Member Week 2021: Foundation Leader Q&A with Eva Giglio

Thursday, December 2, 2021 - 12:30 pm
CoF Author Council on Foundations

Eva Giglio, CME Group Foundation

Question: What drew you to the field of philanthropy?

Answer: Having worked for years in Chicago Public Schools for years prior to this role, I worked closely with philanthropists who helped support many key initiatives for the district. I was excited about the opportunity to continue to work in the field of education and hand-in-hand with the school districts, nonprofits, and other philanthropists across the city of Chicago.

Q: Collaboration is often the most effective way to tackle key issues and drive sustainable change in philanthropy. Share an example of a successful philanthropic collaboration or partnership that you have been a part of. What issue brought the organizations together? Why was a collaborative approach the right way to approach the issue? What were the results?

A: As an individual and in my role with the Foundation, collaboration is one of my core values. The Foundation has been involved in many collaborative spaces to advance better outcomes for youth in the Chicagoland area. One in particular is for the Chicago Roadmap, an initiative led by Chicago Public Schools and the City Colleges of Chicago, that builds on partnerships of city officials, philanthropy, and other organizations. The Chicago Roadmap was created to address the need for stronger pipelines for students leaving high school and entering college, with a framework for equity and inclusion for the city’s most marginalized students. This initiative was developed by analyzing the data, forming cross-agency conversations and focus groups, and raising funds to support implementation. The Roadmap is a multiyear initiative and has recently concluded its first year, with outcomes such as newly launched pre-apprenticeship programs to support students’ career exploration and new virtual dual credit courses at CPS high schools. The past and continued work of the Roadmap would not have been possible without a web of leaders, agencies, nonprofits, and philanthropists across the city supporting it.

Q: Reflecting on how COVID-19 and the movement for racial justice have impacted philanthropy, in what ways has the sector changed its approach to work since spring 2020? Share any examples of how your organization changed its operations or strategy?

A: The CME Group Foundation allocated more funds to collaborative efforts directed to supporting schools and families during the COVID-19 crisis. We partnered with other philanthropists to listen to the needs of the state and school district and respond quickly. The Foundation has operated with a lens of equity, but really dug in deeper in response to the movement for racial justice. For example, for the first time ever, the Foundation created a Scholars program that provides direct scholarships to over 35 college students who are Black or Latinx to assist them through college and then help place them in internships and jobs at CME. This work showcases our efforts to diversify career pipelines and to directly support students who are typically underrepresented in the fields of trading, finance, and technology.

Q: How do you think philanthropy can become a more trusted partner in advancing the greater good?

A: I think it's really important to listen and learn when we are in this space. Philanthropists should play supporting roles and conveners in order to help advance the critical work and visions of the organizations they support. The only way philanthropy can be trusted is by leaning in and trusting those we support in their work.

Q: Share one or more ways that your Council on Foundations membership has benefitted your organization.

A: The Council on Foundations is an excellent resource for learning and connecting across the philanthropic space. The Council helps provide the opportunity for us to learn from one another so we all are not recreating the same wheel and can advance the work in more efficient ways. Additionally, for Foundations that are smaller, like ours, it provides resources and people to connect with in this space.

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