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2021 Annual Report

Reflections On 2021

Letter from the CEO: Shelley Davis

I am proud and delighted to introduce the Coleman Foundation’s first Annual Report to our peers, partners, grantees and friends, and pleased to have this opportunity to share my thoughts on this extraordinary year of transition.

Like many of our peers in philanthropy, we are metabolizing the lessons we learned as grantmakers during a global pandemic. We asked our grantees about their biggest challenges to accomplishing their missions and in response we began adopting trust-based philanthropy practices: streamlining our application process and increasing our unrestricted general operating grants.

We also outlined a two-year strategic plan which affirms our commitment to our three historical program areas: entrepreneurship, health and rehabilitation, and intellectual/developmental disabilities. Our plan’s learning agenda will include visiting our grantees in the community, inviting leaders into our board meetings, and co-hosting grantee convenings.

Our 2021 annual report documents that the Board approved grants of $6.2 million across our three program areas. Total grants made for the year were $7.1 million.

Our grantees have provided photos to connect places and faces with the missions that draw us into the work, reminding us of the resilience and strength community leaders demonstrated through all the challenges of the pandemic.

Reflecting on the past year, all of us at Coleman are reminded of the privilege it is to give to the organizations who are providing solutions and opportunities for communities across the Chicago metropolitan area.

We are so excited to see what 2022 reveals.


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2021 Hennessy Retirement from top left: C. McCain, L. Torres, D. Wanzenberg, S. Davis, M. Hennessy, M. Furlong, T. Trinley, (bottom left) E. Fleming, A. Fitzgerald, E. Barron.

Photo credit: Ozzie Ramsay

2021 Milestones

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Shelley Davis' First 100 Days

2021 Program Highlights


The Coleman Foundation invests in the work of Business Support Organizations which provide neighborhood-based entrepreneurs with the training, education and connections they need to thrive. We collaborate with other funders and a growing network of nonprofit organizations committed to supporting entrepreneurs and building Chicago’s small business sector.


¡Mercado! en Navidad transformed the Belmont Central Parking Garage to kick-off holiday shopping with food, art, retail and live performers.

Photo courtesy of Northwest Side Community Development Corporation

4.GSCDCAssists Nestors Auto and Tires

Greater Southwest Side Community Development Corporation helps entrepreneurs access training, skills, and capital needed to expand their small businesses, like Nestor’s Auto & Tire Shop.

Photo courtesy of: GSCD


We invest in the capacity of twenty-five Chicago business support organizations, particularly those that serve low-income communities and/ or under-resourced populations.

Health and Rehabilitation

The Coleman Foundation invests in programs designed to provide comprehensive, high-quality, patient-centered care. We support collaborations among healthcare institutions, community organizations and service providers working to engage patients in their treatment, empower them to make informed decisions about their own care, and provide them access to highly trained professionals.

1.Community Health Workers Alevio Medical Center

Community Health Workers are trained to help families in their neighborhood by connecting them with doctors, services and educational resources.

Photo courtesy of: Alivio Medical Center

2.Camp One Step

Supportive Oncology: Camp One Step continued virtually, proving it isn’t just a place, but a community.

Photo courtesy of: Children’s Oncology Services

Cancer Care and Health Rehab Grantee Map 2021

By supporting over thirty cancer care providers and building the community health worker workforce, we are able to help expand access to health services in Chicago neighborhoods and suburbs.

Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities

The Coleman Foundation invests in I/DD providers working to improve self-sufficiency and quality of life for people with disabilities. We help organizations adapt and improve service delivery models in response to emerging client needs.


Search Inc. trains businesses, schools, and organizations to communicate with employees, prospective hires, and customers who have disabilities.

Photo courtesy of: Search, Inc.


Max, a 4-year-old with a Cerebral Palsy, gets the supports and therapies he needs to take steps towards independence.

Photo courtesy of: Center for Independence through Conductive Education

Disabilities Grantees Map 2021

We partner with over fifty intellectual/developmental disability organizations across the greater Chicago area providing services to individuals and families.

2021 Grant Making

$ M
$ M
Health & Rehabilitation
$ M
Intellectual & Developmental Disabilities
$ M

*Includes Board Directed And Other Grants

Grantee List

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    The Coleman Foundation, Inc.
    20 N. Wacker Dr. Suite 3410
    Chicago, IL 60606
    Phone (312) 902-7120
    Fax (312) 902-7124

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