During this season of giving, Hub Philanthropic Solutions wants to shine a light on a philanthropic leader in the western suburbs of Chicago — Community Memorial Foundation (CMF). Established in 1995, CMF is a private independent foundation working to measurably improve the health of people who live and work in the western suburbs of Chicago. Health is broadly defined by CMF, and includes physical, mental, environmental, social, and spiritual aspects. CMF views its grantees as partners and is committed to being both responsible and responsive to community needs in its grant-making.
In addition to investing in programs of its grantee partners, CMF invests in their leadership in innovative and creative ways. One such initiative — Together for Health: The Impact of 3 —indeed had a tremendous impact on organizations. Designed to highlight the important role board members play in building a culture of philanthropy, this challenge helped organizations sustain their mission-driven work.
In November 2015, CMF invited board members and executive leadership to invest in the missions of the organizations they serve and to invite others to do the same. Within one year, CMF sponsored four leadership workshops for executive staff and board members, on topics ranging from creating a culture of philanthropy to developing and stewarding major and planned giving donors.
As part of the Challenge, CMF also offered a matching grant opportunity. CMF provided up to a $9,500 match on new or increased donations from board members — including former members, advisory members and standing committee members — provided that the board members also sponsor a similar $9,500 match on new or increased donations from individuals to their organizations.
In November 2016, CMF gathered all participants for its final leadership workshop and celebration. In one year’s time, the challenge had a tremendous impact on the western suburbs: more than 50 organizations leveraged over $4.1 million in new and increased contributions. These new gifts mean different things to different organizations: for one, it means providing mental health services to 65 individuals for one year. For another, it means providing safe haven to victims of domestic violence. Still another is enhancing its work with adults living with disabilities. Another is supporting its organizational infrastructure to continue creating a culture of philanthropy.
Thank you, Community Memorial Foundation.
by: Molly Galo, Senior Consultant, HUB Philanthropic Solutions