The trustees of Leo S. Guthman Fund have elected to sunset the foundation over the next few years. Renewal grants will be funded at a reduced amount and there will be limited opportunity to invite proposals from new organizations.


If you have any questions, contact Guthman Fund staff here.

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The Leo S. Guthman Fund is a private family foundation which aims to improve people’s lives and strengthen communities.  The Fund supports non-profit organizations which provide programs and support to unite communities and tackle the challenges of vulnerable people, assist veterans, and provide for basic needs.  Through LSGF grants, many people have been given the opportunity to rise above the challenges they have faced. Since 2003, the Fund has funded more than 300 organizations to be able to provide programming which has touched th elives of thousands of people. Through its funding, LSGF aims 

to send the message that people are capable of healing and overcoming obstacles.  A significant portion of the Fund’s grantmaking is through discretionary grants by LSGF Trustees which are given to organizations nation-wide.  The remaining funds are distributed to organizations in Chicago for social services, health, summer employment for youth, urban gardening and agriculture and other special programs.

LINCOLN PARK ZOO: leading the way for better care and conservation of apes

Our nearest relatives, apes are in danger everywhere they live in the wild. In captivity, because of their great intelligence and capacity for a full range of emotions, apes require thoughtful and specialized care. Fortunately, the Lincoln Park Zoo’s Lester E. Fisher Center for the Study and Conservation of Apes has become a worldwide leader in great ape conservation, research and welfare. Today, Dr. Steve Ross and his staff have added significantly to the knowledge about how apes, especially chimpanzees, think and act. This knowledge benefits the care of apes in zoos, wildlife sanctuaries and ape conservation efforts around the world.


These great advances have come about because of the foresight of the Zoo staff and their commitment to creating the Fisher Center’s unique program. Under the leadership of trustee Patti Silver, The Leo S. Guthman Fund entered into a partnership with the Zoo in the earliest of stages, providing planning funds in 2004 to enable Zoo staff to explore the possibilities for and to build the capacities of the Center to take on a larger role. Since then, the Guthman Fund has provided over $2.6 million to the Fisher Center supporting and enabling the Center to add staff, conduct research, advocate for better chimp and ape care and management, host international conferences and support internships for the next generation of primatologists. As the Center has gained international standing, it has also been able to attract many other funders to ensure that its leading-edge work will continue well into the future.