With our annual letter, we look to update friends and grantees about our work over the last year. 2023 was an exciting year of transitions and firsts for the Dewan Foundation. Our grant program continues to support many great organizations from Caravan to Class in Timbuktu, Mali to Sunsar Maya in Kathmandu, Nepal to Our Lady of Tepeyac in Chicago’s Pilsen neighborhood.
The Dewan Foundation continues to focus our funding on Catholic elementary and middle schools that educate students living in historically marginalized communities in Chicago. We also support education-focused programs in Central America, Africa, Asia and the Caribbean. In fact, education is so central to the mission of the Foundation that 67% of the funding allocated in 2023 went to supporting the sector. Addressing food & housing insecurity also continues to be a priority.
We look forward to continuing to support our grant partners in the coming year. In addition to continuing our long-standing grant program, we undertook several new initiatives in 2023. We hope you enjoy learning a bit more about them below.
Luncheon for Grant Partners
On a sunny day last February, we hosted a luncheon at Josephinum Academy for our grant partners in honor of Tom Teeling, the Foundation’s long-time Executive Director. Twenty-one years after bringing John and Sue Dewan’s vision of starting a family foundation to life, Tom was ready for a well-deserved retirement. Maria Lefkow Sorensen, the former Vice President of Development at Chicago Jesuit Academy, a Dewan Foundation grant partner, joined us in December 2022. The luncheon was a wonderful opportunity to introduce her as well. Attendees enjoyed getting to meet other Dewan Foundation grant partners and learning more about the Foundation’s history.
Virtual Info Sessions
The success of our February luncheon inspired two virtual information sessions; one highlighting the capacity-building opportunities available through grant partner, Ignatian Volunteer Corps. The second session focused on how the Dewan Foundation and Dewan Solar LLC can help non-profit organizations move to solar energy.
The Dewan Foundation in partnership with Dewan Solar is helping partner non-profits navigate the installation of solar panels at their organizations. Current federal and state programs make it possible for non-profits to consider this green energy solution, however, finding the upfront capital and time to navigate the complex process is often prohibitive. We provide the needed capital, expertise and capacity making solar a viable option. Thus far our partner include Christ the King College Preparatory High School, Chicago Jesuit Academy, Cristo Rey St. Martin College Prep, the Midwest Jesuits and We Grow Chicago.
In 2024, we look forward to continuing our work helping non-profit partners move to clean energy as well as hosting additional informational sessions and other opportunities for collaboration. We will also continue to focus on adding operational efficiencies to our grant program.
We remain grateful for your interest and continued support our work.
The Board of Directors
John and Susan Dewan Foundation