Photo credit: Cara

Economic Opportunity for the Working Poor

The Driehaus Foundation believes that a great city fully realizes the potential of its citizens, and that a community must invest in each person’s opportunity to succeed in order for all of us to succeed. We support system-wide change to improve economic opportunity for the working poor in Chicago by funding nonprofits active in public policy and advocacy. We are most interested in policies and advocacy that remove systemic obstacles and provide supports to low-wage earners as they work toward economic security. By raising the visibility of the issues facing the working poor and addressing often-unresponsive public policies, we hope to change outcomes for future generations. 


The Foundation supports organizations engaged in public policy or advocacy activities that make a difference for working poor people in Chicago. This work must form the majority of the organization’s program and should focus on one (or more) of the following areas:

  • Removing obstacles for working poor people
  • Supporting benefits and programs that enable low-income people to work
  • Protecting current assets and the ability to build future wealth

Eligible organizations should provide a plan or Theory of Change document that articulates the desired end result, demonstrating progress in facing internal and external challenges and achieving incremental success. 

Because of our commitment to ongoing policy change, organizations that engage in one-off or annual constituent-led days of action are not encouraged to apply.

The Foundation does not fund direct-service providers.

For more information, contact Amy Domagalski at, or call (312) 641-5772.