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Grantmaker Member Benefits

Forefront Membership allows grantmakers to access a range of benefits. We’ve included our most popular ones below for easy access. If you have questions about your Membership benefits, call us at 312-327-8948 or email Dawn Melchiorre, Chief Operating Officer, at

Access to Forefront’s Knowledge Center & Library

In our Knowledge Center, you’ll find reports, templates, articles, our webinars, and research support from our Library team. Our librarians assist Members with a variety of research. Common requests include prospect research on foundations and individuals, samples and templates of requests for proposals, grant applications, budgets, and other aspects of the grantseeking/grantmaking process, salary surveys and job descriptions, and general research on philanthropic topics. Visit the Library Homepage or email for more information.

Foundation Maps Regional

Foundation Maps Regional, a powerful tool with highly interactive maps that display a wide range of grants data, is provided free to our Grantmaker Members as a benefit of Membership. Click here to access this powerful data.

Exponent Philanthropy Reports

Through our partnership with Exponent Philanthropy, Forefront members receive 20% off the following publications (Use code FORUM20):

Access to Member Networks

As part of Forefront’s statewide community of grantmakers, Members have access to our Member and Peer Networks. Networks are a great way to learn and network with colleagues. Groups sponsor lively discussions, develop educational programs, and create collaborative efforts to address relevant issues.

Council on Foundations Salary Survey

The Grantmaker Salary and Benefits Survey provides the sector with the most comprehensive data on staff composition and compensation in the United States for grantmakers like you to use in planning budgets, benchmarking personnel policies and practices, determining salary levels for new and existing staff, and more. Tables from the salary survey are made available to our Members through library reference requests. To access the entire report, please contact Dawn Melchiorre at Forefront contacts all Grantmaker Members regarding the survey each year, and we encourage you to participate.

Illinois Foundation Stats Dashboard

To promote transparency and increase awareness of the impact of the Illinois philanthropy community, Forefront has partnered with Foundation Center to bring top-line data about the philanthropy landscape to regional foundations, nonprofits, policymakers, and media with Illinois Foundation Stats.

This public-facing interactive dashboard represents the latest available data from Illinois foundations and the IRS and offers insights into:

Services from Back Office Cooperative 

The Back Office Cooperative (BOC), a Chicago-based nonprofit, aims to improve nonprofit performance by increasing buying power for the nonprofit community, delivering expert expense management services, and technology services. Forefront Members receive a free BOC Office Supply/Janitorial Supply Membership for organizations with less than a $5 million operating budget and free consultation on expense management for any size Operating Nonprofit Member. BOC will provide this same service to Grantmaker Members’ grantees and Advisor Members’ clients (regardless of Member status). To find out more and set up an account, email

Access to Foundations on the Hill 

Foundations on the Hill (FOTH) is an annual event that brings foundation leaders from across the country to Washington DC for meetings with Congress on issues essential to foundations and philanthropy. The event is co-sponsored by the Council on Foundations and United Philanthropy Forum. As a Member, you have the opportunity to join Forefront’s Illinois delegation and meet with elected representatives in Washington.

Free and Discounted Professional Development

Grantmaker Members have access to free professional development workshops hosted by Forefront, plus a discount to Forefront’s acclaimed Grantmakers Institute. To see all of our upcoming programs, check out our calendar.

Access to National Center for Family Philanthropy

Forefront provides family foundation Members with full access to the National Center for Family Philanthropy’s online Knowledge Center and to monthly webinars. Contact Dawn Melchiorre, Chief Operating Officer, at for additional information about the list of benefits.


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