Partner Forumnotes February 2012

Email not displaying correctly? View it in your browser.
You are receiving this newsletter because you are a Donors Forum Partner. To share questions or comments, forward to a friend, or to unsubscribe, go to the end of the newsletter, below. 


New 'Communities of Practice' Dive Deep into Two Critical Issues Facing Philanthropy and Nonprofits

Nonprofit overhead and streamlined grant processes  -- topics that have received considerable national attention recently – are the focus of two new Communities of Practice at Donors Forum. Each community, made up of both grantmaking Members and nonprofit Partners, will convene multiple times in 2012 to build a mutual understanding around each issue, and to help advance good practices for both grantmakers and nonprofits in relation to each issue. The groups will ultimately develop their recommendations for the sector that will be published with broad circulation. The Communities of Practice are supported in part by The Brinson Foundation and Donors Forum's Eleanor Petersen Fund for Donors-Donee Relationships.

Donors Forum formed the communities to examine these critical national issues in a local and regional context.  The Communities are among the growing number of joint programs -- programs that bring grantmakers and nonprofits together -- that Donors Forum is offering as part of its new strategic plan.

"The Communities of Practice provide a way to bring to the same table a diverse group of nonprofits and grantmakers who share an interest in addressing the challenges of funding nonprofit overhead and of streamlining grantmaking." said Valerie S. Lies, Donors Forum's President and CEO. “We want to give participants the chance to learn from national experts and peers, to connect with each other over a common concern about a fundamental issue, to take action in their own organizations, and to provide leadership to the sector at large.”  

Through an application process, participants were selected to represent a diversity of perspectives in the sector, size and types of organizations, and geographic areas of service around Illinois. Rosters of the participants can be found here:

Read the rest of the story here.

New, Interactive Event on Community Engagement on 3/7 - Members and Partners, Registration is Limited!

Don't miss Donors Forum's new convening and reception, which will take place from 2:30 pm to 7 pm on Wed., March 7 at the Standard Club in Chicago. We are almost at capacity for this unique event so don't delay!

We very excited about this event, which will bring together our grantmaking Members, nonprofit Partners, advisory Associate Members, and national speakers to explore how community engagement contributes to the health and effectiveness of nonprofits and grantmakers. This will be a highly interactive event, facilitated by the nationally renowned America Speaks as well as graphic facilitator Brandy Agerbeck,

Read more about our speakers:

Peter Levine   Bruce Sievers


Click here or on the image above to hear from some of the Planning Committee members on why they want to talk about community engagement.

After the convening, we'll continue the conversation at a social reception from 5 pm to 7 pm. Don't miss this event -- register now!

New Water Fees a Tax on Chicago Nonprofits

As new water fees in Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s 2012 budget take effect this month, Donors Forum is concerned for the hundreds of Chicago nonprofits who will be hit with a new bill they can ill afford – one that also represents a hidden tax on the nonprofit community.

“Nonprofits should pay their bills every day, like other organizations. That’s not the source of our concern,” says Valerie Lies, President and CEO of Donors Forum. “However, fees that are used to provide revenue for operations outside of water infrastructure are a tax and the City is asking tax-exempt churches, schools, hospitals, and community organizations to pay it.”

For more, see the Donors Forum blog; Donors Forum also has a new fact sheet on nonprofit water fees. These new fees are part of a growing trend across the country.  See the  National Council of Nonprofits chronicling of state and local government efforts to take money away from nonprofit missions to fill their own budget gaps.  

Join Your Colleagues in Washington D.C. for Foundations on the Hill - Register Now!

We invite you to join us as we prepare to make our annual trip to the nation's capitol for Foundations on the Hill, March 21-22, 2012. Foundations on the Hill is a two-day legislative conference in Washington, D.C. that offers a unique opportunity for average grantmakers to demonstrate the power and reach of philanthropy and its impact on society. Last year, a group of Donors Forum grantmaking members and staff met with 17 congressional offices and spoke with policymakers about what foundations do in Illinois, the value we bring to their Congressional districts, the issues we care about, and the nonprofits we help support.

