Big Shoulders Fund’s mission is to support inner-city schools, which provide a quality values- based education, thereby contributing to stronger communities.
Big Shoulders Fund is an independent charitable organization that serves a network of 72 Chicago area schools, providing a quality, values-based education to nearly 20,000 children. In 2019, as a result of a fully funded charitable donation, we extended our programming to 20 schools in Northwest Indiana, reaching an additional 6,000 children. Many of these students come from diverse racial and socioeconomic backgrounds. In Chicago, 80 percent of students represent minorities and nearly 70 percent live in low-income households. To date, Big Shoulders Fund has raised nearly $400 million, which goes directly towards supporting a variety of programs and operational needs including scholarship support, academic enrichment, special education programming, instructional equipment, facility improvement, faculty development, leadership development, and operating grants. Big Shoulders Fund is unique in that administrative expenses are supported by an endowment and other income, which ensures 100 percent of funds currently raised go toward programs that benefit Big Shoulders Fund schools and the students they serve. Annual investments of more than $30 million ensure that students receive a strong academic foundation in elementary school, go on to enroll in quality college prep high schools, attend and stay in college, and lead productive lives as adults.
A $1,000 contribution may yield a partial scholarship for a student, provide project-based and student-centered learning activities, or allow a teacher or administrator to participate in professional development and leadership training.