A Message from Executive Director Iris Krieg
We were sad to learn that Jim Mabie, who served on the Board of Directors of the Albert Pick Jr. Fund for many years, passed away on May 8 at the age of 85. A successful businessman, Jim was also a leader in the non-profit sector. He served on many boards including the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Thresholds, Old Town School of Music and WBEZ. He was a co-founder of Chicago High School for the Arts (CHiArts). Jim was also a great philanthropist, giving generously not only to these organizations but to so many more such as Lakefront Supportive Housing, the Night Ministry and North Lawndale Employment Network.
We at the Pick Fund were fortunate to have had the opportunity to work directly with Jim. As the Treasurer of the Fund, his thoughtful stewardship of our investments resulted in growth so that today we have more funds to grant. Jim listened carefully to staff presentations and always asked insightful questions. He wanted to be sure we were using our resources wisely and for the greatest community benefit.
We missed Jim when he resigned, but we knew he was going on to spend more time with his family and take up other important philanthropic endeavors. We extend our condolences to his family and to all who benefited from his guidance, leadership and love.
About the Fund
The Albert Pick, Jr. Fund is a private, independent foundation established in 1947. While grantmaking interests and procedures have been updated over the years to reflect changing times, the Fund’s mission remains faithful to the intent of its founders, Corinne and Albert Pick, Jr.: to provide disadvantaged Chicago residents with the tools they need to improve their lives. Mr. Pick was a business man who, among his other accomplishments, started Pick Hotels Corp., which eventually controlled 15 hotels. He and Mrs. Pick were avid philanthropists, serving on many boards and assisting many organizations
Today, the Fund concentrates on neighborhoods and/or people who are economically or otherwise disadvantaged or who face discrimination. Chicago should be a city of hope, safety and opportunities for those who live here. We believe that people should be empowered to identify and define the problems they confront and work towards solutions. Our role is to ensure that community residents have the resources and support they need to undertake this work.
Going forward, the Fund’s directors and staff aim to do our part, as a philanthropic institution, to support the growing movement around social justice and racial equity. We are asking ourselves how the Fund can do more to support the objectives of this movement. Therefore, we have begun an exploration process to review our grantmaking, Board and staff attitudes, investments and vendors with the goal of making changes over time that will be more in line with our values.
This is not an easy process with a direct path. As a field, philanthropy is considering how it can play a role in promoting social justice and racial equity. Best practices and strategies are still being developed. At the Pick Fund, we expect to encounter bumps along the way – we may make some mistakes and need to adjust our approach. Through this website, we will keep you advised of what we are doing and how our grantmaking is affected. We appreciate your patience as we work to build a better Albert Pick Jr. Fund for a better Chicago.
If you have applied before, you will note the application form has been revised to ask more specific questions about applicants’ demographics – who is served and who is in leadership roles. This is a first step to understanding who is benefiting from our grants and whether we are really reaching our target populations.
Please refer to the WHAT WE FUND page for more information on our grantmaking, funding guidelines, and application deadlines.
The Chicago Racial Justice Pooled Fund is a commitment to raise and move $3M to Chicago organizations building and sustaining movements for justice that center Black lives and address anti-Blackness. While $3M is not an equitable amount to address the violence that racial injustice has ravaged, this is the first step of many needed towards a more just Chicago.
The Fund will provide grants to Black-led community organizing groups as well as allied community organizing groups addressing anti-Blackness. In this context, community organizing means bringing people together who individually may lack power but collectively can build and wield power to advance racial justice.
The grant application, as well as additional information, is available now at bit.ly/ChiRacialJustice.
The Albert Pick, Jr. Fund is pleased to be a contributing member of this Pooled Fund.