Who We Are

We help children grow strong from the roots up

Roots & Wings is a family foundation launched in 2020 by Judy and Gordon Faulkner. To help children grow strong from the roots up, we invest in four program areas: basic needs, early learning, safety & justice, and health. We fund nonprofit organizations that support low-income children and families in reaching their full potential. We prioritize preventive and in-depth programming that changes lives so that all children may thrive.

We are a learning organization

Roots & Wings believes that those working on front lines in community know far more than we do about advancing change in the world. That’s why we continuously look for ways to benefit from the wisdom and experiences of our grantee partners. We participate actively in learning networks. We seek out opportunities to be in fellowship with other grantmakers via donor collaboratives and affinity groups. And we strive to share knowledge so that others can challenge our assumptions, learn from our experience, and push us to continually improve. Becoming a learning organization is a long-term commitment — a journey, not a destination. And we hope that sharing the foundation’s practical experience along the way will help others in our network navigate their own paths.

We practice trust-based philanthropy

Roots & Wings’ approach to grantmaking stems from our founding family’s experience in nonprofits and philanthropy. Trust-based philanthropy is a big part of what we do and think about every day. We know our partners are closest to the issues and communities they serve. They are the experts in their work. And our role is not to just fund them, but to come alongside them in partnership and help reduce the burdens philanthropy has historically imposed.

We are a small but mighty team

The seed of our philanthropy was planted long ago by our founders and their children. Today, that seed has grown into the Roots & Wings Foundation, where a small team with big goals is making real impact.

More about Roots & Wings

Learn more about how we’re having an impact by viewing our impact page, learn about our program areas, or read about who we are.

About the artwork

The wonderful illustrations on our site were created by Chicago-based artist Kristina Swarner. The copyright for all grantee-supplied photos are owned by their respective organizations.

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