2023 Impact Report


Photo courtesy of Concordia Place
2023 Impact Report

table of contents


A message from our executive director, Jim Hirsch.

» explore

Who we serve

Bright Promises is helping drive systemic change with our proven-effective model that reached over 10,000 children and youth last year.

» explore

where we serve

In 2023, Bright Promises partnered with 23 of the most innovative community organizations across Chicagoland.

» explore

how we serve

Bright Promises is leveraging the power of convening and knowledge sharing to achieve oversized impact.

» explore

our supporters

FY23 program, administrative, and fundraising expenses and income.

» explore

board of directors

Bright Promises Officers and Directors

» explore

special thanks

A few words of gratitude towards those who help further our mission.

» explore

a Letter from our Executive Director

Sometimes the organizational “planets” do seem to align. But having a clear vision, intention, and institutional alignment definitely makes this “celestial” occurrence even more stellar. In many ways, that is the story of Bright Promises Foundation in 2023.

Early last year, we received one of the largest gifts in our recent history from MacKenzie Scott and Yield Giving. At this time important changes to how we operate and our programmatic intentions were already in the works, including a 15-year longitudinal study of the impact of our initiatives.

This confluence of unexpected resources together with definite evidence of the lasting impact our work has provided even greater confidence in the efficacy and direction of Bright Promises’ work.

We now know that our community investments have made systemic impact, and in some cases, systemic change. We know that the combined power of our grantee partner’s learnings and promising practices can be shared to benefit more children, and youth. Most importantly, we know that change is possible. The challenges faced by our children and youth can be addressed through strong partnerships, targeted investments, and sharing of practices that work at the grassroots level.

We thank our grantee partners, board members, volunteers, and many generous supporters for everything you have done to make this work possible.


Jim Hirsch, Bright Promises Executive Director

our mission & vision

Last year with a team of external evaluators, Bright Promises engaged in an intensive, 15-year impact study of our child-serving initiatives. This study found clear evidence that Bright Promises’ one-of-a-kind service model is creating lasting change in the lives of Chicagoland children and youth. Read the full report here.

With this knowledge, Bright Promises determined to refresh our mission statement to reflect our improved understanding of how we create change:

Our mission is to find, fund, and share solutions to underrecognized needs of children and youth most adversely impacted by inequity.

Our vision is for a Chicagoland where all children and youth reach their full promise and potential.

children & youth served
grantee partners
increase in youth engagement and access to healing spaces

who we serve

Last year, Bright Promises partnered with 23 community organizations to serve 10,160 across 88 program sites. Our initiatives targeted children’s most urgent, under-recognized needs as identified by leading experts:

Healing childhood trauma caused by racism

Providing high-quality early childhood education & care

Engaging youth as leaders

Through each of our initiatives, Bright Promises partnered with the most creative, innovative, and effective organizations to create change in our communities. Read on to explore the impact of these partnerships on the lives and futures of thousands of children and youth…

Storycathcers Theatre, photo by Stephen S. Serio

who we serve: our mission in action

empowering youth as changemakers

Alternatives Youth Leadership Development program provides opportunities for youth to build leadership skills and address issues in their communities. Youth challenge expectations and voice their concerns on the issues that matter most to them. With the support of Bright Promises, Alternatives is delivering anti-racist, trauma-informed activities to help over 1,000 youth become changemakers in their communities.

» Read more
Image courtesy of Alternatives

who we serve: our mission in action

equity in
early childhood education

Concordia Place delivered "The ABC's of Anti-Bias Education" training to ensure that anti-bias education is the foundation of their early care and education programs. With Bright Promises support, staff serving  over 400 diverse, low-income families were trained. 93% of participants reported an increase in their knowledge of anti-bias.

» Read more
Image courtesy of Concordia Place

who we serve: our mission in action

girls leading boldly

 Through Girls Inc. of Chicago’s Bold Girls Society, a citywide Ambassador program for girls of color, young girls discuss and address community issues from women's rights, feminism, and womanism to racism, colorism, and discrimination. With the support of Bright Promises, Girls Inc encouraged girls to take concrete steps to address racial trauma and promote racial healing.

» Read more
Image courtesy of Girl’s Inc.

bright promises receives national recognition with historic gift

In 2023, Bright Promises received a $1 million gift from Yield Giving and philanthropist MacKenzie Scott. The unrestricted funds will support our strategic initiatives, which focus on children and youth’s health, wellbeing, and development. This transformational investment serves as an acknowledgment of Bright Promises' critical role in serving Chicagoland children and youth. It has allowed us to expand our capacity and achieve even greater impact in our communities.

» LEARN more
Image courtesy of Chicago Commons

The youth we serve are resilient. They are full of skills, creativity, and promise. Our services help them find their voices to build on that resiliency to ensure they get the opportunities they deserve.”

Bright Promises 2023 Grantee Partner

where we serve

In 2023, Bright Promises and our partners served diverse children and youth across Chicagoland from birth through young adulthood. Bright Promises also served many specialized populations including migrants, immigrants and refugees, LGBTQIA+ youth, and court-involved youth.

