Our Work

Forefront is building a vibrant social impact sector for all the people in Illinois through four key strategies: Attracting Investment to the Sector, Developing Top Talent, Improving Systems and Policies, and Building Organizational Capacity.

We provide education, advocacy, thought-leadership, and project management, working closely with our Members and collaborating with government, business, social enterprises, and other allies.

Click on the links below for details on our work, including, goals, recent results, and participating Member organizations.

For more information on our work or to become involved, please email Suzy Lee, Director of Strategic Initiatives.

Attract Investment to the Sector

Increase Individual Giving
Our vision: More individuals give more money to Illinois charitable organizations.

Protect State Funding
Our vision: Charitable organizations in Illinois receive adequate state funding to fulfill their missions, build vibrant communities, and serve the needs of all residents.

Promote Effective Social Impact Investing and Social Enterprise
Our vision: A thriving and innovative social enterprise sector in Illinois uses the power of the marketplace to fund social change.

Protect Charitable Incentives
Our vision: Nonprofits and grantmakers have a stable, supportive tax environment that allows them to effectively achieve their missions.

Develop Top Talent

Advance Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion in Philanthropy
Our vision: Philanthropy is more effective with new voices and perspectives informing its board and leadership, investments, and community engagement.

Promote Executive and Professional Development
Our vision: Nonprofits, grantmakers, and advisors exhibit strong and effective leadership and management skills.

Provide Skills-Based Learning
Our vision: Nonprofits, grantmakers, and advisors have the necessary skills and understanding to do their best work.


Improve Systems and Policies

Streamline Government Grants
Our vision: Government grants cover the full cost of desired outcomes and minimize redundancy and red tape.

Increase Funding for Real Costs
Our vision: Charitable organizations clearly articulate, and foundations cover, the real costs that are incurred to achieve their stated goals.

Streamline Volunteer Background Checks
Our vision: An efficient, affordable system for screening volunteers protects clients, reduces costs, and increases volunteer participation.

Develop Quantitative Tools to Articulate the Value of the Sector
Our vision: Decision makers have the tools to understand the complex and critical role the social impact sector plays in Illinois.

Increase Organizational Capacity

Build Robust Member Networks
Our vision: Members share knowledge, identify best practices, and develop collaborative opportunities.

Support Collective Action of Our Members
Our vision: Members leverage their resources to take action together on specific issues to create systemic change.

Provide Latest Research and Information Services
Our vision: Members and the public have access to high-quality research on relevant topics and emerging trends from across the nation and the globe.

Mission Sustainability Initiative
Our vision: Nonprofits and grantmakers understand, support, and actively engage in strategic restructurings, as appropriate, as a tool for enhanced impact and sustainability.