Operating Nonprofits

To join Forefront as an Operating Nonprofit, contact Suzy Lee, Director of Nonprofit Strategy & Engagement, at or 312-327-8914 for more information.


To join Forefront as a Grantmaker, contact Dawn Melchiorre, Chief Operating Officer, at or 312-327-8948 for more information.


To join Forefront as an Advisor, contact Lisa May Simpson, Vice President, Learning & Engagement, at or 312-327-8931 for more information.


Our Operating Nonprofit Members educate children, shelter the homeless, enrich the arts, and address a host of other critical issues that create healthier and more vibrant statewide communities. By joining Forefront’s 800-strong Membership of Operating Nonprofits, you’ll receive access to our nationally-recognized resources, statewide networks, and renowned learning and development curriculum. As an Operating Nonprofit Member, you’ll also be eligible for an over 75% discount on our best-in-class professional development workshops, access to our nationally recognized Library, and the chance to join exclusive Member and Peer Networks.


Forefront provides the most comprehensive, cutting edge resources and services for grantmakers across Illinois, including public charities, private foundations, individual donors, and corporate grantors. Forefront’s Grantmaker Members receive access to powerful tools such as Foundation Maps Regional and Exponent Philanthropy Reports, special opportunities to represent Illinois during the annual Foundations on the Hill gathering, and free or discounted entry to acclaimed programs such as Forefront’s Grantmakers Institute. Plus, our Member and Peer Networks provide a place for grantmaking staff to connect, activate, and push philanthropy and the sector forward.

When I first became CEO at Community Memorial Foundation, Forefront provided me with an invaluable network of peer leaders in the sector with whom I could engage, trade resources, and seek counsel. Over the years, I’ve seen the organization create programming that evolves and responds to the needs of its members; and more specifically, how programs like the Mission Sustainability Initiative, Grantmakers Institute, and the collective state-wide policy work affect the capacity and financial health of the entire local nonprofit sector. Greg DiDomenico, Community Memorial Foundation


Through Membership, Forefront provides connections, discounts, and other valuable opportunities to learn and engage for advisors of nonprofits and grantmakers. Advisor Members may receive over a 75% discount on our best-in-class professional development workshops, access to our nationally recognized Library, and the chance to join exclusive Member and Peer Networks. If you join Forefront under the categories of sole proprietor or 2-5 staff members, and either join or are a Member of the Association of Consultants to Nonprofits, you will also receive 20% discount off on dues to both organizations.

My Advisor Membership with Forefront has been a valuable resource for my consulting practice. Keeping up on statewide nonprofit initiatives and related educational offerings helps me stay informed on behalf of my client organizations. The Library especially is an extremely useful resource, and the Member benefit for research support has proved useful many times. – Jill Misra, Impact Solutions, Inc.


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