Chicago’s wealthy families and top business leaders have raised $66 million to help fund the city’s fight against crime.

Donors including the Crown and Pritzker family foundations contributed just over 30% of the $200 million that’s required for an initiative to reduce gun violence, representing more than half of the $100 million the business community has pledged. The Civic Committee of the Commercial Club of Chicago, which includes senior leaders from companies including McDonald’s Corp., Ulta Beauty Inc. and Morningstar Inc., is leading the fundraising efforts.

The announcement comes almost five months after the group’s public safety task force picked Hyatt Hotels Chief Executive Officer Mark Hoplamazian and BMO Bank’s Eric Smith to lead the effort. The money will support an initiative backed by governments and community organizations with goals including reducing shootings and homicides by 50% in five years and 75% in a decade.

“The business community is all in,” Hoplamazian said in a statement on Thursday. “Our goal is to be the safest city in America and to get there, we all have to work together over the long term and strengthen our ongoing partnerships.”

Chicago has been struggling with persistent violence that has alarmed residents and businesses. Crime rates jumped 16% last year and are up 55% since 2019. While murders have declined in the past three years, they are still up 23% from 2019 levels, according to data from the city’s police department.

The plan, labeled Scaling Community Violence Intervention for a Safer Chicago or SC2, aims to serve at least half of the 20,000 Chicagoans at highest risk of shooting or being shot in the first five years. Currently only about 15% to 20% of those citizens receive support from a community violence prevention organization.

The group, which will focus on seven neighborhoods, wants to reach 75% in a decade. Work will be carried out in areas including East Garfield Park, Englewood and Austin, where Mayor Brandon Johnson lives.

Arne Duncan, the former US education secretary who co-founded an anti-gun violence nonprofit known as the Chicago CRED, will serve on an SC2 steering committee.

Other donors included the Builders Initiative, The John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, the Sue Ling Gin Foundation, the Chicago Community Trust, the Hyatt Hotels Foundation and the John & Kathleen Schreiber Foundation.

“We know that government alone can’t make Chicago safer,” Johnson said at a press conference on Thursday. “We are committed to working together with community members and community organizations and philanthropy and business and more to unite action to enact solutions.” 

This article was provided by Bloomberg News.