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