Civic Partnerships

Participating in local partnerships with civic leaders and organizations to work on critical or timely challenges facing the city


Chicago’s civic landscape is notable for its broad network of philanthropic, corporate, government, and nonprofit organizations. Civic partnerships leverage the collective assets of these leaders and organizations for greater impact.

Our Approach

MacArthur is part of a network of local funders that often come together to support major civic endeavors. These may address a unique opportunity, such as the establishment of a visitor center at the Pullman National Monument, or the dedication of a living monument to the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. in Marquette Park.

We also join timely, issue-focused civic partnerships. Building on activities initiated in the prior year, in 2017, we joined more than 30 peer funders in a cooperative effort called the Partnership for Safe and Peaceful Communities. The Partnership is a coalition of philanthropic organizations that align their funding around strategies to help reduce gun violence in Chicago in collaboration with community, public, and private sector leaders. 

The Partnership supports three broad strategies—direct engagement services and alternatives for those most affected by violence in targeted neighborhoods; police legitimacy and reform; and gun policy—to help create the conditions for violence prevention and reduction.

In addition, to support smaller organizations working during the summer at the neighborhood and block level to build community cohesion, crowd out violence, and promote safety and peace, members of the Partnership support the Chicago Fund for Safe and Peaceful Communities.

Measurement & Evaluation

The Chicago Commitment is in the process of engaging an evaluation and learning partner to measure and evaluate the progress of the strategy, test assumptions underpinning it, and collect information about the context in which the strategy operates. The focus of these activities is on learning. We aim to understand how the strategy contributes to a Chicago that is more equitable and where justice can thrive.

Findings and analysis from evaluation activities will be published as they become available.

Additional Areas of Work

Influential Leaders ›
Strong Organizations ›
Vital Communities ›

Chicago Commitment strategy ›

Representative Grants
National Park Foundation
Washington, D.C. 2015
$ 500,000 To support the establishment of a visitor Center for Pullman National Monument.
Chicago Community Foundation
Chicago, Illinois 2016
$ 75,000 forr the MLK Memorial Fund, which is facilitating the establishment of Chicago's first permanent memorial to Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
Chicago Community Foundation
Chicago, Illinois 2017
$ 100,000 to support the Chicago Fund for Safe and Peaceful Communities.
Chicago Community Trust
Chicago, Illinois 2017
$ 2,600,000 in support of the Partnership for Safe and Peaceful Communities.
View Grant Guidelines View All Grants
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