application process and increasing our unrestricted general operating grants.
We also outlined a two-year strategic plan which affirms our commitment to our three historical program areas: entrepreneurship, health and rehabilitation, and intellectual/developmental disabilities. Our plan’s learning agenda will include visiting our grantees in the community, inviting leaders into our board meetings, and co-hosting grantee convenings.
Our 2021 annual report documents that the Board approved grants of $6.2 million across our three program areas. Total grants made for the year were $7.1 million.
Our grantees have provided photos to connect places and faces with the missions that draw us into the work, reminding us of the resilience and strength community leaders demonstrated through all the challenges of the pandemic.
Reflecting on the past year, all of us at Coleman are reminded of the privilege it is to give to the organizations who are providing solutions and opportunities for communities across the Chicago metropolitan area.
We are so excited to see what 2022 reveals.