What's the Big Idea?

Big ideas. Big change. Starting now.

Have you ever said to a friend, neighbor, co-worker or classmate, "What this community really needs is … "?
Are you looking for seed funding to launch your idea for community change?

A giving group established by the Oak Park-River Forest Community Foundation, Entrepreneur Leaders in Philanthropy (ELP) will award an annual seed grant of $50,000 from the ELP Fund for a transformative idea. Through a competitive process, the aim is to make our community the best place to live, work and grow.

Big Idea online with Laura Maychruk

maychruk comcast

 View the full interview. (4:37 min)

2019 Big Idea Finalists:

It's Our Future

Educate, engage and empower the next generation of sustainability leaders.

Kindness Creators Intergenerational Program

Pair early childhood learning with senior citizen involvement to build relationships and a social/emotional investment in the future of our community.

Maram Makerspace

Bring together people, knowledge, and tools (physical & digital) to spark inspiration, bridge the gap between the desire and the means to create, and build a collaborative, inclusive, community hub.

STEAM Fuel Lab

Reinvigorate STEM to make it so exciting and relevant that students won’t want to quit.


Create access to transformative after-school and summer enrichment opportunities, using a centralized recruitment strategy and application process to connect high-need K-8 Oak Park and River Forest students with available scholarships.


 in Philanthropy

Be a business leader making big change in Oak Park and River Forest! As an early investor in ELP, you will help shape the direction of ELP and provide guidance on the process and grantmaking. To become a member, complete this form, or contact Rhea Yap, Director of Donor & Fund Development at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or 708-848-1560 to discuss membership.

Who's Behind the BIG IDEA?

Core Committee


as of January 17, 2019

Share this page

Submit to FacebookSubmit to Twitter