The Kemper Educational & Charitable Fund was established in 1961 by the Hon. James S. Kemper, Sr. for the purpose of supporting organizations in the fields of Education, Health, Social Services and Humanities.  Grants are oriented to support the values and ideals of the Founder.  Preference is given to grants from the Metropolitan Chicago area.

The foundation does not accept unsolicited proposals.

Board of Directors

Brian Van Cleave, Chairman

John Van Cleave, Chairman Emeritus

Katie Shook, Secretary

Lynn Van Cleave

Patti Van Cleave, Executive Director

Hon. James S. Kemper, Sr.

Insurance Hall of Fame

In 1912, James S. Kemper, Sr. founded Lumbermens Mutual Casualty in Chicago, Illinois with an emphasis on workers compensation insurance. In the following decades, Mr. Kemper expanded the company’s insurance portfolio and revenues, eventually changing the firm’s trademark name to the Kemper Insurance Companies. He began a foundation to give back to the people of Chicago in 1942. In 1962, the assets of the foundation were split and the Kemper Educational and Charitable Fund was started.


Philanthropic Areas


Empowering individuals to succeed as well as improve their communities

Social Sevices

Helping improve well-being of individuals, families, and communities


Support efforts to improve physical, mental, emotional, or social health


Fully support the visual and performing arts. Creativity, analysis, research, writing, and critical thinking is the fabric of civilizations.

Recent Grants


Grant Recipients Portal

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