Our initiatives supported programs and services for young people and their families at 88 sites throughout the Greater Metropolitan Chicago Area. By broadly disseminating promising practices verified by our team of evaluators, the impact of our initiatives continues to grow.

Read on to see how many communities were positively impacted Bright Promises and our community partners last year.

Image courtesy of Concordia Place

who we serve: our mission in action

serving chicagoland

Below is a data on the age and demographics of the children and youth served through Bright Promises initiatives as reported by our community partners.

Based On



Early Childhood, 0-5
Elementary, 5-11
Middle School, 11-14
High School, 11-14
Post High School, 18+


Healing, Leading, Changing
explore interactive map

how we serve

When we work together, the impact, pace, and scale of the change we create both expands and increases. Bright Promises serves differently from most foundations. Our model goes beyond providing just financial support to build the capacity of organizations and drive change in inequitable systems that create the needs we are working to address.

Image courtesy of Girls Inc. of Chicago

..the conversations and connections continued well beyond the convening and touched other beyond those that were in the room that day.”

Tiffany McQueen
Bright Promises Program Officer

HOW we serve: our EFFORTS in action


Bright Promises covers 100% of our operating costs, so that every dollar donated goes directly to programs that help change the narrative for thousands of our Chicagoland's most vulnerable children and youth.

Based On


Total Expenditures


Expenditures in 2023 included $487,963 in program expenses, $283,258 in administrative expenses, and $48,902 in fundraising expenses. For detailed financial statements, view Bright Promises Foundation's 2023 Form 990.

Foundations & Trusts
Individual Donors

For detailed financial statements, view Bright Promises Foundation's 2023 Form 990.

Image courtesy of A House

Our Supporters

INDIVIDUALS Maria Allen, Margaret Anderson, Peter and Lucy Ascoli, Daniel Ash, Queta and Ron Bauer,  Shilpa Bavikatte, David Beerman, Allen Beerman, Dean A. Benson, Alexa Berg ,  Jason Berg ,  Robin and Allen Berg,  Kay Berkson and Sidney Hollander,  Ryan A. Bille,  Scott and Emily Bishop,  Linda Boasmond,  Paul and Peggy Bodine,  Sal Bolanos Design,  Scott Bosley, in honor of Jay Rosenbloom,  Andreason L. Brown and Robert J. Browne III,  Basia Brown,  Nicholas Bruce,  Bryan Bungo, Michael Canady,  Mike Caponi,  Ted Cappas, Evette Cardona, Claire Carstens ,  Betty Carter,  Gregory Carte,  Casey/Connolly Family Fund,  Stuart Clark,  Samuel Coady, Jocelyn Cohen,  Richard Cohen, Kiki Collias, Lindsey Costa, Pamela Crutchfield, Jenna DeGreve, Gordon A Derouen, Daniel Dever,  Neelamjit Kaur Dhaliwal, Mike Dimitriou, Phillip Donenberg, in honor of Jay Rosenbloom, Barry Dubin, Tyler and Shira Dunn, Andrea Durbin, Luke Easterday, Tom and Victoria Eley, Ryan Emmer, Ryan Ennis, Elizabeth and Henry Feldman, Jude Fernandes, Bob and Barbara Finley, Sunny and Paul Fischer, Diane Foote, Debbie Frisch, Ty Frost, Paul Fyle, Lisette Galindo, Maricela Garcia, The Gaur Family, Abigail Gavrila,  Gaylord and William Gieseke, Linda Gilkerson and Don Lamb, Renee Goldstein, Patrick Grady, Andrea Graham, Abraham Gutnicki, Brian Hanson, David Hardy, Randall Hardy, Paul Hilder, in honor of Jason Nierman, Jim Hirsch, Edith M Hoyte, Katie Huxley, Susan Irion, in honor of Gaylord Gieseke, Jeffrey Izenman, in honor of Jay Rosenbloom, Michael Jackson, Rudopho Jimenez, Stewart Johnson, Jason Kay, Norman Kerr, Helen Kessler, Kyle and Richard Kick, Teresa Kirschbraun, Frank Kisner, Sarah Klebo, Michael Koetting ,  Vickie and Irv Korey, in honor of Katherine Korey, Randall Kramer, Lauren Krieg, Iris Krieg and Jim Hardy, Cathy Krieger, Lawrence Kuhn, Margot Lakonishok, Donna LaPietra and Bill Kurtis, John and Jill Lev, The Levin Family, Tasha Levy, Keith Lissner, Tamara Lorber, Motoko Maegawa, Tara Magner, Ron Manderschied, Bobby McDonald, Xavier McElrath-Bey, Mark McKinley, Mr. and Mrs. Gregory Melchor, Wellington Mendes, Agnes Meneses, Shawn Michael, Bryan Mittelman, Patricia Monaghan, Dave and Kathy Monk, Erika Morales, Heidi Mueller, Anna Musci, in honor of Nancy Snyder, Narendra Narepalem, Jason and Deborah Neirman, Ronna Nierman, Kimberly Nierman, amantha Nierman, Marcella Oglesby, William O'Hara, Drew Olejnik, Andrew Olejnik, in honor of Ryan Biller, Heather D. Parish, S. Neil Peck, Lindsey N Perez, Walter Pollpeter, Marquette  Pope, Susan Pritzker, Champak Raju, Elizabeth and Steven Raseman, Krishnaiah Revuluri, Sendhil Revuluri and Venu Gupta, Rodolfo Rios,  Baronica Roberson, Jay and Bari Rosenbloom, Nancy and Hal Roseth, Sandy Ruan, Shari Runner, Tony Ruzicka, Anne Culton Ruzicka, Carl Ruzicka and Qian Yi Tang ,  Donna Sabin, John Sanders, Bridget Sanders, Devonta Savage-Jackson, Tiffany Scaparotti, Tina Schiller, Nancy Schimmel, Carly Settle, Julie Shaw, Richard Sieracki, Linda Sieracki, Erik Skamser ,  Louise K. Smith, in honor of Nancy Snyder, Melba Smith, Robert Smitherman, Nancy Snyder, Whitman Soule and Julie Coplan, Mitchell Sparber, Andrew Sparks, Sam Spencer, Tonyai Spikes, Nikki Will Stein, Amy Stockwell, Spencer Strup, Beatriz Trevino, Loan Trinh, Mary Beth Turek, Amanda Vallejo, Matthew Van Colton , Kim Van Horn, Rob Vickery, Beautyful Vintage , Manan Wagha, Eric Walania, Clive and Wanji Walcott, Mike Wall, Rachel Wandell, John Wang, Phyllis Warsen,  Laura Watzke, James Weidner, Julie Weinberg, Mitchell Weinstein, Myla Weinstein, Linda Weinstein, Amy Winchell, Cheryl Wisniewski, Patrick Wojtak, Maria Woltjen, Nannette and Jim Zander CORPORATIONS  Abbvie, Allstate, Amazon Smile, Azteca Foods Inc., CDW, Chicago Fire Football Club, Comcast NBC Universal, Constellation, Discover Financial, Gutnicki LLP, Huck Buoma, iGive.com, KPMG, Pinterest, Rollick Inc., West Monroe Partners, William Blair,  Wintrust, WSDD FOUNDATIONS  Anonymous, Benjamin Ferguson Trust, Christopher Family Foundation, Clark Hallady Memorial Foundation, Elizabeth Louise Smith Fund at the Chicago Community Foundation, Elyssa's Mission Foundation, in honor of Jay Rosenbloom, Finnegan Family Foundation, Francis and Prudence Beidler Foundation, Gaylord and Dorothy Donnelley Foundation, Gendell Family Foundation, in honor of Jay Rosenbloom, Louise May Whitehouse Trust, Paul M. Angell Family Foundation, Polk Bros. Foundation,  Pritzker Pucker Family Foundation, Wilson-Gonthier Family Fund, Yield Giving

