Partner Forumnotes January 2012

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U.S. Surgeon General Briefs Donors Forum's Members on New National Prevention Strategy

United States Surgeon General Regina Benjamin met with Donors Forum grantmaking Members in December to discuss the new National Prevention Strategy and ways funders and nonprofits could be involved in spreading and implementing its principles. In her remarks, Dr. Benjamin set out the importance of this effort, saying that preventing chronic illness has benefits that go beyond health. “We know that with better health, children attend school more regularly and are better able to learn. With better health, adults attend work more. With better health, seniors are more independent,” she said.

A key to effective prevention is integrating it into every aspect of people’s lives, and helping people understand that preventing illness does not just happen in a doctor’s office or a clinic. Providing safe alternatives, healthy homes, and awareness can empower people to make better choices for themselves, Dr. Benjamin said. “Good health comes from awareness,” she added. “Prevention needs to be targeted into every facet of our lives.”

To meet the goal of increasing the number of Americans who are healthy at every stage of life, the National Prevention Strategy focuses on four key areas: healthy and safe communities and environments, clinical and community preventative services, empowered people, and the elimination of health disparities.

Continue reading the story here.

Registration has Just Opened for an Exciting Event, March 7, With a New Format for Bringing Members and Partners Together

Register now to be part of a convening and reception with grantmaking Members, nonprofit Forum Partners, advisory Associate Members, and national thought leaders. Called "engage to the nth degree," this event, the first of its kind for Donors Forum, is being planned by a dynamic committee of leaders in the sector.

The event will be highly interactive through the facilitation of the nationally renowned America Speaks as well as graphic facilitator Brandy Agerbeck. Participants will explore how community engagement contributes to the economy and to the effectiveness of nonprofits and grantmakers, what the sector is doing well to promote engagement, and why we must get better at it -- now. We'll hear from national speakers as well as local nonprofit and grantmaking leaders. Everyone will have a chance to be part of the conversation, and we'll continue that discussion at a networking reception that evening and through more events during the coming year.

The convening and reception are only for Donors Forum Members, Partners, and Associate Members. Watch your email for an official announcement.

Time and Place:
Wednesday, March 7, Standard Club of Chicago
Check in: 2:30 pm; Convening: 3 - 5 pm; Reception: 5 - 7 pm

Pre-registration is required; you can register here.
Early-bird fee (through Feb. 7): $40; after that, $60
Space is limited, and registration closes on Feb. 24

Author Series: A Conversation with Jeanne Gang
Mon., Feb. 6, Access Living, 115 W. Chicago Ave., Chicago
Reception 5 - 5:30 pm; Presentation 5:30 - 6:30 pm
Discounted fee for Members, Forum Partners, and Associate Members: $30; regular fee: $45

Donors Forum is pleased to present the second event in its Author Series, a new opportunity for connecting grantmakers, nonprofits, and advisors with each other and with national experts.
Renowned architect and recently named MacArthur Fellow Jeanne Gang thinks big. Having already brought award-winning buildings -- such as the "Aqua" skyscraper -- to Chicago, she is now thinking about how to redesign a central element of the city itself: the Chicago River. Ms. Gang's new book, Reverse Effect: Renewing Chicago's Waterway, encourages architects, designers, policymakers, advocates, and community members to re-imagine and reshape the future of the Chicago River. In this conversation, Ms. Gang will discuss her book and her vision for the future of the Chicago waterway, as well as some of her other work on "green" and sustainable design. Copies of Ms. Gang's book will be available for purchase at the event. Register now.

New GEO Report on Grantee Impact Issued

National affinity group Grantmakers for Effective Organizations has issued the seventh paper related to its Scaling That Works initiative. The paper explores how grantmakers can effectively support grantee efforts to strengthen evaluation and learning capacity. Download Expanding the Impact of Grantees: How Do We Build the Capacity of Nonprofits to Evalute, Learn, and Improve? here.

