April 2022 : Spring 2022 Newsletter

Newsletter banner 2021 The Coleman Foundation

Welcome to our spring newsletter!  We are looking forward to more sunshine, warmer days, and increased opportunities to meet face-to-face with friends and colleagues. In this newsletter you will find an update on our strategic plan implementation, an overview of our most recent grants, and a celebration of a long-term member of our Coleman staff team.

Strategic Plan

We began the new year mapping the implementation of our 2022-2024 strategic plan, which calls us to engage in a learning agenda focused on our three program areas.  To this end, our board members are attending grantee site visits and funder convenings, and leaders from the field are sharing their expertise with us during board meetings. We know putting leaders and grantees’ voices at the center of our conversations is the best way to make informed decisions for the deployment of Coleman’s resources.

Developing the strategic plan gave us the opportunity to refresh our mission and vision statements as well as articulate our organizational values. While we feel that we have been living these values already, I am excited to share them, since I believe there is power in the written word, as it provides a more formal promise to our community.  The Coleman Foundation’s values are:

  • Respect for Community: We trust and build relationships with grantee partners and community experts to ensure their knowledge and experiences guide our work.
  • Empathy: We are committed to understanding the experiences and perspectives of the people and communities that we serve.
  • Responsiveness: We foster a culture of learning, adaptivity, and innovation to be sure we take advantage of opportunities to create positive impacts as they arise.
  • Responsible Stewardship: We manage the Foundation’s resources in a steady, transparent, and responsible manner.

First Quarter Giving

Our first quarter giving focuses on two of our three program areas, Entrepreneurship and Health & Rehabilitation.

We are pleased to fund neighborhood-based and citywide Business Support Organizations (BSOs) that are providing business owners with access to capital, resources and skills training, including one-on-one coaching. Read more below about the relationship between BSOs, the ecosystem and the sustained success of entrepreneurs in my summation of the convening we co-hosted with the Fund for Equitable Business Growth.

A key objective our Health & Rehabilitation program area is to “increase opportunities to preserve and strengthen the health of individuals and communities.” To that end, we are supporting programs addressing pediatric healthcare, rehabilitation for children and young adults, community health workers, access to durable medical equipment, and reducing disparities in psychosocial cancer care.

We also released $933,000 in general operating support to eighty-seven organizations across all three of our program areas through our Giving Tuesday Threshold Match program.

Finally, we granted $150,000 to crisis intervention in Ukraine for organizations providing shelter and health services to families as well as efforts around food security and legal advocacy. We will continue to monitor this humanitarian crisis and consider future opportunities to respond.

First Quarter 2022 Grants

A Bittersweet Goodbye

Our honored colleague Rosa Berardi announced that after 26 years of service, she will be leaving the Foundation on June 30. Rosa’s work in the Health and Rehabilitation space has resulted in millions of dollars in grants to almost every major health institution in the Chicago area.  Most notably, Rosa was instrumental in cultivating our partnerships within the healthcare provider community which led to the creation of the nationally recognized Supportive Oncology Collaborative.  Rosa writes about the history and future of the Collaborative below. We look forward to celebrating Rosa’s contribution to the Foundation and wish her all the best that life has to offer.

See you in the community,


A Note From Esther Barron, Our New Board Chair

The Coleman Foundation has been dedicated to Chicagoland communities since 1951. I am very proud of this legacy and the lasting and continuing impact the Coleman Foundation has had in Chicago.  I also recognize that our work requires consistent reflection and am committed to listening to and serving an even broader and more diverse community.  It is a serious responsibility to chair the board at this critical moment in the world where there is urgent need for support and change.  With respect for all of the work we have done thus far and optimism for what is possible in the near future, I am grateful for the privilege and opportunity to help shape the Coleman Foundation’s next chapter of philanthropy.

The Coleman Supportive Oncology Collaboration Finds a New Home With Equal Hope
Coleman and Fund for Equitable Business Growth Offer Virtual Workshop for Business Support Organizations
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The Coleman Foundation, Inc.
651 West Washington Boulevard, Suite 306
Chicago, IL 60661
Phone (312) 902-7120
Fax (312) 902-7124

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