About the Chicago Society Foundation
Although reports are presented regularly at Chicago Society General Membership Meetings regarding the ongoing activities of the Chicago Society Foundation, it may be helpful to newer members, and a refresher to longer-standing members, to re-acquaint all of us as to the history and purpose of the Foundation.
The Foundation is a private charitable organization affiliated with, but separate from, the Chicago Society. It is the successor organization to the Chicago Society Building Corporation, which originally held and then sold, the Society's clubhouse because of changing neighborhood and building management circumstances. The new Foundation was created for tax-advantage reasons to permit donors to obtain charitable deductions, and for flexibility in managing philanthropic causes. Its constitution requires it to provide philanthropic and charitable assistance specifically and only to individuals and organizations dedicated to the Polish American community.
Mindful of that purpose, the Foundation’s directors, consisting of all former Presidents and the current serving President of the Society, have made grants to an array of organizations and causes consistent with service to the Polish American community. These have included, to name a few, The Polish Museum, the Irena Krzyzanowska Sendler film (televised on PBS in the Spring of 2011 with credits to the Chicago Society Foundation and a number of Society members,) the Chicago Society scholarship winners, Polish dance groups, and a biography of Casimir Pulaski for placement in many Chicago Public libraries. All Chicago Society members should be proud of the work the Foundation has done throughout its existence to carefully evaluate and identify only the most worthy recipients of support.
In addition to its initial seed funding from the Building Corporation, the Foundation has worked to enhance its funds by various means over the years, most notably its Casino Night sponsorship. Leaders in the Foundation have guided the Society to successfully sponsor its own Casino Nights to the benefit of its treasury. Importantly, the Foundation maintains a Finance Committee consisting of experienced individuals who have invested the Foundation’s funds prudently and conservatively. In the face of the recent economic downturn, the Foundation’s investments have actually increased in value at a time many "professional" managers and other nonprofit organizations have suffered disheartening financial losses, compromising their missions. Rest assured there is no investment gun-slinging at the Foundation.
The Foundation meets quarterly, carefully invests its funds to remain a viable source of grants for years to come, welcomes qualifying grant requests from worthy Polish American organizations and causes for consideration, and will continue to serve its mission.