New Report Shows Ten-Year Nonprofit Employment Growth

The Johns Hopkins Center for Civil Society has released a new Nonprofit Data Project report. Holding the Fort: Nonprofit Employment During a Decade of Turmoil shows the U.S. nonprofit sector posted a ten-year record of job growth despite two recessions, achieving an everage annual growth rate of 2.1 percent from 2000 to 2010. For-profit jobs, on the other hand, declined by an average of minus 0.6 percent per year. Download the report here.

Online Service Connects Arts Educators and Providers

The Arts & Education Exchange is a free online service that connects educators with arts providers to give students opportunities through creative outlets such as ballet, theater, or pottery.  Educators can search for arts programming that complements their curriculum, while arts providers can browse projects and collaborate with educators. The Exchange also provides resources on funding, planning, and best practices in arts education.

Comprehensive Guide Provides Tips and Lessons to Nonprofit Human Resources Pros

The Nonprofit’s Guide to Human Resources  is a new book that is is a is a new bookis a new book on the unique challenges that nonprofits face in human resources management.  Written by Jan Masaoka, founder and former editor of Blue Avocado and Executive Director of the California Associate of Nonprofits, it includes tips and lessons learned from expert advisers in many areas of human resources management. The chapter on the board’s role in human resources is highlighted in the Donors Forum blog.

Recognition and Awards, Job Changes

Chicago Magazine has selected its 2012 Chicagoans of the Year, which include several individuals from Forum Partner organizations: Zully Alvarado, a Board Member at Access Living of Metropolitan Chicago; Leslie Bluhm, Co-Founder of Chicago Cares, Inc.; and Gabrielle Lyon, Co-Founder and Former CEO of Project Exploration. Read more about the 2011 honorees here.

The Association of Fundraising Professionals - Chicago Chapter has announced that Marshall Field V will be the recipient of its Founders Award. This award, which recognizes individuals and organizations that have made exemplary contributions to Chicago's philanthropic community, will be presented at a luncheon in May. Read more about Mr. Field and the other AFP award winners, which include Members and Partners, here.

Deborah Harrington will serve as Interim President and CEO of the Eleanor Foundation while President and CEO Rosanna Marquez is on a leave of absence. Deborah Harrington was formerly President of the Woods Fund of Chicago.

Associate Members Kirk A. Hoopingarner and Marc J. Lane have been named Super Lawyers in 2012 by the Super Lawyers rating service. Super Lawyers are recognized for their high degree of peer recognition and professional achievement. Read more here.
Grace Hou has been named the new Executive Director of Woods Fund of Chicago. Most recently, she served as the Assistant Secretary at the Illinois Department of Human Services.

Jane Addams Hull House suspended its operations Jan. 27 -- moving forward its previously announced March closing -- citing cuts in government funding and increased demand for services as reasons for closing. The 122-year-old organization provided foster care, domestic violence counseling, child development programs, and job training to 60,000 people each year. Read more in Jan. 25 article in The Chicago Tribune.

Jennifer Humke is the new Program Officer in the digital media and learning program at the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation. Previously, she was Communications Officer at MacArthur.

The Jewish United Fund of Metropolitan Chicago raised $78.8 million in its 2011 annual campaign, surpassing the previous year’s total. The campaign provides the bulk of funding for nearly 70 agencies and programs supported by JUF. Read more here.

Julie Walther is the new Senior Director of Programs at the Center on Halsted.  Previously, she was the Senior Program Officer at The Brinson Foundation.

Angel Ysaguirre has been appointed Deputy Commissioner for Arts Programming for the Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events. Previously, he served as Director of Global Community Investing at Boeing.

Job Openings

ArcelorMittal USA- Project Specialist

Collaborative for Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning - Manager for Communications

Constitutional Rights Foundation Chicago- Development Director

Donors Forum - Communications and Development Volunteer

Impact Engine - Managing Director

Additional Opportunities

Executive Service Corps of Chicago is expanding its Interim Executive Director program. Highly experienced, former Executive Directors with at least five years in that role are invited to apply by March 9. Interim EDs provide short-term leadership to a nonprofit during the transition period after a leader departs. This is an opportunity for income-producing professional development in a fulfilling encore career. For more information, visit the ESC website.

The Illinois Conference on Volunteer Administration will be held Thurs., Aug. 9 in Chicago. If you are interested in sharing your knowledge and experience, consider being a presenter. Read more and fill out the Request for Presenters here. The deadline for return of the form is March 1.

