Areas of Interest

star farm chicago
The Mander Foundation supports Star Farm Chicago, a non-profit urban farm and landscaping company located in the city's Back of the Yards neighborhood.

The Walter S. Mander Foundation provides funding in the following areas: urban agriculture, local sustainable agriculture, community development,  Jewish and Israeli organizations and cancer research.

  • 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).

The Walter S. Mander Foundation is a member of Fresh Taste, SAFSF and SLoFIG, local and national organizations that support and invest in a variety of sustainable food and agriculture initiatives.