Forefront's Mission Sustainability Initiative

About The Mission Sustainability Initiative

The Mission Sustainability Initiative (MSI) is a new program at Forefront. The MSI seeks to have an important, positive impact on the capacity, effectiveness, and financial health of the Greater Chicago nonprofit sector by helping nonprofits to: 

  • Evaluate the possible benefits of long-term or permanent strategic partnerships (including mergers, acquisitions, back office collaborations, joint ventures, and other long-term or permanent programmatic alliances);
  • Negotiate and implement their partnership;
  • Apply for pro bono legal assistance and/or find qualified paid consultant support in designing their new organization; and
  • Submit an application to be considered for grant funding to help support the process.

The MSI was created based on the experiences in other cities and is supported by foundations and private firms.

The MSI will provide:

  • Confidential, friendly, and helpful advice to nonprofits thinking about  strategic partnerships:
  • A repository of toolkits, research, and best practices along with educational workshops;
  • Referrals to pro bono legal assistance and experienced paid consultants specializing in nonprofit strategic partnerships; and
  • Grants to selected nonprofits for one-time, out-of-pocket costs incurred in assessing organizational readiness for, exploring, or implementing a long-term or permanent strategic collaboration.  


To learn more, please contact Genita C. Robinson at

MSI Summit Materials (LINK)     MSI Toolkit (LINK)     MSI Case Studies  MSI Grant Application link  MSI Consultants List

Forefront is very grateful for the generous support of the following funders, who have made the MSI and the MSI Fund possible:

MSI Supporters

Forefront is very grateful for the generous support of the following funders, who have made the MSI and the MSI Fund possible: Anonymous, Anonymous 2, Alvin H. Baum Family Fund, Chicago Community Trust, Community Memorial Foundation, Cuore e Mani Foundation, Field Foundation of Illinois, Inc., Healthy Communities Foundation, JPMorgan Chase, Michael Reese Health Trust, Pierce Family Foundation, Polk Bros. Foundation, Reva and David Logan Foundation, Robert R. McCormick Foundation, Walter S. Mander Foundation

Molly Baltman Lenard from McCormick and Greg DiDomenico from Community Memorial Foundation are co-chairs of the MSI Fund.

Forefront also thanks launching contributors: Cuore E. Mani Foundation, Dentons, The Dunham Fund, JPMorgan Chase, Lazard, Sidley Austin LLP, United Way of Metropolitan Chicago, William Blair & Company, L.L.C., Winston & Strawn LLP.