Ignite Potential. Enrich Lives.

aka DMSF   |   Chicago, IL   |


The mission of the Daniel Murphy Scholarship Fund is to unlock educational opportunities for talented Chicago-area students facing financial need. DMSF partners with Scholars, families and schools through high school and beyond by providing scholarships, academic programs and personal support so that each Scholar can reach their potential.

Ruling year info


Executive Director

Cindy Hallums

Main address

309 W Washington, Suite 700

Chicago, IL 60606 USA

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Formerly known as

Daniel Murphy Scholarship Foundation



NTEE code info

Scholarships, Student Financial Aid, Awards (B82)

Student Services and Organizations (B80)

Youth Development Programs (O50)

IRS filing requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

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Programs and results

What we aim to solve

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Across Chicago, countless academically capable, motivated young people live in neighborhoods without affordable high-quality high school options. The Daniel Murphy Scholarship Fund (DMSF) addresses this problem by providing scholarships and wraparound programming to ensure that financial constraints do not hinder a young persons ability to obtain a quality education. Over its 35-year history, DMSF has built 3-way partnerships between college preparatory high schools, the families of bright young people from Chicago who face financial need, and DMSF. Through these partnerships, young people who typically have very little choice in matters of education receive the opportunity to attend a high performing high school, participate in extracurricular activities, benefit from honors and accelerated high school classes, and take advantage of DMSFs academic and social emotional support services and programs.

Our programs

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?


For many of our Scholars, the high school experience requires emotional, academic and social adjustments. To help ensure their success, DMSF matches Scholars who request a mentor with dedicated individuals who serve as confidants and advisors. Mentors and Scholars communicate regularly and meet at least once each quarter.

Objective: Scholars will be matched with an adult advocate to walk with them through their Daniel Murphy experience to provide additional guidance, support, and understanding of the world around them. This will be a mutual learning and growing experience where genuine and long lasting relationships can be nurtured with DMSF support and training.

Population(s) Served

Some Murphy Scholars participate in Affinity Groups, our group mentoring program. Qualified and relatable Murphy Scholar alumni serve as facilitators for groups of 12 to 17 Scholars. Affinity Groups meet every other weekend during the school year, providing a safe space for peer-to-peer discussions on the issues that affect many Murphy Scholars and are central to their identity.

Objective: Motivate scholars to celebrate their whole selves and nurture their attitude and beliefs about their academic abilities and as young leaders. This group looks to interrogate themselves, the world around them, and lead an opportunity to educate others.

Population(s) Served
Ethnic and racial groups

Many DMSF Scholars will be the first generation in their families to attend college. To help both Scholars and their parents, DMSF has implemented a four-year college counseling curriculum. We take Scholars and parents on college tours beginning their freshman year of high school, and we host seminars to discuss the different types of colleges and universities as well as the many kinds of applications and financial aid packages. Beginning junior year we help our Scholars prepare for standardized tests like the ACT and SAT, we help them develop the list of colleges to which they will apply, and we help them find scholarships for which they are eligible. DMSF has a full-time college counselor on its staff to facilitate this work.

Population(s) Served

DMSF helps Scholars secure a number of different summer opportunities including internships, service projects, study abroad experiences, and paid travel to academic summits and seminars. Murphy Scholars have plenty of opportunities to stay connected with the DMSF staff and their peers.

The hallmark summer opportunity that DMSF offers its Scholars is our Caddie Program. This competitive program provides immediate and long-term benefits for DMSF Scholars. Scholars earn spending money and gain job experience while caddying at local country clubs for the summer. Caddies live in college dormitories for the duration of the program and experience independence away from home. Caddying, in addition to maintaining good grades, also makes Scholars eligible to apply for the Chick Evans Scholarship, a four-year, full tuition college scholarship awarded by the Western Golf Association. To date, over 330 DMSF Scholars have been awarded the Evans Scholarship.

Population(s) Served

This two-week summer workshop is a crucial first step for newly-admitted Murphy Scholars, preparing them for the rigorous academic environment of our partner schools. Summer Bridge offers workshops in core subjects, leadership development, study habits, strategies, speech, wellness, and writing. By focusing on self-advocacy, time management, organizational skills, and self-care, we equip Scholars with essential tools to excel academically and support their overall wellbeing.

