Wednesday, August 29, 2012

1st Meeting at CCT on 9/21

SMART Growth Grantees,

CCT has assembled an extraordinary panel of five Executive Directors from organizations representing each of the 5 phases of development. The panelists will address each of the 6 key management areas and how the role of the Executive Director changes over time as the organization evolves. There will be time for questions.

Phase 1 – Kendra Jorstad, Founder of JorsTAP Chicago (dance)

Phase 2 - Marcus Burks, Founder/Executive Director of Urban Aspirations (music/youth)
Phase 3 – Malik Gillani, Executive Director of Silk Road Rising (theatre) and SMART Growth “graduate”
Phase 4 – Jim Hirsch, Executive Director of the Chicago Sinfonietta (music)
Phase 5 – Gary Johnson, Executive Director of the Chicago History Museum

Friday, Sept. 21, 2012
10:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m
Chicago Community Trust Board Room (225 N. Michigan Ave. – 22 floor)

This session is highly recommended for Executive Directors.  Due to space limitations, we must limit the attendance to 2-3 people per SMART Growth group.  Our building security requires that everyone sends their RSVP to Vanessa Johnson ( 312-616-8000 ext. 174, so that you will be on the security list in the lobby.  Please bring photo ID.

Reminder: Year 2 Grant Proposal Due Soon!

Dear SMART Growth Grantees,

A quick reminder that your Year 2 grant  proposals are due to CCT on September 5, 2012.

Let us know if you have any questions. 

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

FREE Webinar: Intro to Silent Auctions: Raise More Funds with 5 Simple Changes

Thursday, September 13, 2012
2:00pm - 2:45pm
Register here

In this free 45-minute nonprofit training webinar, you'll get practical "how to" advice so you can transform your auction items into loads of money. Learn why a silent auction can't be silent, how to entice bidder wit disposable income, use of psychology to pull in bids among many more. Presented by the award-winning auctioneer and mentor to thousands of Auction Chairs, Sherry Truhlar.

Click here for more information and to register.

Donors and Digital Media: Lessons from the DonorGraphics Study

What does a donor-ideal communication strategy look like across demographics? Is there a correlation between preferred channel and actual donation behaviors? 

DonorGraphics is a national media usage study that measures communication preferences and behaviors of donors. The study highlights differences between the general U.S.A population and the active donor population to identify opportunities to effectively reach donors online. This digital landscape review is important to anyone curious about the shift to mobile communications (email, mobile, social media) and its relation to donations.

When: Thursday, September 20, 2012
Time: 1:00pm Central Time (11:00am Pacific Time) 
Price: $70 non-members/FREE to members

Participants will
  • Understand the differences in digital communication use across demographics
  • Understand the most useful communications channels for your donor base
  • Learn how donors prefer to be communicated with by nonprofits
About the Presenter:
Lori Connolly is Vice President of Research and Analytics at Gizzard Communications Group. Lori have over 17 years of research and analytics experience in multichannel marketing and optimization through quantitative techniques as well as donor insights. Click here to learn more about the presenter

Friday, August 17, 2012

7 Steps to Enlist and Build Your Dream Team Board

Monday, August 27, 2012. 3:00-4:30pm (Eastern Time)
Price: $77.00

Webinar Description:

How' your board doing? How much could you accomplish if you had the right people around the table? During this live nonprofit training webinar we'll show you step-by-step how to enlist and build your dream team board.

Consultant, Gail Perry CFRE, will guide you through a step-by-step process to determine what kind of board members you need and give you the right kind of process for recruiting them. Use these ideas and the step-by-step instruction to help your Nominating Committee get organized, productive and guide them to enlist the best possible leaders join your board member. Click here for more details. 

Bonus! You'll also get a 24 page Dream Team Board Workbook.

Sound Fiscal Practices: Budgeting & Planning

Are you looking to strengthen your organization's financial position or simply identify and implement best practices? Join the Arts and Business Council at an informative workshop to discuss topics such as strategic fundraising, building reserves, capital campaigns, the role of the board in it all and many more.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012. 5:30-8:00pm
Columbia College Chicago
623 S Wabash, Hokin Hall, Rm 109

Megan Angle, Accountant, Porte Brown
Tim Dunning, Representative, The Private Bank

$45 (NPO budget < 250K) / $65 (For-profit/NPO budget > 250K)

Click to Register.

Join A&BC at Summer Bash!

Start your Labor Day weekend with the Arts and Business Council family at Summer Bash! No program, no agenda - simply a chance to hang out and party with our volunteers, clients, board and staff.

When: Thursday, August 30, 2012 from 5:30-7:30pm

Where: Bull & Bear (431 North Wells St at Hubbard St)

Price: $30 per person (includes good company, unlimited wine and beer, appetizers and a change to win a prize) or $40 at the door.

Click here to Register.

Thursday, August 9, 2012


The renewal application for the SMART Growth program and your Year 1 report are due Sept 5, 2012.  A&BC will review your revised Year 2 outcomes & measures on Thurs, Aug 23, 2012.   

You should have received an email from Sandy Phelps at CCT with instructions for the process.  Here's the link with the forms: If you have previously submitted an application to the Trust using our online system, you can access the application with the username and password you previously created.  If you are a new applicant, CCT has created a login for you which is your email address, and a password which is your last name (all lowercase).  If your last name is less than six characters, your password will be your last name and 2012, i.e. jones2012. 

You have been provided with an Access Code to view a restricted application link.  Enter it under 'Access Code' at the bottom of the main menu and hit Enter.  The access code for SMART Growth is Smart2012.  You can now choose the SMART Growth and begin your application.  To save your work, click the “Save As Draft” button at the bottom of the page.  You must save the draft before you log off or close your browser; otherwise, your work will be lost.  You may continue to save and upload required documents until the deadline.  When you are finished with your application, click “Submit Form”.

If you have any questions about the application process, please contact Sandy Phelps at or Janice Pacheco at

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Building Foundation Impact

Using Requests for Proposals (RFPs) for Strategic Change

Date: Friday, September 14, 2012
Time: 12:00pm - 2:00pm
Location: The Arts Club of Chicago, 201 East Ontario Street, Chicago
Registration: Register for this event 

About this event: Space is limited. Pre-registration is required. Donors Forum's Family Foundations Committee will host small gatherings for leadership of family foundations this season to foster discussion and generate ideas about current challenges for family foundations and create opportunities to deepen personal and professional connections. Join colleagues for a mini-series of intimate, confidential discussions focused on approached to strengthening foundation impact. This free luncheon is hosted by The Siragusa Foundation.

First Step in Fundraising!

Tools and Tips

Date: Thursday, August 16, 2012
Time: 12:00pm - 1:15pm
Location:  Donors Forum Library, 208  S. LaSalle, Suite 1540
Registration: Register for this event

FREE and open to the public but must register.

Alternate dates: Usually every other Tuesday. These workshops fill up fast; advanced registration is required.

About this event: You'll receive a tutorial on using prospecting databases, which you can access free in the library. You'll also receive an overview of the free reference collection of books and resources on grant-writing, individual fundraising, nonprofit management, leadership and governance. Plus, you'll meet our librarian, who is professionally trained to help you use these resources.