Blurb about why Forefront rocks, caption for photo

As the connector of grantmakers, advisors, and nonprofits in Illinois, Forefront builds and supports Member and Peer Networks that facilitate ongoing projects, learning, and information-sharing about key issues facing our society.

Joining Forefront’s Member and Peer Networks is a great way to learn and network with colleagues. Groups sponsor lively discussions, develop educational programs, and create collaborative efforts to address relevant issues.

Networks for Grantmakers

Arts and Culture Group

Chair:
Cate Fox, John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation

The Arts and Culture Group promotes professional development and knowledge sharing about issues, policies, and emerging trends relating to the arts and culture community, with the aim of learning about one another’s work and catalyzing collaborations, deepening understanding of the arts and culture sector, and contributing to its vitality.

Access your Network’s resources here.


Chicago Arts Education Collaborative

Co-chairs:
JC Aevaliotis, Polk Bros. Foundation
Kalena Chevalier, Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events


The Chicago Arts Education Collaborative works to address inequities in the availability and quality of arts education programs for Chicago Public School students.

Access your Network’s resources here.


Education Group

Chair:
Sydney Sidwell, Lloyd A. Fry Foundation

The Education Group is comprised of these subgroups:

  • College and Career Access, Persistence, and Success (CCAPS)
    Co-chairs: Mara Botman, Circle of Service Foundation; Dinaz Mansuri, The Mayer and Morris Kaplan Foundation
  • School Improvement
    Co-chairs: Fanny Diego Alvarez, Grand Victoria Foundation; Yolanda Knight, Steans Family Foundation; Jim O’Connor, Advance Illinois
  • Education and Equity
    Co-chairs: Sonia Matthews, Robert R. McCormick Foundation; Brandon Thorne, W. Clement and Jessie V. Stone Foundation
  • Education Innovation
    Co-chairs: Phyllis Lockett, LEAP Innovations; Woody McCally, Finnegan Family Foundation
  • Leadership & Human Capital
    Co-chairs: Stephanie Banchero, The Joyce Foundation; Christine Herzog, Crown Family Philanthropies
  • STEM
    Chair: Natasha Smith Walker, Project Exploration

Access all Education Network resources here.


Environmental Group

The Environmental Group provides an arena for discussion of issues and topics of interest to environmental funders, and for identification of opportunities to partner for collaborative giving to further environmental solutions.

Access your Network’s resources here.


Family Foundations Committee

Co-chairs:
MaryAnn Roeser, The Duchossois Family Foundation
John Hicks, The Siragusa Family Foundation


The Family Foundations Member Network addresses challenges and opportunities relevant to family foundations.

Access your Network’s resources here.


Grantmaker Finance Roundtable

Co-chairs:
Elva Gonzalez, Healthy Communities Foundation
Lisa Derezinski, Community Memorial Foundation


The Grantmaker Finance Roundtable offers CFOs and CIOs the opportunity to learn about accounting, investment, and other finance-related issues in philanthropy.


Healthcare Affinity Group

Co-chairs:
Nora Garcia, Healthy Communities Foundation
Kate O’Connor, Grant Healthcare Foundation


The Healthcare Affinity Group is an arena for networking, discussion on health issues of mutual interest to funders, and creating pathways to synergistic giving and collaboration.

Access your Network’s resources here.


Philanthropy CEO Roundtable

Co-chairs:
Nora Garcia, Healthy Communities Foundation
Kate O’Connor, Grant Healthcare Foundation


The Philanthropy CEO Roundtable offers Forefront’s grantmaking members the opportunity to engage in private, highly interactive peer level discussions about current challenges and leading practices.

Contact Lisa Simpson to join this Member Network.

Networks for Nonprofits

Leadership Roundtables

These networks, designed for CEOs and Executive Directors, allow Forefront members an opportunity to engage in peer dialogue about current challenges and leading practices in the social impact sector. Members share and develop strategies to be applied to their own organizations on topics such as leadership development, board engagement, and staff retention. Share your best practices, work through individual issues, collaborate, and network.

  • Nonprofit CEO Roundtable

    Co-chairs: Michele Zurakowski, Beyond Hunger, and Esther Franco-Payne, Cabrini Green Legal Aid
    Contact Suzy Lee to join this network.


  • Nonprofit CEO Roundtable, Knox and Warren Counties
    Contact Lily Blouin to join this network.

  • Executive Directors Network, Springfield
    Access your networks resources here, or contact Sarah Tapscott to join this network.


Arts and Culture Group

Chair:
Cate Fox, John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation

The Arts and Culture Group promotes professional development and knowledge sharing about issues, policies, and emerging trends relating to the arts and culture community, with the aim of learning about one another’s work and catalyzing collaborations, deepening understanding of the arts and culture sector, and contributing to its vitality.

Access your Network’s resources here.


Education: College and Career Access, Persistence, and Success (CCAPS)

(CCAPS) is a learning community focused on increasing postsecondary opportunities and outcomes for Chicago-area students.

Learn more about CCAPS here.


Fund Development Network (Springfield)

The Fund Development Network supports fund development professionals and helps further hone their skills and competencies through educational programming, networking, and peer-to-peer support.

Access your Network’s resources here, or contact Sarah Tapscott at our Springfield office to join this Peer Network.


Program Professionals Network (Springfield)

The Program Professionals Network supports the growth, learning, and development of program professionals through educational programming, networking, and peer-to-peer support.

Access your Network’s resources here, or contact Sarah Tapscott at our Springfield office to join this Peer Network.

 

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