mission & history
A community of leaders.
Chicago African Americans in Philanthropy (CAAIP) is a membership organization committed to achieving racial equity in philanthropy by advocating for investments in Black communities and expanding Black leadership opportunities in the social sector.
By challenging the current assumptions, practices, and policies that inhibit restoration, growth, and prosperity within our communities, we are developing strategies that influence how philanthropic resources are allocated and advancing the work of racial equity in our sector.
CAAIP fosters community among Black people in Chicago and across the Midwest by serving as a communal space for learning and development. By increasing the visibility of Black leaders in philanthropy, advancing racial equity and building a cohesive and vital community, CAAIP aims to redirect philanthropic resources and decision-making to Black communities.
In 1998, nearly 100 African Americans working in Chicago’s social sector, led by Deborah Harrington and Timothy Russell, came together to found Chicago African Americans in Philanthropy. Recognizing the need for a philanthropic community that effectively responds to the needs of African Americans and is inclusive of their leadership and talent the organization has worked to increase investment in communities of color, provided training and education to social sector leaders, and been a home for those seeking to advance equitable and effective philanthropy.
We empower the current and future generation of Black philanthropic leaders to shift power, resources and policies towards enhancing the vitality and self-determination of the Black community and ensuring it has a continued place in Chicago’s future. As we continue to build our understanding of the historic and current impact of systemic racism, the philanthropic and social sectors must do their part to address racial injustice and the legacy of anti-Blackness. By building relationships, developing impact strategies, and growing the leadership of our community, CAAIP members work to direct philanthropic resources and decision-making power to Black communities.
CAAIP takes a three pronged approach to actualizing its vision—increasing the visibility of Black leaders; advancing racial equity; and building a cohesive and vital philanthropic community.
Chicago African American in Philanthropy is proud to work alongside others who are advancing equity and opportunity for communities of color. Our partners include African American Legacy Initiative (AAL), Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders in Philanthropy (AAPIP), Association for Black Foundation Executives (ABFE), Chicago Latinos in Philanthropy (CLIP), and Forefront.