Skyline of city of Chicago

UNCF Chicago

“A mind is a terrible thing to waste, but a wonderful thing to invest in.”® Why not invest your time or money in better futures for young people in Kansas, Illinois, Missouri, Wisconsin and around the country?

UNCF Chicago is here to help you send a student to college and turn his or her life around.

Marquee Sports Network and UNCF teamed up for UNCF Day on Friday, August 18! This partnership is dedicated to providing all Americans equal access to a college education. Learn more about UNCF and help raise funds by participating in the silent auction at

Toi Salter: A Million Dollars and More Through the Power of One

A photo of Toi SalterToi Salter doesn’t just meet expectations. She blows through them. Driven by her commitment to youth, education and her beloved Chicago, Salter is a perfect UNCF partner who stands atop the world.

A wealth and business manager whose clients include NBA All Stars, Salter is known for her philanthropic efforts and has been the driving force behind several successful fundraisers for various charities in the Chicagoland area. Salter was invited in 2017 to meet UNCF staffers and prospective UNCF “A Mind Is…” Gala committee members.

After the meeting, she was all in: Salter brought in close to nine times the amount each committee member was asked to raise. Chicago’s 2017 “A Mind Is…” Gala was the beginning of something special between UNCF Chicago and this extraordinary volunteer. >>>READ MORE

UNCF Honors the Legendary Merri Dee

headshot of Merri Dee

“Remembering a life well lead and all the joy it brought to so many. In memory of a truly amazing person.”

UNCF is deeply saddened by the passing of one of our greatest supporters & contributors for over 40 years, Merri Dee.

Merri’s support began in 1979, as the local hostess of the Chicago Lou Rawls Parade of Stars, and it did not stop there! Merri became the emcee for several of Chicago’s signature events which included, the Chicago’s Mayor’s Reception, Chicago Public School’s Kickoff and Awards Dinner, and our stellar event, The Annual Gala which initially started as The (BWB) Black and White Ball.

The 2003 BWB exceeded all gala fundraising goals, The Chicago Tribune, served as the Presenting Sponsor. Merri’s influence resulted with a record breaking contribution of $250,000, helped Chicago to over a million dollars being raised for the first time.

Aside from Chicago special events, Merri championed UNCF tenaciously as a friend and mentor to numerous staff people. Her continuous support lead to Merri receiving the President’s Award at the 2007 National Gala and the 2007 Legacy Award at the Chicago BWB gala.

Merri served as a strategic advisor and never told us no. Merri engaged everyone from grassroots to glamour, she was everyone’s friend.

We offer our heartfelt condolences to her daughter Toya, and granddaughter Marissa and all of her family and friends.

  “The purpose of life is to be useful, to be honorable, to be compassionate, to have it make some difference that you have lived and lived well”

– Ralph Waldo Emerson

Merri will forever be in our hearts and those of our supporters.

Chicago-Supported HBCUs Punch Above their Weight

The UNCF research report HBCUs Punching Above Their Weight makes a strong case for a powerful proposition: Given their small average size and a history of being under-resourced, the enrollment, degree and economic impacts of HBCUs on African Americans in their respective states are significantly greater than one would expect. >> Read More at

“A Mind Is…”® Annual Giving Society 

UNCF Chicago Staff