Capacity Building in the South-Southwest Suburbs


In late July, United Way of Metropolitan Chicago hosted its first-ever Capacity Building Workshop for its South-Southwest partner agencies. Close to 100 participants attended targeted lectures and workshops to hone their grant-writing skills, to discuss how best to collect data for their programs, to develop their leadership strategies, to deepen their advocacy work, and to increase their impact.

Why capacity building?

As United Way of Metropolitan Chicago CEO Wendy DuBoe emphasized at the close of our lunch panel discussion—the Illinois budget crisis hit human services hard. We know that despite the recent stop-gap budget of June 30th, Illinois human service providers in the nonprofit sector are still looking at a difficult recovery period. Human service providers in Illinois will have to work harder than ever for funding and outside support over the coming years.

With this event, we engaged with agencies to cultivate new grant strategies, new funding sources, and new avenues for advocacy in challenging times.

That is precisely why the lunch panel was so crucial—in discussion with our three incredible panelists, we were able to learn and share insights and information on what funders look for in compelling grant applications. Much like prospective students visiting a college for insight on what admissions officers are looking for, this panel provided a sense of how our nonprofit partners can approach high-stakes grant applications. Many thanks to our panelists, Ariana Cisneros from the McCormick Foundation, Alma Rodriguez from the Chicago Community Trust, and Dominic Tossi, from the Department of Planning and Development.

And to all our attendees: thank you so much for coming out. We at United Way of Metropolitan Chicago are so thrilled to have had these conversations with so many insightful and talented individuals; we can’t wait to see what we can achieve together.


Post submitted by: Michaela Voit / Community Impact Intern / United Way of Metropolitan Chicago

One Comment

  1. Chris Mullen

    Since I am disabled, I have plenty of time to volunteer with United Way. I can’t do anything strenuous,but I still have plenty of non-physical skills that I can put to use, including clerical, organizational skills, emergency services at other locations, etc. My plans have been temporarily put on hold and I hope to be ready to actively participate in the Spring of 2017. My address is:

    Chris Mullen
    7455 West 63rd Pl.,#302
    Summit, Illinois 60501

    If you don’t yet have one, United Way can start with people like me who will be ready in the near future, archiving our info, etc. Thank you for your time.

    Chris Mullen


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