Walter S. Mander Foundation Grants

Walter S. Mander Foundation

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Grant amount: Up to US $30,000

Deadline: Rolling

Applicant type: Nonprofit

Funding uses: Training / Capacity Building, Capital Project, General Operating Expense, Project / Program, Education / Outreach

Location of project: Cook County, Illinois

Location of residency: Cook County, Illinois

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About this funder:



NOTE: The Foundation does not invite unsolicited proposals. However, brief introductory letters (1-2 pages) may be submitted for review. If the board approves moving forward, the organization will be contacted regarding next steps in the proposal process. The Foundation does not have proposal deadlines and makes grants on a rolling basis throughout its fiscal year. 

About Us

The Walter S. Mander Foundation is the legacy of Walter S. Mander, a Chicago resident who came to the U.S. as a Jewish refugee from Nazi Germany in 1940 and became one of the most successful individuals in the American meatpacking industry.

Mr. Mander created the Walter S. Mander Foundation to advance his charitable interests during his lifetime. Upon Mr. Mander’s death from cancer in 1999, a significant portion of his estate was left to the Foundation. The Foundation is managed by a board of directors that includes family members and former co-workers, colleagues and friends.

Areas of Interest

The Mander Foundation makes grants primarily in five areas which are related to the interests and experiences of the late Mr. Mander. These include:

  • Cancer research funding (only open to invited proposals) 
  • Chicago community development, including programs that provide employment training, financial literacy, and job opportunities. For workforce-related programs, we are specifically interested in those that focus on higher-paying and skilled industries, include a financial counseling component, and provide job placement that includes ongoing follow up with both employees and employers
  • Support of Jewish and Israeli organizations and programs (invited applicants only)
  • Support of work that advances the local foods movement in Chicago and Illinois, including reform of food production, processing and delivery structures
  • Support of urban agriculture and greening programs in Chicago that promote access to healthy food and provide job-related skills.

Other grants outside these focus areas may also be made from time to time at the discretion of the board of directors. 

The Foundation frequently provides general operating support and does not insist on funding specific projects. 

You can learn more about this opportunity by visiting the funder's website.


  • Grants for direct service are limited to organizations serving Chicago and its immediate surrounding area (Cook County).


  • It is not necessary to provide materials specifically tailored to the Foundation.