The Art Institute of Chicago, one Herro grantee. Photo: MaxyM/shutterstock

The Art Institute of Chicago, one Herro grantee. Photo: MaxyM/shutterstock

David Herro is a philanthropist with strong Midwestern roots. He grew up in Fond du Lac, Wisconsin, graduated from the University of Wisconsin at Platteville, and earned a MA from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. Since then, he’s moved a bit farther south to Chicago, where he serves as a partner, deputy chairman, portfolio manager and chief investment officer of international equity with Harris Associates. Herro has been with Harris Associates since 1992, and his 34-plus years of investment experience includes roles with the State of Wisconsin Investment Board and the Principal Financial Group.

Herro is dedicated to the region and devotes many of his philanthropic efforts to local causes. He established his own charitable foundation in 1997. The stock fund manager has been an outspoken advocate around a variety of causes, including same-sex marriage, school vouchers, global warming and free-market economics.

Here are a few important things to know about the David Herro Charitable Foundation and its Chicago-area giving.

Commitment to Catholic Schools

David Herro attended Catholic school and supports Catholic-based education through his foundation’s grantmaking. For example, Herro supports a scholarship named after his father at St. Mary’s Springs High School. Trinity High School is another education grantee of Herro’s foundation. Outside the realm of religious education, Herro has emerged as a strong supporter of equal access to quality education for all youth.

Dance and Art Involvement

Herro’s philanthropic endeavors also gravitate toward the arts, especially dance. His longtime partner, Jay Franke, is a dancer and art patron as well. Herro’s funding helped launch the Chicago Dancing Festival over a decade ago. Other funding has gone to the Music and Dance Theater Chicago and the Art Institute of Chicago.

Other Interests Around Chicago

In addition to Catholic education and dance, Herro’s foundation has also supported other causes in the Chicago area. For example, he has supported disease-focused health organizations, such as the University of Chicago Kovler Diabetes Center. He is also politically active and supports the policy efforts of the Better Government Association and the American Enterprise Institute. Herro is a self-described libertarian but has funded Republican groups over the years in support of free-market capitalism.

Unsolicited Requests Are Unwelcome

Unfortunately for new grantseekers, the David Herro Charitable Foundation is not open to unsolicited requests for funding. According to recent tax records, it only funds pre-selected organizations, and the foundation does not have a website to guide grantseekers through its application process. Overall, Herro’s grants tend to be split between unrestricted contributions and support for specific projects.

To learn more about this foundation and how to get in touch with general questions, check out IP’s full profile of the David Herro Charitable Foundation in our Chicago and Great Lakes Funding Guide.

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