Our Beginning

In 2003, a group of civic leaders approached The Chicago Community Trust about forming a community foundation in Lake County. This visionary group of county residents knew that resources would be required to help the community meet its growing needs and help provide a better life for future generations. At the time, the county’s population was approaching 685,000 with a poverty rate of just over five percent. In the subsequent years, the county’s population has grown to almost 704,000 and the poverty rate is approaching ten percent. Nevertheless, the Foundation, with the support of The Chicago Community Trust, remains true to its purpose of partnering with local residents, philanthropists, businesses and government to build permanent assets for our county

18 Years of Growing Philanthropy and Building Community

Civic leaders create LCCF as an affiliate of The Chicago Community Trust

Community leaders launch the Foundation’s endowment with gifts totaling more than $500,000

The Chicago Community Trust provides a seed grant of $200,000

Six new funds are established, totaling $1M

First part-time executive director hired

Establishes Basic Human Needs Fund with major support from a local civic leader

Adopts diversity policy

Establishes first agency endowment

Announces first Basic Human Needs award, honoring agencies that serve our most vulnerable neighbors

Awards its millionth dollar in grants

Provides capacity building workshops for grant recipients

Assets reach $3.1M

First full-time executive director hired

Establishes first Field of Interest fund, Lake County Early Childhood Education Fund, through the conversion of assets from Happy Day Nursery in Waukegan

Assets from the now defunct Lake County Humane Society are converted into an endowment to ensure grant funding in perpetuity for both animal and human welfare

Initiates a Leadership Task Force, bringing together human services nonprofit leaders for professional development, to forge collaboration and create an action plan to serve the growing needs of the sector in the county

Total grant awards since 2003 reach $2M
18 funds held for the benefit of Lake County

$1,000,000 estate gift from LCCF’s founder launches the Robert F. Reusché Operating Endowment
Assets exceed $7M

Leadership Task Force transitions to independent nonprofit, The Alliance for Human Services, focused on efficient delivery and collaboration among human service organizations in Lake County

Invests in community information sessions around local research completed by Dr. Scott Allard, professor and Brookings Institution fellow, on the topic of suburban poverty

Assets reach $10M
LCCF hosts first On the Table events in Lake County in cooperation with The Chicago Community Trust

Launches a nonprofit capacity building series
in partnership with Healthcare Foundation of Northern Lake County

Hosts Community Conversations with 200 stakeholders to discuss demographic trends and changing needs of Lake County’s nonprofit landscape

Launches The Lake County Legacy Society with members who have made planned gifts and bequests to LCCF in their estate plans

Hosts first Giving and Impact Annual Meeting and celebrates the award of $290,000 in community grants to 17 Lake County nonprofits

LCCF stewards over $12M in charitable funds, half of which reside in permanent charitable endowments

With total grant awards reaching $5M, LCCF adopts new community investment strategy with a focus on access to affordable, nutritious food

Declares January 23, 2018 as Lake County Poverty Awareness Day and hosts Right Now in Lake County
program featuring Dr. Scott Allard


Launches the Love Where You Live Club monthly giving program to enable donors to pool their resources to support Basic Human Needs grant making

Launches Grow Lake County website, a dynamic resource to highlight and better connect Lake County’s unique food system


Launches Lake County Crisis Relief Fund in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, raising over $1.5 million to-date

Launches Racial Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Program

Establishes new grant making priority focusing on Leadership Development

Assets surpass $15 million


Launches the Campaign for a Resilient and Equitable Lake County focusing on raising funds for the endowment in order to achieve independence from The Chicago Community Trust

Publishes Impact Analysis: Coordinating Access to Affordable Nutritious Food in Lake County, a 3-year proactive grant making pilot

Doubles Basic Human Needs grant making from 2021 to 2024 with $1 million commitment from a local donor

Develops Small Business Growth Initiative pilot program and makes first grant to local Waukegan business, Drip & Culture

Assets surpass $20.5 million