Contact Us

The Mayer and Morris Kaplan Family Foundation
1780 Green Bay Road, Suite 205
Highland Park, IL 60035
Phone: 847-926-8350
Fax: 847-681-1363

Maricar Ramos, Program Officer

Dinaz Mansuri, Executive Director

Latest News

December 13, 2013

Foundation Funding Priorities and 2014 Grant Cycle Update

The Foundation is in the process of revising its education grantmaking priorities and guidelines and is currently not accepting letters of inquiry or proposals from organizations.  Foundation staff will contact all current grantees in Chicago and California before the end of 2013 to answer any questions about our 2014 grant cycle and timeline, and potential fit with the Foundation’s revised priorities.

Potential areas of interest for future education grantmaking are as follows:

  • Social/Emotional Learning and Noncognitive Skills – particularly as they facilitate academic achievement, high school graduation, and post-secondary success.
  • College Choice and Persistence – focus on college access, proper college match, and the skills needed to make it to and through college.
  • 9th Grade On-Track – support the tracking and measurement of highly predictive indicators that facilitate keeping high school freshmen “on-track” to high school graduation; expansion of existing successful models in Chicago as well as dissemination and piloting in Los Angeles.

Although Trustees are still in the process of finalizing grantmaking initiatives and priorities, the following decisions have been made for future funding:

  • Grants will be made in Chicago and Los Angeles only
  • Target population will be 9th – 12th grade, with the possibility of funding transition periods from middle to high school and/or high school to college

Staff and Trustees will explore the potential areas listed above between January and April 2014.  Goals, criteria, proposal criteria and eligibility for potential grantees will be listed on our website no later than June 1, 2014.  Grant decisions for new funding priorities will take place in November or December 2014. Please contact Foundation staff with questions or general inquiries:

Mission Statement

The Mayer and Morris Kaplan Family Foundation is a multi-generational family foundation inspired by a tradition of Tzedakah, lifelong learning, and a commitment to social justice. We are dedicated to advancing educational opportunities for young people and promoting the sustainability of our natural environment. We focus our efforts in Chicago and in communities in which family members live.

Vision Statement

Through family engagement and a commitment to lifelong learning, the Foundation strives to improve under-resourced communities by focusing on issues of social justice. Utilizing a rigorous, compassionate, and innovative approach, we endeavor to strengthen our own family as well as families in our communities.

Values Statements


We believe in the importance of being a multigenerational family who engages with one another in the present, and in the pursuit of effective and impactful philanthropy. It is through the time we spend working to help others, debating strategies and building consensus that our family continues to grow together as a cohesive community of diverse individuals.

Social Justice

Our commitment to social justice is rooted in the Jewish tradition of Tzedakah. We believe that it is our moral responsibility to try and make the world a better, more equitable place. As such, we attempt to address root causes to societal problems and to help the less fortunate, with the ultimate goal of bringing equal opportunity and rich cultural diversity into all of our communities.


We believe that education is critical to the health and success of the larger society. We are committed to our own lifelong learning and cultural enrichment, and to bringing those same opportunities to under-resourced communities in our society.


A strong work ethic is present in all that we do - whether in our work, play, athletic endeavors or philanthropy. As a family committed to growth and advancement, we constantly seek to learn, arrive at innovative solutions, and establish new goals for ourselves. We do this with focus and discipline and with a realization that we prefer to try and fail rather than to wait for the perfect solution, or not try at all. In the process, we question our strategies; are committed to high standards; are thoughtful and empathetic in our approach; and are willing to engage in spirited discussion.


We know that our goal - seeking to better society - is lofty and that the challenges are without a single, clear-cut solution. We therefore strive to make forward-looking decisions and to be nimble and flexible in response to the changing needs of those we serve. Our approach includes embracing innovation and well-considered risk, and investing in relevant and creative solutions.