In the mid-90s, several visionaries established the Urban Christian Education Fund as a 501 (c) (3) charitable organization. Their vision was to strengthen urban Christian schools for their potential to be salt and light for Jesus Christ and his Kingdom in the civic life of Chicago and beyond.
In the summer of 2009, a director was appointed to lead the organization, and with a steering committee and the support of a private foundation for start-up costs, Bright Promise Fund began.
It is the intention of Bright Promise Fund to broaden and deepen a donor base of support by identifying new donors from within the Chicago business, corporate, church and Foundation communities. Bright Promise Fund will not ask for support from the current donors of affiliated schools. We hope to find ways through Board members from affiliated schools and their current donors to connect with potential donors who live and/or work in Chicago. We also hope to spread the news of Bright Promise Fund nationally, so that former Chicagoans or those with a heart for urban Christian education in Chicago may become sustaining donors.
For our mission and vision statements, click here.
Bright Promise Fund is governed by a board of directors whose responsibility is to see that the mission and vision of Bright Promise Fund is accomplished; support, encourage and supervise the director; and monitor the finances received and generated by Bright Promise Fund. For a listing of our board members, click here.
Bright Promise Fund will be accountable to its board of directors, its books will be audited and appropriate tax forms (990) will be filed with the Internal Revenue Service. The financial records will be posted in an annual report given to affiliated schools and all donors. See our fiscal transparency statement, click here.
Bright Promise Fund is a registered 501(c)(3) charitable organization. All gifts to the fund are tax-deductible. Gifts to Bright Promise Fund will be distributed annually to affiliated schools in seven equal shares. An eighth equal share will go toward establishing an endowment. When the endowment reaches a sustainable level and generates sufficient interest, it will become part of the annual distribution to the schools.
Each school board will have the freedom to use the funds to address their priorities in support of each school’s mission and vision.
Gifts to Bright Promise Fund through planned giving (estates and bequests) will also sustain a foundation endowment, with the interest earned on the accumulated principle also building Bright Promise Fund.
The “founding” schools are:
- Chicago West Side Christian (Lawndale)
- Daystar (South Loop)
- Humboldt Community
Christian (Humboldt Park)
- Pui Tak Christian (Chinatown)
- Salem Christian (Humboldt Park)
Read more about the schools, click here.
Bright Promise Fund's network also includes affiliate schools, who are partners with us but not currently funded. It is part of our vision to add schools as the resources of Bright Promise Fund grow.
This is not a membership organization in the sense of membership dues. A memorandum of understanding is signed between the affiliated schools so that Bright Promise Fund has permission to solicit donations on behalf of the schools and publicize them through Bright Promise Fund’s website and regular publications. Bright Promise Fund requires audited financial reports from the boards of the affiliated schools to assure donors of proper accountability systems.