CHILDREN FIRST FUND: THE CHICAGO PUBLIC SCHOOLS FOUNDATION

The Chicago Public Schools Foundation

Chicago, IL   |  https://childrenfirstfund.org

Mission

The mission of the Children First Fund is to promote the growth and success of Chicago Public Schools through philanthropy and partnerships. We serve as a knowledge hub and liaison between CPS and its community of partners, including businesses, foundations, and individuals. By matching resources provided by external donors and partners with the students, schools, and staff that need them most, CFF maximizes the impact of CPS’ partnerships and advances the CPS Vision.

Ruling year info

1997

Interim Executive Director

Ms. Mica Matsoff

Main address

200 West Madison Street 2nd Floor

Chicago, IL 60606 USA

Show more addresses

EIN

36-4094830

NTEE code info

Fund Raising and/or Fund Distribution (B12)

Primary/Elementary Schools (B24)

Secondary/High School (B25)

IRS filing requirement

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

Sign in or create an account to view Form(s) 990 for 2019, 2018 and 2017.
Register now

Communication

Programs and results

What we aim to solve

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Children First Fund: The Chicago Public Schools Foundation (CFF) is a 501(c) 3 tax-exempt organization in support of Chicago Public Schools (CPS). While CPS has made tremendous progress over the past ten years, there remains more to do for students who have been historically underserved and underrepresented. At CFF, our mission is to leverage all of our city’s resources in support of CPS' mission to provide every student with the education they need to be successful in college, career, and civic life. Our approach to philanthropic support focuses on removing barriers for students and schools to succeed, in the context of the ongoing pandemic, in plans for recovery, and beyond —all from the three critical lenses of equity, whole child, and academic excellence.

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?

Children First Fund General Support

CFF aims to promote the growth and success of Chicago Public Schools through philanthropy and partnerships. We serve as a knowledge hub and liaison between CPS and its community of partners, including businesses, foundations, and individuals. By matching resources provided by external donors and partners with the students, schools, and staff that need them most, CFF maximizes the impact of CPS’s partnerships.

Population(s) Served
Children and youth

CPS’ support for our students and families extends beyond the classroom, particularly in times of crisis. When the COVID-19 pandemic forced schools to move to remote learning in March 2020, we mobilized the Compassion Fund to meet the immediate needs of our school communities. When students began the new school year, the Compassion Fund helped to make sure all students had the resources to start the school year on even footing. As we move forward, the Compassion Fund will continue to provide critical support to students and families facing adverse circumstances, and to promote a safe, supportive, and equitable learning environment. This includes:
*Direct emergency relief for families with extenuating circumstances to support with rent, meals, bills, hygiene needs, and more
*Continued support for technology needs-–including devices and connectivity
*Book distribution to build culturally-relevant libraries
*Hands-on early reading kits for our youngest learners, and other school supplies
*Support for CPS’ Meal Distribution and home delivery efforts
*Social Emotional learning support for classrooms to help process trauma and grief

Population(s) Served
Children and youth

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 grants received

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Total dollars received in contributions

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

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.

Children First Fund is aiming to promote the growth and success of Chicago Public Schools through philanthropy and Partnerships. We serve as a knowledge hub and liaison between CPS and its community of partners, including businesses, foundations, hospitals, higher education and cultural institutions. By matching resources provided by external donors and partners with the students, schools, and staff that need them most, CFF maximizes the impact of CPS’ partnerships, aligning Chicago’s generosity to furthering the CPS Vision and advancing equity.

CFF will work with partners to identify mutual areas of interest, engaging primarily in supporting the following initiatives:
(1) CPS Vision Priorities: CFF welcomes philanthropic engagement in systems-level change at CPS as outlined in the CPS Five-Year Vision. District strategic priorities in this space include the Chicago Roadmap, Healing Centered Project, Civics, Financial Education, Computer Science, Early Childhood, Scholarships, Teacher pipelines, Anti-violence efforts, and much more.
(2) Signature Sponsorship Campaigns: Through seasonal campaigns and annual funds, CFF proactively seeks corporate employee giving and sponsorship for Back to School, Teacher Appreciation Month and Scholarships.
(3) Featured Giving Campaigns: CFF raises funds for specific need-based giving campaigns throughout the year, such as the Multicultural Literature campaign.
(4) Direct School Giving: CFF matches partners with schools of greatest need for philanthropic support, capital improvements, resources, and student experiences.
(5) CFF Compassion Fund: The Compassion Fund provides critical support to schools, students, and families facing adverse circumstances, and to promote a safe, supportive, and equitable learning environment. The Compassion Fund allows us to act immediately when CPS families need help most, including the ongoing response to the global pandemic and other crises. Among the resources CFF was entrusted with distributing, the organization provided financial assistance to families to cover basic needs. Working closely with principals and network chiefs, these monetary gifts assisted families facing a variety of crises, like home fires, family deaths or illness, unemployment or lost wages, many of which have been caused or were exacerbated by the pandemic.

