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Whole Philanthropy: Radically Reimagining Investment Partnerships

Katie Hickey May 31, 2021

Like many in philanthropy, we hold ourselves accountable for creating actions that exemplify our beliefs and contributing to construct viable pathways on that road toward freedom, specifically for Black and Brown people. We recognize that all too often philanthropy falls short in constructing those pathways. Despite decades of “defining the problem” and implementing “solutions,” we are left with minimal long-lasting results. It’s tempting to attribute these failures to societal forces, especially given the growing awareness of how structural racism and inequality shape and distort young people’s lives.

At Chicago Beyond we believe there is a practical alternative to traditional institutional philanthropy that can invigorate the sector’s ability to create this deep change. It is about doing away with the false dichotomy of “us and them.” It’s about recognizing that we are in this together, fighting for and envisioning true freedom for all. It requires interacting with our partners (or grantees), not in a paternalistic way, but as equals.

In this session, we will share how we at Chicago Beyond, an impact investor, believe that making philanthropy whole is an ongoing journey, and share our practical ways to investing in ideas, individuals and organizations striving for justice in communities across the country.



Meta Themes

  • Equity & Inclusion

  • Impact Investing


Proximity, partnership, nonprofits, foundations, relationships, trust

Purpose and Desired Outcome

Chicago Beyond is an impact investor that has invested more than $35 million in ideas, individuals, and organizations that back the fight for equity in Chicago's communities. In this session, we will share our steps, missteps, and approach, which we call "Whole Philanthropy." We will also share the importance of our orientation to the work, which includes consciousness, connectedness and solidarity. We will provide practical examples of how these show up in our every day work. The outcome is to provide those involved in impact work with an alternative to "how it's always been done."


  • Allocators (Family Offices, HNW Individuals, Foundations)

  • Government

  • Intermediaries (Financial Advisers, Investment Bankers)

  • Service Providers


  • NameShruti Jayaraman
  • TitleChief Investment Officer
  • OrganizationChicago Beyond
  • StatusConfirmed
  • NameMonique Wilson
  • TitleSenior Director of Investments
  • OrganizationChicago Beyond
  • StatusConfirmed
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