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Joyce Foundation
""Joyce Foundation logo.jpg
Named after "The Joyce family
Formation 1948
Founder Beatrice Joyce Kean
Type Non-profit organization
Legal status "501(c)(3)
Focus Education, environment, employment, culture, democracy, and reducing gun-related violence[1]
Great Lakes region
Key people
Ellen Alberding, president

The Joyce Foundation is a "charitable foundation based in "Chicago, Illinois. It has assets of approximately $950 million and distributes about $45 million in grants each year.[2]

The Foundation supports the development and advancement of evidence-based policy across a range of issues primarily in the "Great Lakes region. These include environmental preservation and restoration, energy efficiency, K-12 education, workforce development, democracy, culture, and gun violence prevention.



The Joyce Foundation was established in 1948 by Beatrice Joyce Kean of Chicago.[3] She was the sole heir of "David Joyce, a lumber executive and industrialist from "Clinton, Iowa. The family wealth came from the lumber industry, including family-owned timberlands, plywood and saw mills, and wholesale and retail building material distribution facilities located in the Midwest, Louisiana, and Texas. The Foundation was modestly endowed until Kean's death in 1972, when she bequeathed it nearly $100 million.[4][5]

Charles U. Daly, a former aide to President "John F. Kennedy, served as president of the Foundation for eight years. He was succeeded by Craig Kennedy in 1986.[4] Deborah Leff, a trial lawyer for the civil rights division of the "Department of Justice, served as present of the organization from 1992 to 1999, and was succeeded by "Paula DiPerna, named president in 1999.[6] DiPerna was succeeded in 2002 by Ellen Alberding, the organization's seventh president.[7] Former U.S. President "Barack Obama served on the foundation's board of directors from 1994 through 2002.[8]

As of 2015, the Joyce Foundation has awarded over $950 million in grants since its establishment.[9]


The Foundation describes its mission as "working to improve quality of life, promote community vitality, and achieve a fair society."[9]


The Joyce Foundation's primary focus is the six-state Great Lake region, including Minnesota, Wisconsin, Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, and Ohio. The Foundation's work to achieve policy impact expands beyond its home region through collaborations with government organizations, advocates, and other funders.[2] Foundation programs invest in quality public education, especially for children growing up in poverty; expanding economic opportunity for disadvantaged workers; and policies designed to secure a clean and healthy natural environment. Joyce is one of the leading private funders of research-based strategies to prevent gun violence by reducing the easy accessibility of firearms.[10][11] Other programs promote a more representative democracy and support artists of color and arts organizations that support them.[12]


  1. ^ Andrea Highbie (December 9, 1997). "Faces: Cleaning up The Midwest". New York Times. Retrieved March 18, 2017. 
  2. ^ a b "Joyce Foundation: Chicago Grants". Inside Philanthropy. Retrieved 16 November 2015. 
  3. ^ Hsin, Jady (May 2007). "Joyce Foundation". Philanthropy Magazine. Philanthropy Roundtable. Retrieved 16 November 2015. 
  4. ^ a b Kathleen Teltsch (April 13, 1986). "Grant Assists in Schooling After Moves". New York Times. Retrieved March 18, 2017. 
  5. ^ Jady Hsin (June 2007). "Joyce Foundation". Philanthropy Magazine. Retrieved March 18, 2017. 
  6. ^ Jeff Borden (January 23, 1999). "People". Crain's Chicago Business. Retrieved March 18, 2017. 
  7. ^ "Joyce Foundation names new president". Chicago Tribune. January 10, 2002. Retrieved March 18, 2017. 
  8. ^ Vogel, Kenneth (April 19, 2008). "Obama linked to gun control efforts". Politico. Retrieved 16 November 2015. 
  9. ^ a b "What We Do". Joyce Foundation. Retrieved 10 September 2015. 
  10. ^ Frankel, Todd C. (January 14, 2015). "Why the CDC still isn’t researching gun violence, despite the ban being lifted two years ago". Washington Post. Retrieved 16 November 2015. 
  11. ^ Merrion, Paul (January 22, 2011). "The Joyce Foundation: the anti-NRA". Crain's Chicago Business. Retrieved 16 November 2015. 
  12. ^ "Voting Rights, Immigration, Women in the Global Workforce among Themes Reflected in 2017 Joyce Awards to Collaborations between Great Lakes Artists of Color and Cultural Organizations". Joyce Foundation. December 8, 2016. Retrieved March 18, 2017. 

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