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New McCormick Grants Support Organizations Tackling Region's Hardest Problems

Violence Reduction, Rational Fiscal Policy, Regional Planning, Government Accountability, and a Strong Philanthropic Sector

CHICAGO, April 9, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Robert R. McCormick Foundation will invest over $1.4 million in 2013 to support a number of initiatives working to solve some of the most difficult issues facing our region such as fiscal policy, regional planning, sustaining the nonprofit sector and reducing youth violence.

"We find enormous optimism – at a time when our region faces daunting challenges – in the extraordinary work of engaged citizens and civic organizations," said David Hiller, president and CEO, Robert R. McCormick Foundation. "Concerned citizens are waging a multi-front battle for the future of our city and state.  From gun violence to bankrupt fiscal policy, now is the time to stand up and be engaged."

2013 First-Round Grants Reinforcing Civic Health in Illinois

1.    Better Government Association, Chicago, IL 250,000 over two years The Better Government Association is a nonpartisan watchdog group that works for integrity, transparency and accountability in government by investigating fraud, waste, and corruption at state and local levels. The Foundation's support will help fund the BGA's "Rescuing Illinois Project" that will concentrate on reforming the Illinois public pension system, improving the Illinois justice system and reducing waste in Illinois government.

2.    Crime Lab of the University of Chicago, Chicago, IL $200,000 over two years Crime Lab helps government agencies and nonprofit organizations develop innovative new approaches to reducing violence, and works with them to test new innovations using randomized trials. The Foundation's support will help to develop evaluation work in collaboration with city, county and state agencies and nonprofits on youth violence and related policy challenges.

3.    Donors Forum, Chicago, IL $100,000 over two years  The Donors Forum is the premier resource for networking and education, information and knowledge, and leadership and advocacy on behalf of philanthropy and nonprofits in Illinois. The Foundation's support will help the Donors Forum achieve three of its core strategies: serve as the best resource in Illinois for trends, issues and best practices in the nonprofit sector, strengthen the nonprofit sector through knowledge, advocacy and leadership, and strengthen fiscal sustainability.

4.    Illinois Policy Institute, Chicago, IL $50,000 for one year The Illinois Policy Institute is an independent research and education organization that generates positive and sustainable policy solutions for citizens and lawmakers to help unleash talent and entrepreneurial ability. The Foundation's support will help fund the Institute's Journalist in Residence program, which focuses on investigative reporting to promote government transparency and accountability.

5.    Institute for Truth and Accounting , Northbrook, IL $45,000 for one year The Institute for Truth in Accounting compels government to produce financial reports that are understandable, reliable, transparent and correct. The Foundation's support will help to promote their Data Lab, a new website that contextualizes and visualizes state financial data to the journalism community.

6.    Metropolitan Planning Council (MPC) , Chicago, IL  $200,000 over two years The Metropolitan Planning Council (MPC) connects the dots between regional needs, challenges, and solutions with the individuals and organizations that hold the power and capacity to grow the Chicago metropolitan region. The Foundation's support will help MPC develop policies around creating vibrant neighborhoods and a competitive regional economy; productive use of Chicago's water assets; a transportation network that serves residents and the local economy; innovative financing that provides regional growth; and quality homes in livable communities.

7. The Civic Federation, Chicago, IL $200,000 over two years The Civic Federation is a non-partisan government research organization working to maximize the quality and cost-effectiveness of government services in the Chicago region and State of Illinois. The Foundation's support will help to create and produce in-depth research reports on a range of public finance issues and resources to inform media about complex financial topics.

About the Robert R. McCormick Foundation The Robert R. McCormick Foundation is committed to fostering communities of educated, informed and engaged citizens. Through philanthropic programs, Cantigny Park and museums, the Foundation helps develop citizen leaders and works to make life better in our communities. The Foundation was established as a charitable trust in 1955, upon the death of Colonel Robert R. McCormick, the longtime editor and publisher of the Chicago Tribune. The Robert R. McCormick Foundation is one of the nation's largest foundations, with more than $1 billion in assets. For more information, please visit, follow us on Twitter, or like us on Facebook.

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