Faith is the Code to This Chicago Couple's Giving

The seeds of Chicago Fellowship were planted when a small group of Chicago area businessmen began convening weekly for prayer and community. Now the weekly meetings total close to 100, with a mailing list of active participants of over 800. Andrew W. Code, cofounder of Promus Holdings and Promus Equity Partners, is among the fellowship's founders and has been featured on some of the organization's podcasts.

In one talk, Code describes a trip he took to the Dominican Republic with a former MLB player who founded a microloan program to support the poor in Hispaniola through small low-interest loans. The MLB player's wife, a "believer", as Code calls her, helped spearhead the program. Code's travels have taken him not just to the DR, but also to Honduras and parts of Africa. For Code, these impoverished sections of the world, stripped of the trappings of status and other superficialities, provide a "little glimpse into the kingdom of God." 

Clearly, Code's faith is of central importance to him; he says he's been a believer since he was 16. But more than that, Code has fostered deep connections with other likeminded individuals and communities and is committed to making sharp investments to help poor and at-risk people around the world. 

Born and raised in Iowa City, Code received a B.B.A. and an MBA from University of Iowa. His wife, Susan, is a graduate of University of Iowa's College of Nursing. The couple established the Code Family Foundation in 1997, through which they strongly support religious organizations. Some of this work takes place in Chicago and other parts of the Midwest. Apart from steadily supporting Chicago Fellowship, other grantees have included Breakthrough Urban Ministries and Soul City Church in Chicago, and Christian Life Ministries, a non-denominational, Biblical counseling and training center located in Rapid City, South Dakota." 

Some of youth and human services organizations that the Codes support also have a faith-based thrust. The couple has given especially large sums to Young Life, "a nondenominational Christian ministry that reaches out to adolescents through volunteers, staff, club meetings, and camps." The Codes gave a $1.13 million grant to Young Life last decade alone. The family has also supported By the Hand Club for Kids, which "helps kids in critical need of intervention have new and abundant life," as well as Bridge Communities, which helps "transition homeless families to self-sufficiency by working with partners to provide mentoring, housing, and supportive services." 

The couple's mutual alma mater, University of Iowa, is also an important site of philanthropy. They've steadily supported scholarships at the school. More recently, in the 2014 fiscal year, the Codes gave a $500,000 grant to University of Iowa Foundation to provide funding for medical trips focusing on obstetrics, gynecology, family medicine, internal medicine and pediatrics in Niger. Then there's the Lion of Judah School in the Kyampisi village of Uganda, which the family has helped bankroll, and which provides housing and education for youth. 

The family has supported international organizations like buildON, Arc of Hope Uganda, UNICEF, and CURE International, a "Christian nonprofit organization that is focused on providing medical care to children suffering primarily from orthopedic and neurological conditions." 

The Code Family Foundation has a minimal web presence, but does appear to accept proposals via snail mail. A recent tax return for the foundation lists contact information. For a complete overview of this funder's work, read our profile and guide linked below.

Related: Andrew W. Code

Related: Code Family Foundation: Chicago Grants