Philanthropy and its impact on the city of Chicago

August 16, 2012

Maureen Mackie

Even with the economic downturn, philanthropic giving is still going strong: nearly 300 billion dollars’ worth of contributions were made in 2011. These efforts are having a huge impact on the city of Chicago, and today on The Afternoon Shift we’ll explore the subject of philanthropy – both its history and the efforts of some the city’s biggest donors.

First up, we’ll be joined by Lisa Dietlin, head of her own philanthropic consulting firm and author of Transformational Philanthropy: Entrepreneurs and Nonprofits. She’ll talk about the dramatic shift in giving, from wealthy donors investing money in pet projects to the concept of “social entrepreneurship” – turning a profit while helping the community.

Also joining us is Mike Koldyke, a retired venture capitalist turned local philanthropist. You may not recognize his name – it’s certainly not as famous as Pritzker or Harris – but you’ve probably heard of his work. He’s the founder of the Golden Apple Awards (like the Oscars, but for Illinois teachers) and the controversial Academy of Urban School Leadership - which partners with Chicago Public Schools to turn around the most hard-hit schools in the district by using charter school ideals. He’ll discuss his philanthropic efforts: both how he approaches giving and what he hopes to accomplish with his involvement in various projects around the city.

We also want to hear from you: do you think private funding should go towards public services? What areas should philanthropists spend their money on? Have you benefitted from any of these foundations’ efforts? Give us a call at 312-923-9239 or on Twitter at #AfternoonShift.