Population(s) Served

At the beginning of the school year a subgroup of incoming Murphy Scholars is selected as Schmitt Scholars. These Scholars will remain as Schmitt Scholars throughout their high school career.

Objective: Schmitt Scholars represents a group of nominated leaders that are interested in growing their leadership in action of themselves and others. This group is mostly Scholar-led and is overseen by the Chief Education Officer to support the ideas and execution of two Scholar-driven and researched community service events or projects. Meeting dates and times are determined by the student Board of Directors with input from the participants.

Population(s) Served

Scholars who have maintained a DMSF grade point average of at least a 3.0 during the first semester of their freshman year are eligible to apply to participate in DMSF’s Summer Caddie Program. Returning scholars who
have maintained a cumulative DMSF grade point average of at least 3.0 during their high school career are eligible to re-apply to participate in DMSF’s Summer Caddie Program.

Objective: Preparing Murphy Scholars to be independent young leaders by growing their time management skills, networking skills and communication skills, and to be strong candidates for the Chick Evans Caddie Scholarship upon successful program completion. This is a summer commitment and will include weekends and the option of overnight stays.

Population(s) Served

Where we work

Our results

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

How does this organization measure their results? It's a hard question but an important one.

Number of students enrolled

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served


Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success


Number of program participants who receive a secondary school diploma or GED

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served


Related Program

Affinity Group Program

Type of Metric

Outcome - describing the effects on people or issues

Direction of Success

Holding steady

Context Notes

100% of the Murphy Scholars graduate from high school on time.

Number of high school graduates who are persisting in college

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Young adults

Related Program

College Counseling

Type of Metric

Outcome - describing the effects on people or issues

Direction of Success


Context Notes

Percentage of DMSF alumni who earn or are on track to earn a college degree within six years. Our results are up to 60 points higher than in some Chicago neighborhoods.

Our Sustainable Development Goals

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn more about Sustainable Development Goals.

Goals & Strategy

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn about the organization's key goals, strategies, capabilities, and progress.

Charting impact

Four powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

The driving goal of the Daniel Murphy Scholarship Fund is to provide meaningful financial, academic, and social emotional support during high school so that our Scholars have the best opportunity to enroll in and excel throughout college. Our programs support our Scholars starting before their freshman year of high school and continue throughout all four years of high school.

In addition to scholarships, the Daniel Murphy Scholarship Fund provides tailored enrichment programs to support student success including tutoring, mentoring, affinity groups, summer opportunities, and college counseling. Our comprehensive approach offers real-time impact with lasting ramifications for our Scholars' futures.

We are proud to report that:

- 100% of Murphy Scholars graduate from high school on time
- 96% of the Murphy Scholars in the Class of 2023 enrolled in a four-year colleges or university
- 87% of Murphy Scholars persist to a college degree within six years

Giving students scholarships to access high-quality secondary education is only half the battle. To ensure that Scholars navigate the transition to and through the demanding and often different environment of a college preparatory high school, we offer comprehensive, innovative programming to support our Scholars both in and out of the classroom.

DMSF wraparound programming is delivered year-round and includes:

-two-week freshman summer bridge program
-professional tutoring
-adult mentors
-affinity group support
-college selection, affordability and financial aid counseling
-standardized test preparation
-academic support and advising
-community building
-alumni networking and career prep

Our education and fundraising teams collaborate to ensure that the appropriate resources are available for our Scholars to succeed. Through the support of our volunteers, donors, Board of Directors, and dedicated staff, DMSF Scholars are fully supported on their unique journey to and through college.

The education team utilizes the expertise of former educators, former DMSF Scholars themselves, and up-to-date studies to best inform their work. The fundraising team, also relying on education's best practices, builds their work around student need and organizational well-being. Effectiveness and efficiency are DMSF's driving goals .

Since 1989, 2,300 students have attended high school as Murphy Scholars. To continue and magnify our community impact and presence as an organization, DMSF aims to increase the number of Scholars in our program annually. The DMSF Development and Education teams are engaged in strategic planning to increase fundraising efforts, staff capacity, and in-office operations with a focus on major gift solicitation and Scholar recruitment.

Our efforts are paying off as there are 500 students attending high school as Murphy Scholars this year. Amongst our many alumni are Evans, Questbridge, and Posse Scholars, lawyers, business executives, entertainers, politicians, and community activists. DMSF also works tirelessly to ensure best practices are in place in all our work and has a strong track record of financial responsibility and stewardship 3+ decades.

