Support Us


The Institute of Politics’ mission is to ignite in students a passion for honest and effective public policy and political service.

The IOP has become a nationally recognized forum for political practitioners to convene, discuss, and address the issues of the day and the future. It underscores the University of Chicago’s reputation as an intellectual destination—not only for students and scholars, but also for leaders actively working to address important policy challenges thoughtfully and respectfully. 

To realize the Institute’s ambitious plans requires generous philanthropic support. The Institute of Politics welcomes and values all gifts, large and small, multiyear and annual, expendable and endowed. You can make a gift of cash or securities or set up a bequest of any size to help underwrite our mission of encouraging bright and talented University of Chicago students to consider careers in politics and public service. Please use this secure form to make your donation today.

Our Director's Circle (Gifts of $10,000 and Above)

The Director's Circle is the Institute of Politics' leadership giving group. It includes business and civic leaders and other interested individuals from across the country and political spectrum who have a deep commitment to constructive political dialogue and a passion for our mission. To learn more about the Director's Circle and other giving opportunities here at the IOP, please contact Marla Layton, Senior Director of Development, at

Director's Circle members serve as ambassadors for the Institute, providing advice, insight, guidance, and financial support as the Institute expands its reputation beyond Chicago's borders.

In return for this level of support, Director's Circle members are given access to exclusive benefits and programs that provide educational and personal enrichment, insight into important policy issues, the opportunity to forge bonds with others who share their commitment, and the means to foster a deeper relationship with the Institute. Benefits include:

  • Preferred seating for you and a guest at IOP Speaker Series programs;
  • Exclusive invitations to attend dinners, receptions, or other gatherings with speakers, Institute Fellows, staff leadership, and students;
  • Opportunity to direct your gift to underwrite a one-year student public service internship;
  • Invitation to attend annual Board of Advisors Dinner, an ideal opportunity to connect with Advisory Board members, Institute staff, and students in an intimate setting.
  • Membership in the University of Chicago's Leadership Giving Society.

Director's Circle Members

Alphawood Foundation
Bloomberg Philanthropies
Bruce & Martha Clinton
Marc & Gail Fenton
Michael & Jennifer Freedman
Mark Gallogly & Lise Strickler
Howard L. Gottlieb
Irving Harris Foundation
MacArthur Foundation
Emily Nicklin
Stephen L. Ondra MD
Sharon Percy Rockefeller
Penny Pritzker & Bryan Traubert
The Tricoastal Foundation
Sargent Shriver Peace Institute
Ervin Shindell
Zell Family Foundation

Specific Giving Opportunities 

The IOP House at 5707 South Woodlawn Avenue, a recently restored historic three-floor home  on the eastern edge of the University of Chicago campus, has become a hub of activity for students, Fellows, and a variety of local, national and international visitors.  Naming opportunities include offices, meeting spaces, the Library, and conference rooms.

Internship Program. The IOP’s largest and most urgent need is its summer internship program.  Interns will gain an understanding of public service through substantive work in government agencies, political offices, and media organizations.  The Institute seeks to fund 300 internship opportunities through a combination of annual and endowed support.

Fellows Program. IOP Fellowships bring political practitioners, policy makers, journalists, and others engaged in politics to campus during the academic year for extended periods of time (typically eight weeks in the fall and spring quarters and three to five days in the winter quarter). Fellows lead study groups around a political problem or policy question where they have special experience or expertise.  Gifts defray the cost of a small stipend, housing, research support and events.  The Institute will host approximately ten to fifteen fellows each year.

Speakers Series. In addition to the Fellows, the IOP organizes and host nationally and internationally recognized speakers on a wide variety of issues related to the Institute’s mission.  Gifts defray the cost of expenses related to the events and travel.  The IOP hosts up to 100 Speaker Series events annually.

For more information, please contact Marla Layton, Senior Director of Development, at