Sunny has been the Executive Director of The Richard Driehaus Foundation since 1992. The Driehaus Foundation makes grants primarily to organizations working in Chicago to enhance the urban environment and to the arts. The Foundation also supports efforts to help working families become more economically and socially secure. Recently, programs in support of cultural museums and in investigative reporting were launched.
Sunny has consulted for many other foundations including The Joyce Foundation (where she developed funding programs to raise immunization rates in Chicago’s neighborhoods and to help more immigrants through the naturalization process), She has also worked with many non-proﬁ ts directly, and in workshops or conferences, on fund-raising, board development, and program issues. From 1997-1999, she directed the City of Chicago/Cook County Welfare Reform Task Force.
As founding executive director of one of the ﬁ rst private women’s foundations in the country, The Sophia Fund, she was also the co-founder of the Chicago Foundation for Women. She served as the co-chair of Chicago Women in Philanthropy and chaired the ﬁ rst study, called Shortchanged, of foundations’ contributions to women’s organizations. In the late ’80s, she co-chaired the board of the National Network of Women’s Funds. As a consultant, she has worked with several women’s funds on start-up, program development, and growth.
Numerous organizations have honored her for her work in philanthropy, anti-violence activism, and anti-poverty work, including the Association of Fundraising Professionals (Professional Grantor Award), the Women’s Funding Network, and the National Committee for Responsive Philanthropy, which gave her its “Point of Lightning” award. She also received the Perlman Humanitarian Award from Jewish Women International, the “Champion of the Public Interest” award from Business and Professional People for the Public Interest, and recognition from Rape Victims Advocates and Illinois Center for Violence Prevention. Sunny also was honored by Archeworks in 2007 for her work in promoting architecture and design.
Born in New York City, Sunny received her B.A. in English from Hunter College of the City University of New York. Her Masters degree is from the University of Chicago’s School of Social Services Administration. Among her volunteer commitments are serving on the Boards of the National Public Housing Museum and Education Center, the national Family Violence Prevention Fund and the Sargent Shriver National Center on Poverty Law. She also serves on the Visiting Committee for the University of Chicago’s School of Social Service Administration and Columbia’s Ellen Stone Bellic Institute for the Study of Women and Gender in Arts and Culture.