Founded in 1940 by Marshall Field III, the Field Foundation is a private, independent foundation that has been dedicated to the promise of Chicago for over 80 years. The Field Foundation aims its grant-making toward the goal of community empowerment through funding nonprofits working in Justice, Art and Leadership Investment.

We seek to invest in organizations working to address systemic issues in divested communities. At the center of the Field Foundation’s work is the idea of community empowerment. We want to clarify that we do not claim to “empower” the “powerless,” rather we see many of Chicago’s community-based organizations as immense sources of power that need support. We envision these “local power grids” as organizations, networks, alliances and seek to learn more about them for potential investment of our limited dollars.  Community empowerment is also our personal north star. A way of asking the sector to hold us accountable for our work, and to ensure that our dollars are spent on powering specific communities.

Field Foundation History