understanding our impact and sharing what we learn

Bright Promises foundation is committed to capturing and sharing knowledge so that our impact reaches beyond individual organizations and affects change on the systemic inequities that impact children, youth, and communities.

impact report
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Baby smiling at the camera
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Beyond the Check

OUR GRANTMAKING APPROACH focuses on going beyond traditional grantmaking, following trust-based practices to provide our community partners with flexible, multi-year funding and capacity-building support. Bright Promises works to remove divisions between people and organizations, facilitating a learning community that allows the sharing of innovations and promising practices that can help more children and youth thrive.

Last Year, Bright Promises Served









Image provided by Children's Home + Aid

Grantee Spotlight

UCAN is a Chicago-based organization that strives to build strong youth and families through compassionate healing, education, and empowerment. At its core, UCAN truly believes that healing is possible and that providing care with compassion is a priority.

Progress is a Dial, not a switch

Bright Promises Foundation has developed an innovative and proven-effective grantmaking model that fills urgent gaps in programs and services for children and youth. Using a trust-based and community-centric framework, Bright Promises service model includes collecting, analyzing, and synthesizing input from those with the greatest knowledge and expertise about children and youth's most urgent, unmet needs. Then Bright Promises co-creates impactful grantmaking initiatives that generate lasting, sustainable change.


Bright Promises focuses on early identification and response to the urgent, underrecognized needs of Chicagoland children and youth. In order to remain responsive to the changing needs of children and youth, Bright Promises continually assesses our strategy and shifts our focus to address the next most urgent, unmet need.


Bright Promises provides community partners with flexible, multi-year funding and capacity-building support, creating opportunities for partners to learn from each other and expand lessons learned into other areas of their organization and community.


Bright Promises evaluates our initiatives and disseminates knowledge with service providers and the broader public so that our investments affect change on the systemic inequities that impact children, youth, and communities.

Based On



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




Demographics Served
2023 impact Report

Educational Resources

We’re committed to sharing our process and learning with our donors and community partners through relationships rooted in trust and mutual accountability. Capturing and sharing knowledge is built into our institutional framework, ensuring Bright Promises’ impact extends past individual organizations and into the systemic inequities affecting children, youth, and communities.

Parent & Caregiver Resources

Bright communitieS SEL RESOURCE HUB is a new website dedicated to providing parents, caregivers, educators, and service providers with engaging and free Social Emotional Learning(SEL) resources to support the mental health and development of important life skills in children and youth. Throughout the Bright Communities SEL Resource Hub, you will find resources in English and Spanish that support SEL skill development and practice for children, youth, and adults.

Image provided by Chicago Youth Centers

Image provided by Children's Home + Aid

Educational Webinars

Bright Promises hosts frEE WEBINARS to increase awareness and understand of the urgent, underrecognized needs our initiatives address. Webinars feature experts from Bright Promises community partners who are leaders in developing and delivering innovative programs for disadvantaged children and youth..

» Webinars


Building capacity and sustainability are core drivers of Bright Promises’ mission; therefore evaluation is a critical part of our approach. Evaluation helps to identify what “success” means for different organizations serving diverse populations and allows for the identification of promising practices that can be shared widely to organizations serving children and youth.

Image provided by Ark of St. Sabina

Our traditions are borne on putting conviction and action ahead of social convention,
taking risks and rolling up our sleeves to do what should be done. We were founded on a tradition of collaborating with others to get things done. While the way we deliver on our mission may vary from year-to-year, our traditions will always continue.”

Paul Bodine – Past President, Bright Promises Foundation