If you’d like to change the way you’re recognized, please contact Katherine Korey.

» make your gift today

Board of Directors

Nancy Snyder
Adreason Brown
Vice President
Scott Bishop
Nanette Valesquez Zander
Dean A. Benson
Ryan A. Biller
Nick Bruce
Christine Calderon
Neelamjit Kaur Dhaliwal
Maricela Garcia
Deepak Gaur
Craig Gutierrez
Randall D. Hardy
Aimee Hilado
Ken Jennings
Jason Nierman
Sendhil Revuluri
Baronica Roberson
Jay Rosenbloom
Amanda Vallejo
Paul Bodine
Lifetime Trustee
Gaylord Gieseke
Lifetime Trustee
Shari Runner
Lifetime Trustee
Jon N. Will
Lifetime Trustee
» About Our Board
Image courtesy of Christopher House


Main Sequence Consulting

Tyler Dunn

Sabrina Potirala

Carlos Caballero

Brave New Pictures

Dave Monk

Kathy Monk

Felicia Joy Guttierez

Bright Promises Intern


Bright Promises Youth Council Guide

Pie Org and CCG Consulting

External program consultants

Converge Consulting

Amanda Perryman

2023 Awards Co-Chairs,
Host Committee, & Sponsors

Keith Sanders & Queta Rodriguez Bauer

View 2023 Awards Host Committee

View 2023 Awards Sponsors

» Download report


Bright Promises Foundation’s mission is to identify, fund, and share solutions to underrecognized needs of children and youth most adversely impacted by inequity.


Our vision is for a Chicagoland where allchildren and youth reach their full promise and potential.


Innovation  - Co-create. Center relationships. Be a partner and ambassador.  We believe in collective work and collective wisdom. Collaboration - Co-create. Center relationships. Be a partner and ambassador.  We believe in collective work and collective wisdom. Equity –Treat everyone fairly and with respect. Allow individuals and communities to be experts in how to address the issues that impact them. Accountability - Lead with trust, respect, and humility. Acknowledge historical, systemic, and institutional inequities that are at the root of the issues we address. Knowledge Sharing - Embrace learning. Be curious. Learn from challenges. Capture and disseminate knowledge to scale impact.

Image courtesy of A House in Austin