The Gilchrist Foundation was established by Jocelyn Gilchrist in December 1998 to honor her family and further their interests. The first grants were made anonymously at the founder’s request, but after Ms. Gilchrist’s death in 2008, the name of the Foundation was used. The Foundation makes gifts to pre-selected charitable organizations that further its mission:

The mission of the Gilchrist Foundation is to further the philanthropy of its founder and her family. The family had varied interests that embraced wildlife and conservation, the arts and public broadcasting, and disaster relief. The emphasis is on fostering the long-term viability of the charity and enabling special projects rather than supplying current operating funds. The Foundation provides incentives and funds to pre-selected non-profit organizations that further these goals, with a preference for the Sioux City and Chicago areas.

Each spring several charities whose missions and interests match those of the Gilchrist Foundation are invited to submit applications for one of three types of grants: capital campaign grants, endowment grants, or special projects.