Activities, Awards, and Accolades

The Business Civic Leadership Center of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce has announced winners of its 2011 awards. Kraft Foods Inc. was honored with the Best Corporate Steward Award, and W.W. Grainger and the American Red Cross were jointly honored with the Best Partnership Award.

Associate Member Marc J. Lane has been appointed the Chairman of Illinois' new Task Force on Social Innovation, Entrepreneurship, and Enterprise by Governor Pat Quinn.

The IDP Foundation is involved in supporting the efforts of the United Nations Foundation's Girl Up campaign, and in building relationships within the UN Foundation. Girl Up envisions a world where all girls have the opportunity to become educated, healthy, safe, counted, and positioned to be the next generations of leaders. Girl Up gives American girls the opportunity to become global leaders and channel their energy and compassion to raise awareness and funds for programs of the United Nations.

At the Jewish United Fund/Jewish Federation of Metropolitan Chicago, David Rubovitz has been promoted to Senior Vice President, Planning and Allocations from Vice President, Planning and Allocations.

Congratulations to The Otho S.A Sprague Memorial Institute on its 100th anniversary! Founder Otho Sylvester Arnold Sprague (pictured, 1839 - 1909) called on family members and advisors to implement a philanthropic program to investigate the causes of diseases and to find ways to prevent and relieve human suffering. The Institute’s earliest work included research on cancer, tuberculosis, industrial diseases, mental health, and diabetes. Its researchers pioneered the use of insulin to control diabetes, examined the causal effect of cigarettes on lung cancer, and studied the impact of environmental factors, such as coal dust, on health. Current programs include those on oral health, childhood obesity, the Chicago Health Atlas, and Smart Health Chicago. Its collaborative model is used internationally. Commenting on the anniversary and the Institute's work, Executive Director James Alexander said, "I have been inspired by how a self-perpetuating, all-volunteer board has stayed true to the mission of a founder they never knew, and how a focused philanthropy with modest resources, but a big vision, can make a difference." Read more about the Institute's 100-year history and current work here.

Laura Thrall stepped down Dec. 31 from her position as President and Chief Executive Officer of United Way of Metropolitan Chicago. Wendy DuBoe, Chief Operating Officer, has been named Interim Chief Executive Officer while an executive search is conducted.

Richard Turner, Manager of Corporate Contributions at Peoples Gas and North Shore Gas, was honored in December by The Corporate Responsibility Group of Greater Chicago as its 2011 Person of the Year. The annual honor recognizes the accomplishments and commitment of an outstanding community member. Read about Mr. Turner's many accomplishments and contributions to philanthropy here. 

Jessica Wheeler is the new Program Associate, Community Involvement, at Aon Corporation. Previously, she was Manager of Special Events at the American Red Cross of Greater Chicago.

The Association of Fundraising Professionals - Chicago Chapter has announced honorees for its 36th Annual Philanthropy Awards Luncheon in May, 2012. Read the names of the honorees, among them Donors Forum Members and Partners, here.

Job Openings

Advocate Charitable Foundation
- Bethany Fund Grants Coordinator

Council on FoundationsPresident and Chief Executive Officer

Donors Forum - Communications and Development Volunteer (afternoons)

Econ Illinois - Executive Director

Horizon Hospice & Palliative Care - Development Associate

Jewish United Fund/Jewish Federation of Metropolitan Chicago - Planning Associate

The Retirement Research Foundation - Grants and Technology Administrator

Window to the World Communications, Inc. (WTTW 11) - Development Coordinator

Grant Announcements

Go to this page on Donors Forum's website for news briefs on recent grants awarded by funders including:

  • Community Foundation for the Land of Lincoln's Young Philanthropists Initiative
  • The John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation
Other Opportunities

Chicago Career Tech is a job retraining initiative working to close the workforce skills gap by providing businesses and nonprofits with retrained professionals. The program provides unemployed, emerging-income, and middle-income Chicago residents with classroom training and hands-on learning in technology. United Way partners with Chicago Career Tech to place participants at nonprofits. Nonprofits can get involved by serving as host sites for learning for four to six months to provide an opportunity for participants to implement the skills they are learning in the classroom. If you have questions or would like to get involved, email Denise Castillo Dell Isola or call her at 312-906-2344.

