The Osa Foundation supports organizations that empower human potential in underserved communities by creating Opportunities, offering targeted Support and improving Access to resources.                 

The Osa Foundation’s work is grounded in the following values:

  • Self-reliance: We value the dignity of hard work and consider self-reliance and sustainability to be the ultimate goal of our philanthropy.

  • Equity: We believe that every person should have access to the resources needed to pursue and achieve their goals.

  • Tolerance: We value and respect the diversity in our society.

  • Innovation: We value critical, original thinking and creative problem solving.

  • Integrity: We value honesty and transparency: accordingly we endeavor to conduct our work in a manner consistent with the highest ethical standards.

We seek to support grantee organizations that embody these beliefs and values.

To learn more about our story and investment philosophy, please click here.

Application Process

The Osa Foundation currently accepts grant proposals on an invitation only basis. Through a rigorous assessment process, we identify and select results-oriented organizations whose programs and infrastructure bring innovation, excellence and sustainability to bear in executing their mission. The Osa Foundation makes grant decisions on a rolling basis pursuant to its grantees’ preferred timeframes.

Upon invitation, please submit the following proposal materials electronically to Amy Sauer, Strategic Advisor, The Osa Foundation at

Narrative: (suggested length is 3 pages)

  • The purpose of your request, including description of the program, population served, and results to date
  • A specific description of the results that you intend to achieve with this grant and description of measurements or indicators you will use to gauge your impact, including targets.  If awarded a grant, you will be asked to report on these results at the end of the grant cycle.
  • Organization overview
    • Your mission, history of accomplishments and growth, strategic goals, and vision 
    • Summary of programs, population served, and track-record of impact

See Required Attachments here.

To learn more about when you will hear from us regarding your grant request submission, please click here.

Grant Reporting

All grantees are asked to submit a grant report at the end of the grant period.  Your grant award letter will indicate the suggested timeframe for submitting your report. The grant report shall include a discussion of your accomplishments for the grant period compared to the stated goals and targets that you previously laid out in your proposal.  Please also share lessons learned and an identification of where you fell short of your goals or identified areas for improvement or opportunity.  The suggested length is two pages.

Our Current Grantees:


Education Innovation:

Cather Elementary (ThinkCERCA Implementation)

Educators 4 Excellence Chicago

Intrinsic Schools

John Palmer Elementary School (ThinkCERCA Implementation)

LEAP Innovations

Surge Institute

Teachers Supporting Teachers

Teach Plus Illinois

The Chicago Public Education Fund

UChicago Consortium on School Research


Grantee Blogs

We are honored to highlight blogs written by our grantees. We invite you to read how they are making an impact. We look forward to showcasing recent blogs from other grantees each month. 

Featured Blog


Educators 4 Excellence Chicago | September 2018

Chalk Talk: Tynisha Jointer

In her 10 years as a social worker and currently as the Behavioral Health Specialist for Chicago Public Schools, Tynisha Jointer has learned that there is no such thing as a bad kid, but rather a need and opportunity to teach new behaviors.

“Trauma greatly affects student behavior, even making it impossible for any student to sit criss-cross-apple-sauce,” said Tynisha. “And in the schools I work in, most students have faced traumatic experiences, many of them on a daily basis. This isn’t an excuse for misbehavior, but you can’t teach a child unless you can reach a child.”

The Chicago Public Education Fund    September 2o18

The Chicago Public Education Fund

September 2o18

Teacher Perspective: Empowering Teacher Leaders

In an education climate rife with opinions, teachers are taking steps to make their voices heard in boardrooms, on picket lines, and on the Senate floor. An effective school leader recognizes this and acknowledges the power and importance of teacher voice. When teachers have a voice, they are three times more likely to value setting goals and work hard to reach those goals.

Genesys Works Chicago    September 2018

Genesys Works Chicago

September 2018

Chicago’s Business, Education Leaders Strategize Ways To Invest In A Next-Gen Workforce

The “Cracking the Code” event took place at the Chicago Cultural Center, and panelists included Juan Gonzalez, Director of Youth and Education Policy, The City of Chicago; Eric Lugo, Executive Vice Chancellor, City Colleges of Chicago; Jim Coleman, Senior Managing Director – Chicago, Accenture; Shelli Nelson, President, Chicago SHRM; and Liz Rafferty, Executive Director, Genesys Works – Chicago. 

Healthy Schools Campaign    September 2018

Healthy Schools Campaign

September 2018

Addressing Chronic Absenteeism and More with ESSA Funding

When a student goes to the front office asking to be sent home at a school in Jackson-Madison County Schools, the presence of a school nurse means that 86 percent of the time, that child will be able to return to class—and return to learning.

Braven    August 2018


August 2018

The Greatness Within You

The elevator opened to a secure corridor which culminated in a set of locked glass doors. Beyond them, the lake. It chuckled, tickled by the wind, sun breaking over it now and again, waves breaking out. I waited for a coworker with a key card to let me in to the WEWORK offices, sheepish, not wanting to do the wrong thing on the first day. I took a long deep breath, felt it spread smooth over my lungs while smoothing the pleats of my new dress pants with nervous palms. 

Playworks Illinois    September 2018

Playworks Illinois

September 2018

Five Important Life Lessons from the Playground

One of the most under-utilized arenas for social and emotional development is the playground. How can adults who supervise the playground—at school, in public parks, or in our back yards—best use that time to teach kids the skills they’ll need to thrive? In a recent blog post with our partners at United Way, Playworks shared best practices and strategies to help adults teach social and emotional skills to children through play.

ThinkCERCA    September 2018


September 2018

We've Refreshed Part of the ThinkCERCA Curriculum

This fall, we’re delighted to present updated, enhanced versions of some of your favorite Writing Modules — new and improved resources to spark courageous thinking in every classroom. You will notice a mix of new reading selections, more rigorous writing prompts, and more precise multiple choice questions.

Contact Us

Please direct all correspondence and communication to: 

The Osa Foundation
351 W. Hubbard St.
Suite 600
Chicago, IL 60654

Robin Lavin

Amy Sauer
Strategic Advisor