Evaluating Our Work

Earlier this year, the Civics program worked with an external evaluator to administer a confidential survey to organizations that applied for or received a grant from our program between 2010 and 2013. The goal of the survey was to assess our performance in key grant-making areas, to solicit ideas on how we can enhance our relationship with grantees, and to better understand grantees’ perceptions of, and experiences with, the Civics program. We invite you to take a look at the full survey report or the executive summary. We welcome your thoughts!


Akil Reed Amar Video
Akhil Amar Discusses America's Unwritten Constitution

Yale Law Professor Akhil Reed Amar discusses his latest book, America's Unwritten Constitution, with James Madison Fellows who teach middle and high school social studies at schools throughout Illinois, Indiana and Wisconsin. >> 

Civics Program

In September 2014, the McCormick Foundation announced the merger of two of its programs—The Civics and Journalism programs—and will launch a new combined program in 2015.

This united program will combine the work that affects the functioning of our democracy, including a free and active press, educated and engaged citizens, and accountable government. The Foundation expects new and enhanced grantmaking opportunities presented by this change, coming at a time when the effectiveness of democratic government is under great challenge.

Currnet grants from the Foundation are unaffected. Radical changes to our grant making strategy are not expected, but new ways to achieve greater impact will be explored. The Foundation will continue to review its grant making strategy in the coming months. Revised guidelines will be available in spring 2015.

For more information, please contact John Sirek at JSirek@McCormickFoundation.org


Strengthen our civic education system to better facilitate informed and effective lifelong civic engagement.

Our Approach

Effective civic habits must be cultivated in our youth if they are to take root and thrive into adulthood. To this end, the Civics Program provides Chicagoland youth ages 12 through 22 with the civic knowledge, skills and experiences they need to remain engaged throughout their lives. Our investments focus on three key areas:

  • Delivering high-quality educational programming and resources
  • Building the knowledge, capacity and efficacy of educators
  • Promoting the essential civic mission of schools


Democracy Schools

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Robert R. McCormick Foundation
205 N. Michigan Ave., Suite 4300
Chicago, IL 60601

Phone: 312 445 5000
Fax: 312 445 5001
Email: info@mccormickfoundation.org