Underwrite a Program

Do you feel a special connection to a particular topic? Do you want to make an ongoing commitment to a series of Festival programs?

Many Festival programs are made possible through the generosity of individuals, families, foundations, and corporations. We recognize your gift and support in our printed program guide, on our website, and at the event.

If you are interested in learning more about the opportunity to underwrite a Festival program for this year, or for future Festivals, please call Natalie Edwards at 312-661-1028 ext. 730

Planned Gifts

Planned Gifts are a wonderful way to ensure that the Chicago Humanities Festival remains a vital and critical part of Chicago’s cultural life. The term "planned giving" refers to any major gift that involves financial or estate planning. By working with your financial advisor, attorney and/or accountant you can make a gift that will have a great impact on the Chicago Humanities Festival and support both your philanthropic and financial objectives equally.

Planned gifts can be made with cash, but many planned gifts are made by donating assets such as stocks, real estate, art pieces, or business interests—the possibilities are endless. Planned gifts can provide valuable tax benefits and/or lifetime income for you and your spouse or other loved one. The most frequently-made planned gifts are bequests to charities, made through your will. Other popular planned gifts include charitable trusts and charitable gift annuities that provide income to you and your beneficiary for a term of y ears or life. Here is a brief summary of the types of gifts:

Gifts that Provide Income

A Charitable Gift Annuity may appeal to you if you are interested in making a gift to the CHF and would like the dependability of a fixed annual income. In exchange for a gift of $10,000 or more in cash or securities, the Festival will provide a fixed, guaranteed income to you and/or your spouse for life.

A Charitable Remainder Trust under the right circumstances is another attractive gift planning vehicle. A gift of $50,000 or more in cash, securities or real estate allows you to establish a trust that will make variable payments to you and other income beneficiaries, if you wish, for life. The fact that payments from a charitable remainder trust have the potential to increase over time can serve as a useful hedge against inflation.

Future Gifts

Making a Bequest to the Festival is a simple way to leave a lasting legacy. Made with cash, securities, real or personal property, a charitable bequest is fully deductible for estate tax purposes. You may designate a specific sum or asset, provide for a fixed dollar amount or a residual portion of your estate to the Festival.

Designating the CHF as a beneficiary of a portion of your 401k, IRA, or other retirement plan can be beneficial to your heirs as well as the Chicago Humanities Festival. Using a retirement account to make a gift to the Festival frees up other assets that may not carry such burdensome tax consequences — such as cash and securities — to leave for children and other family members.

If you would like more information about these and other types of gifts, please contact the Festival’s development office at 312.661.1028 extension 719.

Endowment Gifts

Endowment gifts ensure that the Chicago Humanities Festival’s mission of bringing the arts and the humanities together in an intellectually stimulating and entertaining festival of ideas each year continues for future generations of Chicagoans. When endowment gifts are received, the principal is held in perpetuity, with part of the annual earnings generating ongoing support for activities designated by the donor.

Endowment gifts can be directed to the Festival’s general endowment fund or can underwrite specific types of programs and positions. By ensuring a continuous source of funding for Festival initiatives, each endowment fund enriches the Festival. Furthermore, the stability of an endowment encourages strategic planning and program expansion.

Despite the fluctuations in the financial markets, the Chicago Humanties Festival’s endowment pool has provided a steady stream of income due to careful management of assets and the increasing generosity of donors.

Named funds, which begin with a gift of $25,000, offer the opportunity to honor your family’s commitment to the Chicago Humanities Festival or honor or memorialize a loved one. Endowments can be established through contributions of cash, stock, real estate, charitable remainder trusts, or bequests. Pledged payments, normally on a five-year timeline, are welcome.

To discuss endowment funds, please contact the Festival’s development office at 312-661-1028 ext. 719.

Corporate and Foundation Giving

For corporate sponsorship, please call Jessie Fairbanks at 312.494.9578; for foundation giving, please call Alexandra Quinn at 312.494.9563.

We invite you to join us as we celebrate and commemorate the life and achievements of the human mind. We exult in bringing together Chicagoans from all walks of life who are interested in thinking—and talking—about ideas. Our annual Festival enlarges upon the philosophy that “ideas matter” through the presentation of more than 100 public programs annually.

In the spring, we produce our world stages festival for children and families, Stages, Sights and Sounds, now presented as its own stand-alone marker on the cultural landscape. Many of us have had direct experience with how the arts can impact developmental growth and how they’ve helped level the learning field across socio-economic boundaries. Exposure to events of creativity and imagination, particularly in the realm of the arts and humanities, broadens a child’s perspective of what is possible to conceive, create, achieve and be, especially when that child comes from disadvantaged circumstances.

Every successful nonprofit cultural organization shares one characteristic: vibrancy. It cannot afford to be static; it must evolve as its audience and its audience’s needs evolve.

CHF also produces a series of Winter-Spring programs from January to June; and an annual, free professional development seminar for teachers. First Time for a Lifetime, a comprehensive educational and outreach campaign, includes initiatives geared for elementary and high school students.

Teachers and students are admitted for free and comprise 16% of the 52,000 that attend annually (ticket prices are kept low at an average of $8 to prevent cost from being an impediment to attendance). Our commitment to maintaining accessible ticket prices translates to the need to raise 80 to 90% of our annual operating budget.

CHF has broadened its programming approach in the last five years to emphatically diversify presenters and topics, not just in terms of race and ethnicity, but age and sexual orientation as well. Programs are recorded and posted on a content-driven website that extends programs’ reach beyond Chicago. Of the ever-growing 60,000 monthly views, half are from outside the U.S.

We are deeply grateful for the past and current support provided by our philanthropic colleagues.

Chicago Humanities Festival
500 N. Dearborn
Suite 825
Chicago , IL 60654
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