Steans Family Foundation

The Steans Family Foundation concentrates its grant making and programs in North Lawndale, a community on Chicago’s west side, North Chicago, a city forty miles north of Chicago, and on aligned policy and ecosystem initiatives. By dedicating time, resources, and skills, the foundation works in partnership with residents and institutions to build and enhance both communities. The foundation’s work supports the idea that effective revitalization can occur within the embedded social and economic networks that create and sustain communities.

The Steans Family Foundation observes the model of “place-based” giving. This means that rather than focusing on a particular set of issues, the Foundation focuses on communities. It engages with those communities – listening to their concerns and needs – and then pursues opportunities to further the interests of the communities, always in close partnership with “on the ground” stakeholders.

The Foundation believes that this model of philanthropy enables it to most impactful in its grantmaking. Novel approaches can be piloted, and important lessons learned which can then inform the work of others. For more information on the Foundation, visit