Violence in Chicago Has Met Its Match: Donors Forum + CPD Launch Second Cycle of A Force for Good Initiative

Monday, October 7, 2013

Photo_1Donors Forum, in partnership with the Chicago Police Department, has just launched a second cycle of the Force For Good program.  This program was first created in 2011 by Mayor Rahm Emanuel and Police Superintendent Garry McCarthy to assist community and faith-based nonprofits with increasing their capacity to provide needed services to neighborhoods hardest hit by violent crime.  In announcing its creation, Superintendent McCarthy said, “The Chicago Police Department relies on community organizations as our partners to help stem crime before it begins.  This effort is part of our commitment to work closely with the communities we serve in order to keep Chicagoans safe.”

On September 24, representatives from 23 selected agencies met at Donors Forum with our Nonprofit Services Team, the Chicago Police Department, and the program’s third partner, Goodcity Chicago to celebrate the start of a new program cycle. 

A competitive application process was begun in June to identify qualified agencies to participate in the program.  The organizations honored with selection for the Force For Good program represent a range of missions, program types, and neighborhoods served and were chosen for their record of good work and their readiness to expand their impact.  To be eligible for the Force For Good program, applicants needed to:

  • be Chicago-based
  • serve Chicago communities experiencing higher than average rates of violent crime
  • provide services that address violent crime, those who commit violent crimes, or the underlying conditions that contribute to high violent crime rates
  • have been in existence for three or more years
  • have an annual budget that did not exceed $750,000

The participants in this year's A Force for Good program are Automotive Mentoring Group, Catholic Youth Ministry Center at Morgan Park HS, Chicago Youth Boxing Club, Chicago-Lawndale AMACHI Mentoring Program, Church of God Day Care and Head Start, Rogers Park Business Alliance, Divine Purpose Youth Performing Arts Center, Empowerment through Ed and Exposure, Garfield Park Com Council, IMPACT Family Center, KLEO Community Family Center, Lawndale Christian Legal Center, My Luv 4U2 Inc., Near North Unity Program/LaSalle Street Church, Progressive Community Center, Rahab's House, Inc., Rise Foundation, Roll Call, Seeds Center of Maple Park, South Shore Chamber Inc., South Shore Planning and Preservation Coalition, Urban Solutions Association, and West Town Bikes NFP.

Over the next fifteen months, these agencies will attend monthly training sessions with Donors Forum instructors, receive a comprehensive organizational assessment from Goodcity Chicago, and take part in a variety of networking, mentoring, and peer-learning activities.  Each agency has committed up to two of its leadership staff to engage in this program and become a part of a self-sustaining network of support that continues on well after the program cycle has finished.  Each participating agency also receives up to two years of free Forum Partner benefits with Donors Forum.

The program will hold its first training session in mid-October at the 7 District Police Station in Englewood.  The program is scheduled to run through December 2014.  The inaugural cohort of Force For Good participants completed the first program cycle in December of 2012. 

~ Zach Korotko, Nonprofit Programs Manager, Donors Forum