About Us



The Thierer Family Foundation was founded by Nasrin and Mark Thierer in 2015. Mark, an experienced healthcare executive, and Nasrin, a successful entrepreneur in the marketing technology space, had both sold their respective companies and set out to do some good with their profits.

A Different Take on Philanthropy

The Thierers decided to approach philanthropy in a different way than most foundations. Rather than directly funding programming, they chose to look at their grant making as an investment in the organizations that are changing the lives of underserved communities in the city of Chicago.

In order to make the greatest impact with their resources, they wanted to make sure that they were focused on the right issues and were providing their grantees with what they needed to be successful.

The Universal Challenge

When the Thierer Family Foundation asked local nonprofits about their biggest challenges, the same issue kept coming up. Nonprofits did not have the resources - people, time, money - that they needed to effectively run their organizations. This lack of resources, coupled with heavily manual processes, limited the organizations’ ability to deliver on their missions.

When asked about what technology they had in place to help overcome these gaps, over and over organizations talked about not being able to find the funding for vital tools or simply “getting by” by cobbling together free or low cost software solutions that didn’t fully address their needs. Most of the organizations were aware of solutions that could make a significant impact on their operations, but struggled to help donors see the value of a long-term investment like technology. Additionally, most also lacked internal expertise to help them select and implement the right technology.

With our experience of building technology, implementing technology solutions, and running businesses, we saw an opportunity for the Thierer Family Foundation to make a lasting impact on our cause areas by not only funding these technology implementations and projects, but also collaborating with the organizations to help ensure the success of the investments.

Our Approach

The Thierer Family Foundation is committed to improving life for the people of Chicago by increasing the impact of local organizations that are helping to break the cycle of poverty.

We do this by collaborating with nonprofit organizations and strategically funding innovative technology projects that make organizations more effective, efficient and sustainable. In addition to financial resources, we provide our time, expertise and passion to our partner organizations to help increase the impact of our grants.




Our Vision

We envision a world where nonprofit organizations have the tools and resources needed to break the cycle of poverty.


Our Mission

Our mission is to increase the impact of nonprofit organizations in Chicago by helping them leverage technology to be more effective, efficient and sustainable.


Our Strategy

We do this by partnering with nonprofit organizations that are working to break the cycle of poverty in Chicago and strategically funding innovative technology projects.



Our Team

We’re not your average foundation. Our team is comprised of entrepreneurs, marketers, artists, and technology lovers who are passionate about doing some good in this world. We are creative thinkers and innovative problem solvers. We care deeply. We invest strategically. We commit fully. We’re not your average foundation… but we think you’ll be happy that we’re not.

Nasrin Thierer


Nasrin is an innovative leader and entrepreneur who puts her experience to work helping our partner organizations leverage technology and innovative ideas to be more efficient, effective and sustainable.


Julie Hoffmann


Julie is a thoughtful strategist who uses her deep nonprofit experience to increase the impact and scale of the Thierer Family Foundation and our projects.


Meghan Zimmerman


Meghan manages the operations and marketing of the foundation, leads our grant programs, and works hand in hand with our partner organization to help make them successful.


Michael Januszewski


Michael is a seasoned technologist who leverages his experience designing paradigm-shifting products and solutions to help our partner organizations make their technology dreams a reality.


Heather Forsythe

Heather keeps the gears turning at the Thierer Family Foundation. She knows and coordinates all things and ensures that everyone is where they are supposed to be, when they are supposed to be there.