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The Richard H. Driehaus Foundation


Last Updated: 2016-05-11

At A Glance

The Richard H. Driehaus Foundation

737 N. Michigan Ave., Ste. 2000

Chicago, IL United States 60611-6745

Telephone: (312) 641-5772


Type of Grantmaker

Independent foundation

Additional Descriptor

  • Celebrity: Business
  • Family foundation

Financial Data

(yr. ended 2014-12-31)

Assets: $73,362,774

Total giving: $5,578,468





Additional Contact Information

Contact for arts and culture groups with budgets under $500,000: Richard Cahan, Prog. Off., e-mail:, tel.: (847) 722-9244; Contact for small theater and dance companies with budgets under $150,000, Peter Handler, Prog. Dir., e-mail:; E-mail for general inquiries, Kim Romero, Admin.:


Established in 1983 in IL - Founded by Richard H. Driehaus, a fund manager, businessman and philanthropist, he is Chief Investment Officer and Chairman of Driehaus Capital Management, a firm which manages $3 billion. In 2000, he was named Barron's "All-Century" team of the 25 individuals who have been the most influential within the mutual fund industry over the past 100 years. The "Richard H. Driehaus Prize for Classical Architecture" is presented annually through the University of Notre Dame School of Architecture to honor a major contributor in the field of traditional and classical architecture.

Purpose and Activities

The foundation benefits individuals and communities primarily by supporting the preservation and enhancement of the built and natural environments through historic preservation, encouragement of quality architectural and landscape design, and conserving open space. The foundation also supports the performing and visual arts, investigative reporting and government accountability, and makes grants to organizations that provide opportunities for working families who remain poor.

Program Area(s)

The grantmaker has identified the following area(s) of interest:


Since 2003, the foundation has acted as the intermediary and partner of the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation in arts funding. The MacArthur Fund for Arts and Culture focuses on small arts programs: theater, dance, music, visual arts, and culture. These groups reflect the many efforts all across the city to make art and thereby enlarge the array of choices for experiencing art available to Chicagoans. The MacArthur Foundation also contributes to the foundation's special funding for small theater and dance troupes. The program gives professionals the chance to create dance and theater when they would otherwise have little support to do so. In 2004, the MacArthur Foundation was joined by the David and Reva Logan Foundation and Baird Brown in support of these programs. For questions regarding the MacArthur Fund for Arts and Culture, please call or write to Richard Cahan, Prog. Off., E-mail: For questions regarding the Small Theater and Dance Program, please call or write to Peter Handler, Prog. Off., E-mail:

Built Environment

The "Built Environment" is whatever people have constructed: buildings, parks, gardens and other structures that surround people as they live their lives. The goal of the program is to see Chicago and its surroundings become healthier and more attractive. In this category, the foundation supports landmark preservation, open space, architecture and design. Giving in this category is intended to contribute to a more knowledgeable, more involved public demanding of good design.

Economic Opportunity

The program will focus on people who are working yet remain in poverty. The foundation will seek grants intended to keep people in their jobs and homes. The foundation will continue to look for other opportunities with new and current recipients to strengthen the lives of twenty-five percent of the workforce who are the working poor.

Government Accountability and Investigative Reporting

The foundation has provided grants to the Better Government Association for a whistle-blower project and an award for the best investigative reporting of the year, and to the Government Assistance Program for awards of excellence in innovative government service. Both awards raise awareness of issues about government, increase morale in arenas that are often ignored or criticized, and reward excellence.

Grants to Individuals Program

Grants to individuals for projects which preserve and enhance built and natural environments through historic preservation, recognition of quality and landscape design, and conservation of open space, primarily in the Chicago, IL area. Also, awards to individual artists.

Small Museums and Cultural Centers

The foundation's attention to museums stems from its interest in historic preservation and landmarks. Inspired by the Lower East Side Tenement Museum in New York City, the foundation has made several grants to encourage programming designed to broaden civic participation in cultural and site museums. The foundation believes that museums can be powerful forums in which to learn from history and engage in conversation about current issues.

Fields of Interest

  • Arts and culture
  • Design
  • Economic development
  • Historic preservation
  • Housing development
  • Human services
  • Performing arts
  • Sustainable development
  • Theater
International Interests
  • Scotland
Population Groups
  • Children and youth
  • Economically disadvantaged people
  • Low-income and poor people

Financial Data

Year ended 2014-12-31

Assets: $73,362,774 (market value)

Gifts received: $13,682

Expenditures: $5,746,816

Total giving: $5,578,468

Qualifying distributions: $6,601,339