Creating Connections -- Not Competition -- Is Key Theme at Donors Forum's 40th Anniversary Kick-off

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Sterling Speirn, nationally known speaker on nonprofit and philanthropy issues and recent past President of the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, was the keynote speaker at our 40th Anniversary Kick-Off Event on Jan. 28. His theme -- creating collaborative advantages instead of competitive advantages -- related directly to Engaging for Impact, Donors Forum's strategic plan. Under the framework of the plan, Donors Forum is working to build the relationships and networks necessary to bring together groups to effectively collaborate on a common agenda.

Grantmakers and Grantseekers Tackle Streamlining Together: Report Just Released

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Donors Forum has published Streamlining Across the Divide: Illinois Grantmakers and Grantseekers Tackle Streamlining Together, the result of our Community of Practice on Streamlining. Over the course of 2012, a group of grantmaking Members and nonprofit Partners focused on the impact of application and reporting practices on both funders and nonprofits, and explored ways to minimize the burden while maximizing the effectiveness of grantmaking. Through candid conversations and exploration in a safe space, participants gained insight into the challenges faced by colleagues on both sides of the fundraising equation. Read a snapshot of the report.

Nonprofit Summit Brings Together Nonprofits, Funders + Government, Aiming for Stronger Partnership

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“Those who learn to collaborate and improvise are most effectively able to prevail. If you are able to cooperate, you are going to make it. If you go your own way, you are going to fail.” That was a lesson from the work of Charles Darwin that keynote speaker Kyle Caldwell, Program Director at the C.S. Mott Foundation, delivered to an audience of grantmakers, nonprofit representatives, and public officials at Donors Forum's recent Nonprofit Summit.

Win-Win-Win Outcomes Possible with Social Impact Bonds

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As Illinois moves into Budgeting for Results, officials are working to identify programs that improve outcomes while reducing costs, which can help the budget situation while making services more effective and efficient. Social impact bonds are a relatively new tool that can give investors and grantmakers new options for supporting activities with concrete results and real savings.

Rainbow House Feels the Pain of the Federal Shutdown

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Illinois-based Rainbow House, which provides critical services to victims of domestic violence, was impacted hard by the shutdown of the federal government and continues to be impacted even after the shutdown was lifted. Kathleen Higgins, Executive Director of Rainbow House, answered a few questions via email to highlight the challenges created by the shutdown.