How we listen

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Seeking feedback from people served makes programs more responsive and effective. Here’s how this organization is listening.

done We demonstrated a willingness to learn more by reviewing resources about feedback practice.
done We shared information about our current feedback practices.
  • How is your organization using feedback from the people you serve?

    To identify and remedy poor client service experiences, To identify bright spots and enhance positive service experiences, To make fundamental changes to our programs and/or operations, To inform the development of new programs/projects, To identify where we are less inclusive or equitable across demographic groups, To strengthen relationships with the people we serve

  • Which of the following feedback practices does your organization routinely carry out?

    We collect feedback from the people we serve at least annually, We take steps to get feedback from marginalized or under-represented people, We engage the people who provide feedback in looking for ways we can improve in response, We act on the feedback we receive, We tell the people who gave us feedback how we acted on their feedback

  • What challenges does the organization face when collecting feedback?

    It is difficult to find the ongoing funding to support feedback collection



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The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.


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Connect with nonprofit leaders


Build relationships with key people who manage and lead nonprofit organizations with GuideStar Pro. Try a low commitment monthly plan today.

  • Analyze a variety of pre-calculated financial metrics
  • Access beautifully interactive analysis and comparison tools
  • Compare nonprofit financials to similar organizations

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Board of directors
as of 02/06/2024
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board chair

Mr. Mark Ferguson

BartlitBeck LLP

Term: 2020 - 2024

Jorge Alonso

US District Judge for the Northern District of Illinois

Mar Borie

Private Educator

Bob Brown

UBS Global Asset Management, Inc.

Kevin Conway

Cooney and Conway

Mary Jo DeMaio


Mike Earley


Jim Epstein

Retired Appellate Judge

Mark Ferguson

Bartlit Beck Herman Palenchar & Scott LLP

Chuck Gately

LaSalle Systems

Jim Kaplan

National Investment Services

Patrick Kempton

Prudential Mortgage Capital Company

Chris Klingenstein

Cask Trading

Rocky Lopez

The Randolph Group

Wendy Manning


Chris McComish

S&T Bank

Mike Millhouse

Retired - Chicago Equity Partners LLC

Betsy Murphy

Registered Nurse

Mary O'Leary

Retired Starcom Mediavest Group

John Ormsby

Retired - US Foods

Scott Rubenstein

BMO Harris Bank

Jeremy Schlee


Brad Schotanus

Wintrust Bank

Mark Van Grinsven

Retired - Northern Trust

Allen Weaver

Prudential Capital Group

Greg Zeeman

Oasis Financial

Hank Bernbaum

High Sierra

Chris Boehm

Cresset Partners Private Capital

Teri Brown

Community Philanthropist

Dana Butler

Irma C. Ruiz Elementary School (retired)

Gil Calderon

M4 Capital Management

Amy Carnahan


Christopher Carlson

Northern Trust (retired)

Tracy Clark

Barlit Beck LLP

Brad DeHond

Morgan Stanley Private Wealth Management

Tim Donohue

Lantern Partners

Fred Fisher

Mayer Brown

Justin Foley

The Gelber Group

Katie Gottfried

LEAP Learning Systems

Ellen Hoover

Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP

Jason Kang


Jim Lynch

Winston & Strawn LLP (retired

Brittany Merritt

The Steve Fund

Pete Mulvey


Gretchen Murphy

Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity

Odalo Ohiku

City of Milwaukee

Ralph Perez

Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP

Jennifer Richert

Shirley Ryan AbilityLab

Frank Schmitz

PJT Park Hill Real Estate Group

Sally Giegerich

Northern Trust

Erin Mathurin


Board leadership practices

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section.

  • Board orientation and education
    Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations? Yes
  • CEO oversight
    Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year ? Yes
  • Ethics and transparency
    Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year? Yes
  • Board composition
    Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership? Yes
  • Board performance
    Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years? Yes

Organizational demographics

SOURCE: Self-reported; last updated 2/3/2024

Who works and leads organizations that serve our diverse communities? Candid partnered with CHANGE Philanthropy on this demographic section.


The organization's leader identifies as:

Race & ethnicity
Gender identity
Female, Not transgender
Sexual orientation
Heterosexual or Straight
Disability status
Person without a disability

Race & ethnicity

Gender identity

Transgender Identity

Sexual orientation

No data


No data