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)

2018 Big Idea Finalists:

Access to Swimming

Provides water safety training and basic swimming instruction to children before 3rd grade, as studies have shown that if they have not learned by then, they will most likely never learn.

Big Box of Play

So that every child has access to multiple spaces where play, creativity and imagination are encouraged and supported through traveling pop-up exhibits.

Excellence with Equity

Increases college and career readiness by building trusting relationships between students, teachers, and families and a safe space to support individual student and family needs.

From Lawns to Gardens II

Converts local lawns into toxin-free gardens and landscapes.

Suicide Safer Community

Talk saves lives, we hope to create a community that reduces suicide attempts and prevents the incidence of suicide.


 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 December 7, 2017

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