Applications are being accepted for the 2012 Hillels of Illinois Harriet and Maurice Lewis Summer Intern Program in Jewish Community Service. The nationally recognized work-study program provides experience that helps college students make career choices, strengthen leadership and professional development skills, and enhance Jewish identity. Participants are matched with one of 26 paid internships geared to their interests, at agencies or departments of the Jewish Federation of Metropolitan Chicago. For more information and to access the online application, visit the website.

Polish the skills required to take your individual fundraising strategies to the next level at a new, advanced-level Donors Forum workshop on Thurs., Feb. 9. At A Major Necessity: Working with Donors to Cultivate Major Gifts, you'll learn to define what major gifts mean to your organization, and hone the strategies needed to secure them. Get details and register here.

Save the date of Thurs., June 28 for Donors Forum's 38th Annual Luncheon! Details will be announced in the Spring.

Plan ahead; find the complete list of upcoming events at this link.

Tues., Jan. 3: The First Step in Fundraising: Tools and Tips (Chicago)

Tues., Jan. 17: The First Step in Fundraising: Tools and Tips (Chicago)

Thurs., Jan. 26 (webinar): Building a Voter Engagement Timeline for 2012

Tues., Jan 31: The First Step in Fundraising: Tools and Tips (Chicago)

Wed., Jan 11 (webinar; Forum Partners get a 20% discount): Program Evaluation Tools

Thurs., Jan. 19: Maintaining & Building Reserves: Securing your Organization's Fiscal Future

New Members

Illinois Education Foundation

Renewing Members

The Boeing Company
The Chicago Bar Foundation
The Comer Foundation
Crown Family Philanthropies
Exelon Corporation
Field Foundation of Illinois, Inc.
Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation
Graham Foundation for Advanced Studies in the Fine Arts
Healthcare Foundation of Northern Lake County
Kinship Foundation
The Lawlor Foundation
The Pritzker Traubert Family Foundation
redbox, a Coinstar, Inc. Co.
Sara Lee Foundation
Terra Foundation for American Art
The Wallace Foundation

New Forum Partners

Angelic Organics Learning Center
Aquinas Literacy Center
Art In Print Review
Chicago City Day School
Chicago Citywide Literacy Coalition
ChildReach International  USA
Crossroads Antiracism Organization & Training
Earth Tone Environmental Group
Federation for Community Schools
Friends of Goethe School
Grace Central Church
Hospice Foundation of Northeastern Illinois
I.C. Stars
Lazarus Jones Save Our Children Campaign
Orchard Village
Progressive Community Church

New Associate Members

Margaret (Meg) Lassar, Strategic Philanthropy, Ltd.

Renewing Associate Members

Colleen Mitchell, Venture3Philanthropy
Lee Morava, Gresham Partners
Chris Elaine Murray, McGladrey & Pullen, LLP

The Donors Forum Library (Chicago)

East Central Illinois Philanthropy Center

Lake County Philanthropy Center (Grayslake)

Northwest Suburban Philanthropy Center (Schaumburg)

The Philanthropy Center (Glen Ellyn)

South Metropolitan Philanthropy Center at Joliet Junior College (Joliet)

West Central Illinois Philanthropy Center (Quincy)

The Decision to Join: How Individuals Determine Value and Why They Choose to Belong, by James G. Dalton and Monica Dignam

Every Nonprofit's Tax Guide: How to Keep Your Tax-Exempt Status and Avoid IRS Problems, by Stephen Fishman

Everyone Leads: Building Leadership from the Community Up, by Paul Schmitz

Five Good Ideas: Practical Strategies for Non-Profit Success, by Alan Broadbent and Ratna Omidvar

Philanthropy in America: A History, by Olivier Zunz

Race, Gender, and Leadership in Nonprofit Organizations, by Marybeth Gasman

The Volunteer Management Handbook: Leadership Strategies for Success, by Tracy Daniel Connors

Click here to read past issues of Forumnotes.

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