President’s Letter

Art Institute of Chicago ▲


James D. Parsons
President

The launch of this website coincides with the completion of our Board’s strategic review of our focus areas and goal statements. The current iteration of these statements, which reflect the various changes made during the course of the strategy review, appears on the Our Priorities pages of the website.

Dear Friends and Colleagues:

As we closed the books on 2015 and entered the new year, we completed a number of important Foundation projects and initiatives. In addition to completing our fifteenth year of grantmaking, which is summarized on the 2015 Grants page, we have updated the design and features of our website. The changes that you will see as you look through this new website were motivated in part by the adoption of our new logo in 2015. As I mentioned in last year’s Annual Report, we believe the new logo is more reflective of the Foundation today. Borrowing equity from our prior logo, it is designed to create a more expressive image that embodies the family’s interest in science, innovation, the evolutionary nature of learning and the dynamic properties of the universe.

The redesign of the website also provided us with the opportunity to highlight photos of our grantees’ programs that we have assembled over the past several years as we prepared our Annual Reports. The website’s improved functionality will allow us to periodically update these photos and highlight the work of a broader group of grantees over time. We hope you enjoy this new look and functionality.

The launch of this website coincides with the completion of our Board’s strategic review of our focus areas and goal statements. The current iteration of these statements, which reflect the various changes made during the course of the strategy review, appears on the Our Priorities pages of the website.

Finally, the Foundation has now fully implemented an annual grant portfolio review process that allows the Board and staff to separately review each of our grantees and compare our respective reviews to make certain that they are aligned. We hope that this process will ensure that the staff becomes aware of the Board’s evolving funding interests and that the Board is informed of any differences between the staff’s and Board’s views of a grantee’s program performance and/or fit with our goals and interests. We hope that over time this effort will help us solidify the position of well-aligned grantees and minimize the need for abrupt grantee transitions from the portfolio.

As we updated the website, we have tried to ensure that its content reflects the impact these initiatives as well as best practices in philanthropy are having on our approach to grantmaking. As you visit the website in the coming months, we hope you will let us know if you believe there is additional content that might be beneficial.

Sincerely,


James D. Parsons
President
February 2016