Showing posts from May, 2014

Why Are Red Poppies a Symbol for Memorial Day?

by Don Cooke, Senior Vice President of Philanthropy 

Stronger Communities Equal a Safer Illinois

by David Hiller, President & CEO  This March, we helped sponsor a symposium, "The $2 Billion Question: Can Illinois Improve Public Safety and Spend Less on Incarceration?" at the Union League Club of Chicago. Elected officials, business leaders, policy makers and funders took part in a discussion that addressed the critical issue of reducing incarceration rates and improving safety in Illinois. Keeping in mind that the population of Illinois is more than 12.5 million, here are Illinois' facts: Approximately 70 percent of prisoners are jailed for non-violent crimes Approximately 48,000 adults are incarcerated annually 3.6 percent of our state budget ($1.3 billion out of $35.3 billion) is spent on incarcerated adults in state and local jails, which accounts for approximately $27,000 per inmate. 48 percent of inmates in state prisons don't have a high school diploma or GED These startling statistics are rooted in decades of tough-on-crime legislation, the w

Support For Vets & Military Families

by Don Cooke, Senior Vice President of Philanthropy  On April 30, 2014, thirty (30) philanthropic organizations and corporations, First Lady Michelle Obama and Dr. Jill Biden, and the Robert R. McCormick Foundation announced pledges totaling more than $170 million, over the next five years, to support veterans and military families. The Philanthropy-Joining Forces Impact Pledge creates a community of funders and builds momentum for programs that will support service members, veterans and their families, in local communities as the country draws down from twelve years of war. Read about the pledge. Related Stories VIDEO: First Lady Michelle Obama and Dr. Jill Biden talk about the new Philanthropy-Joining Forces Impact Pledge VIDEO: Don Cooke talks about The Great Transition Home BLOG: Don's perspective on The New Greatest Generation: Helping Veterans Return Home