Donors Forum Staff News

Marlee Benson (pictured, left) is the new Nonprofit Programs Assistant. She is a recent graduate of North Park University, majoring in business and economics and minoring in nonprofit management.

Lauren Walker (pictured, right) is the new Administrative Assistant. Most recently, she was Enrollment Associate at Merit School of Music.

Library Services Associate Nick Ammerman was awarded the 2012 Special Libraries Association Leadership Summit Stipend; he attended the summit in January.

Laura Zumdahl, Vice President, Nonprofit Services and Marilou Jones, Director of Communications, provided commentary for Push for Charitable Donors in Full Swing at Year's End, an article in the Dec. 29 edition of The Chicago Tribune.


Register by noon tomorrow, Thurs., Feb. 2, to hear MacArthur Fellow Jeanne Gang speak on her new book, which proposes changing the direction of the Chicago River as part of re-imagining and re-shaping the future of Chicago. The event takes place on Mon., Feb. 6; register here.

Development professionals, polish the skills required to take your individual fundraising strategies to the next level at "A Major Necessity: Working with Donors to Cultivate Major Gifts." Veteran fundraiser Jamie Philippe will be the instructor at this new Donors Forum workshop. Register here.

Save the date of Thurs., June 28 for Donors Forum’s 38th Annual Luncheon, this year open to all Illinois philanthropy and nonprofit leaders. Watch for details in the Spring.

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

Mon., Feb. 6: Author Series: A Conversation With Jeanne Gang

Thurs., Feb. 9: A Major Necessity: Working with Donors to Cultivate Major Gift

Fri., Feb. 10: The First Step in Fundraising: Tools and Tips (Glen Ellyn)

Tues., Feb. 14: The First Step in Fundraising: Tools and Tips (Chicago)

Thurs., Feb. 16: Winning Elements: The How Tos of Successful Grantwriting and Relationship Building

Mon., Feb. 27: State Budget Forum

Tues., Feb. 28: The First Step in Fundraising: Tools and Tips (Chicago)

Thurs., Feb. 2: Make Your Special Event Special Again

Mon., Feb. 6: LinkedIn for Nonprofits

Thurs., Feb. 9: Building an Effective Dashboard

Thurs., Feb. 23: Board Governance and Board Fiduciary Responsibilities

Tues., Feb. 28-Mar. 1: HandsOn is hosting a volunteer management training series.

Wed., Feb. 29: Effective Project Management Strategies

Renewing Members

The Arthur Foundation (formerly MacNeal Health)
Gaylord and Dorothy Donnelley Foundation
Dunham Fund
Lake County Community Foundation
MB Financial Bank Charitable Foundation
Nicor Gas
Peoples Gas & North Shore Gas

New Forum Partners

Addison Center For The Arts
Altrusa International Foundation, Inc
Caring Connections for Seniors
Chicago Legal Clinic, Inc.
Ebenezer Community Outreach
Fox Valley Academy of Music Performance
Friends of Oscar Mayer School
GPA Chicago Area Chapter
Grow Your Own Illinois
Housing Authority of the County of Cook
Illinois Technology Foundation
National Opinion Research Center
New Covenant Tabernacle Church of Holiness
North Bridge Technology Alliance
Richard's House Association
Smart-Tracks Family Center, Inc.
Still Point Theatre Collective
Sunlight of the Spirit
Washington Park Consortium
Westside Youth Tech Entrep Ctr
World Engagement Institute
Young Lions of Judah Inc. NFP

Renewing Associate Members

Beverly Tomasiewicz, McGladrey

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)

Click here to read past issues of Forumnotes.

Our staff

Our website (log in for full benefits)

Our blog (subscribe by email here)

Our Facebook page

Our Tweets 

Tell us about comings, goings, promotions, and kudos; requests for proposals and grants received and awarded; job openings; address changes; and other news. If there is a web page that offers more information about the item (e.g., a press release, a complete job posting), please provide the URL. Send your information to editor Marilou Jones at

Our mailing address is:
Telephone 312-578-0090; toll-free 888-578-0090
Copyright (C) *|CURRENT_YEAR|* *|USER:COMPANY|* All rights reserved.

Sent to *|EMAIL|* — why did I get this?
unsubscribe from this list | update subscription preferences