As the philanthropic arm of the district, CFF is directly aligned to district priorities and strategic goals and is able to:
(1) Build confidence in CPS through more sophisticated development and partnerships operation
(2) Organize the city’s vast financial, human capital and in-kind resources against the CPS’ vision
(3) Increase support for CPS by being a public-facing and proactive organization that simplifies the engagement process and improves partner benefits

Secured approximately $45 million in federal, state, city, and philanthropic funding in FY2021.
-Beginning in March 2020, CFF raised more than $11 million for the district’s COVID-19 response, plus in-kind support valued at $4 million.

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, CFF mobilized the Compassion Fund to direct resources to help CPS communities and families, bringing practical support and encouragement to thousands of students and families across Chicago. These resources included:
-12,000+ devices to support students as they learned from home.
-Literacy resources, including 6,500+ early reading kits for CPS’ youngest learners and 130,000 culturally-relevant books for older readers.
-Direct relief of financial gifts averaging $130 for 4,500+ families, with allocated aid totaling over $650,000.
-350 microgrants for graduating seniors to ease the post-secondary transition.
-7+ million face coverings and hundreds of thousands of units of hand sanitizer.
-A district-wide social and emotional learning (SEL) program to help students process trauma and grief.
-Fundraising, connecting with community-based organizations (CBOs), and supporting community outreach for the groundbreaking Chicago Connected initiative, in addition to serving as the fiscal agent for the program.
-Receiving and distributing more end-of-year online donors than ever before.

Partnered with City Hall and the district’s Office of Safety and Security to fund the Choose to Change (C2C) program, which offers youth a unique combination of individualized services, including intensive mentoring with group-based, and trauma-informed therapy.

Launched a multi-year fundraising campaign to establish and resource the Chicago Roadmap, a landmark collaboration between CPS and City Colleges of Chicago (CCC). CFF introduced this thoughtfully-researched effort to the Chicago community and also to nationwide philanthropic and education advocacy stakeholders.

Please follow @chifirstfund on all forms of social media and/or visit our new website (www.childrenfirstfund.org) to learn more about what we’re working on and how you can support!

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 shared information about our current feedback practices.
  • How is your organization collecting feedback from the people you serve?

    Electronic surveys (by email, tablet, etc.), Focus groups or interviews (by phone or in person), Community meetings/Town halls, Suggestion box/email,

  • How is your organization using feedback from the people you serve?

    To make fundamental changes to our programs and/or operations, To inform the development of new programs/projects, To strengthen relationships with the people we serve,

  • With whom is the organization sharing feedback?

    The people we serve, Our staff, Our board, Our funders, Our community partners,

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

  • What challenges does the organization face when collecting feedback?

    We don't have any major challenges to collecting feedback,

Financials

CHILDREN FIRST FUND: THE CHICAGO PUBLIC SCHOOLS FOUNDATION
lock

Unlock financial insights by subscribing to our monthly plan.

Subscribe

Unlock nonprofit financial insights that will help you make more informed decisions. Try our monthly plan today.

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

Want to see how you can enhance your nonprofit research and unlock more insights?
Learn more about GuideStar Pro.

Operations

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

lock

Connect with nonprofit leaders

Subscribe

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

Want to see how you can enhance your nonprofit research and unlock more insights? Learn More about GuideStar Pro.

lock

Connect with nonprofit leaders

Subscribe

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

Want to see how you can enhance your nonprofit research and unlock more insights? Learn More about GuideStar Pro.

CHILDREN FIRST FUND: THE CHICAGO PUBLIC SCHOOLS FOUNDATION

Board of directors
as of 7/23/2021
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board chair

Alan King

Riley Safer Holmes & Cancila LLP

Mary Cahillane

Federal Home Loan Bank of Chicago

Darrel Hackett

BMO Wealth Management U.S.

Liz Dozier

Chicago Beyond

Adam Langsam

William Harris Investors

Alec Litowitz

Magnetar Capital

Gail Ward

Retired Educator and Philanthropist

Peter Ellis

Global Chair of Litigation & Dispute Resolution at Reed Smith

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 ? Not applicable
  • 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? Not applicable

Organizational demographics

SOURCE: Self-reported; last updated 2/17/2021,

Who works and leads organizations that serve our diverse communities? GuideStar partnered on this section with CHANGE Philanthropy and Equity in the Center.

Leadership

The organization's leader identifies as:

Race & ethnicity
White/Caucasian/European
Gender identity
Female

Race & ethnicity

No data

Gender identity

No data

 

No data

Sexual orientation

No data

Disability

No data