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Tellabs Foundation Cements Its Legacy With Transfer to DuPage Foundation

In a partnership that will bolster the impact of two local grantmaking institutions, DuPage Foundation and Tellabs Foundation are pleased to announce the pending transfer of the assets of Tellabs Foundation into an endowment fund at DuPage Foundation. A transfer agreement between the two organizations was executed this past summer and the transfer is expected to be completed by year end.

“We are pleased to have selected DuPage Foundation as the home to carry on Tellabs Foundation’s legacy,” said Carol Coghlan Gavin, Tellabs Foundation executive director and president. “After making the decision to wind up our activities, it was important to our board to find a successor public charity well equipped to carry on grantmaking in Tellabs Foundation’s traditional areas of education, health, and the environment, while overseeing the expansion of its support to address new areas of high community need, including food insecurity, housing, and social justice disparities.”

Under the agreement between DuPage Foundation and Tellabs Foundation, Tellabs Foundation’s expected residual assets of approximately $3 million will be transferred, upon its dissolution, into a permanently-endowed field-of-interest fund at DuPage Foundation that will augment its grantmaking within certain categories of its annual Community Needs Grant Program (CNGP). DuPage Foundation’s CNGP supports projects that improve and enrich the quality of life for DuPage County residents. Through two grant cycles each year, applications are accepted from not-for-profits serving DuPage County. For more information, including grant eligibility and how to apply, visit

“I couldn’t be more pleased with the creation of this partnership,” said Christopher Birck of Naperville, Illinois, a Tellabs Foundation board member and son of the late Tellabs, Inc. Co-founder and Chairman Michael J. Birck. “As a DuPage County resident, it’s important to me that our community has charitable resources at its disposal to address emerging and changing needs. DuPage Foundation has demonstrated exceptional expertise in identifying local needs and quickly marshaling resources to address them efficiently and effectively. We are proud to entrust the Tellabs Foundation legacy to such a worthy steward that will ensure its impact will continue for generations to come.”

“This new partnership with Tellabs Foundation embodies one of DuPage Foundation’s core goals—to serve as DuPage County’s catalyst for coordinated impact,” said Dave McGowan, DuPage Foundation president & CEO. “The Tellabs Foundation Fund will provide a welcome boost to our Community Needs Grant Program helping our Board of Trustees and Grant Committee close the funding gap we battle each year—particularly now with effects of the pandemic continuing to linger.”

About Tellabs Foundation
Tellabs Foundation was formed in 1997 by Tellabs, Inc., a global telecommunications equipment provider formerly based in Naperville, Illinois. Its original mission was to advance specific, strategic endeavors in communities where Tellabs employees lived and worked while helping build the capacity of not-for-profit organizations to develop sustainable initiatives, primarily in the areas of education, health, and the environment. In late 2013, Tellabs, Inc. was sold. Tellabs Foundation has continued to operate independently, having made more than $50 million in grants since its inception in 1997.

About DuPage Foundation
DuPage Foundation, a 501(c)(3) community foundation, is the philanthropic leader in DuPage County, Illinois. DuPage Foundation manages more than $125 million in assets and has awarded more than $60 million in grants to not-for-profit organizations serving the residents of DuPage County and beyond since its founding in 1986. Individuals and organizations seeking to provide impactful support in DuPage County to address critical issues can create powerful customizable gift solutions and partnerships through DuPage Foundation. More at Doing a world of good in our own backyard.®

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