The Field Foundation seeks to recognize, honor, and support the deep bench of visionary leaders across Chicago. By creating a network, we aim to act as a connector, supporter, and investor in leaders who have the potential to transform Chicago. The Field Foundation offers two opportunities in Leadership Investment: Leaders for a New Chicago and Field Foundation Graduate Fellowship.


The following opportunities aim to promote visionaries across Chicago by building their social capital, skillsets, networks, and exposure.

  1. Leaders for a New Chicago: The Leaders for a New Chicago Awards is an award, created in partnership with the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundationfor past accomplishments that promote and advance a range of leaders whose influence will inform decision-making across the city of Chicago. This unique, no-strings-attached $50,000 award ($25,000 for the individual and, if eligible, $25,000 for their affiliated, not-for-profit corporation) will be awarded to between 10 and 15 awardees per year. This award recognizes leaders from existing grantee organizations (within the past three years) of the Field Foundation along with current grantees from the MacArthur Foundation’s Chicago Commitment and Chicago-based Journalism & Media programs. In addition to being a grantee of either Field or MacArthur, Awardees must be working in the fields of Justice, Art, or Media & Storytelling. More details can be found in the nomination portal.
  2.  Field Foundation Graduate Fellowship: Graduate students pursuing a Master’s Degree at a Chicago university may apply for a nine-month academic year fellowship. The program is a supervised field placement at the Foundation offering field work and philanthropic experience. Past fellows have applied through their school to gain credit towards their degree. Fellows learn all aspects of the Field Foundation grantmaking process by reviewing grant proposals, conducting site visits, formulating grant recommendations, and providing written documentation for the Foundation’s staff and Board of Directors. Fellows also work on special projects. The application process is currently closed for this year. Future applicants may apply in February 2023 for a fellowship during the following academic year (September 2023 through May 2024).


Increase individual leadership capacity by supporting leaders and their organizations. Strengthen connections between rising and existing leaders across communities by growing leaders’ networks and social capital. Utilize a risk learning strategy to discover what successful leaders need by giving leaders the room and capital to discover their most productive self; with an eventual goal of racially diversifying and thereby strengthening civic leadership in Chicago.