About Us

The William G. McGowan Charitable Fund is a philanthropic family foundation established in 1992 by William G. McGowan to promote, nurture, and fund promising programs in:

Improving High School Retention and Graduation Rates. The McGowan Charitable Fund believes that education is paramount to advancing youth in our low-income communities, and is a significant component of community revitalization. Through our grant making, we strive to improve high school graduation and college readiness rates, and prepare youth for a stable and successful future.

We seek programs that have the potential to bring about systemic improvement in education, especially in innovative teacher and curriculum development. We support charter, magnet, or private schools that have proven results in graduation rates and college enrollment of their graduates, and we support out-of-school or technology programs that have demonstrated results of improving grades and ultimately high school graduation rates of participants. Particularly of interest are those out-of-school programs which are directly linked to the school day, such as the Community Schools model.

In as much as the needs to help underserved youth advance in education continue to rise, we primarily focus on middle-school and high school aged students, and are no longer supporting efforts in early childhood education in Chicago.

Health Care and Medical Research
Cardiac Health Programs and The Development of Therapies. The McGowan Charitable Fund provides limited resources for medical research grants in the field of heart disease. Past support has been provided for projects in regenerative medicine research therapies such as artificial organ development, stem cell therapies, and tissue engineering. Today, the Fund continues to support the University of Pittsburgh McGowan Institute for Regenerative Medicine in the research and delivery of therapies for patients with heart disease. We also support efforts around prevention through life-style interventions, early diagnosis, and disease management. We most recently supported a proof-of-concept study on the efficacy and acceptability of a lifestyle program for patients with metabolic syndrome, an important risk factor for heart failure.

Also recently supported was a community-focused nurse case-management program to help low-income patients with chronic disease take ownership and become proactive in leading healthier lives. These examples represent the desire to promote disease prevention and belief that quality of life should be accessible to all.

Community Programs
Supporting vulnerable populations to address life challenges for the elderly, victims of abuse, those with disabilities, and those who suffer from hunger, homelessness, unemployment or illness. Inherent in the mission of the McGowan Charitable Fund is to serve and uplift people from suffering. Through our Community Programs we support those most in need in areas where systemic change is the most difficult.  We seek organizations which strengthen and empower individuals to overcome adversity and disabilities, and move toward self-sufficiency. We have supported programs that addressed victims of abuse, homeless prevention and resolution, challenges for the elderly, debilitating illness, and unemployment. We are especially interested in programs that can provide quantifiable results of long-term improvement and sustainability.