Future Philanthropists Program

member contribution

NextGen Leaders in Philanthropy

NextGen Leaders is a giving group for emerging professionals and philanthropists in the Oak Park-River Forest area whose mission is to make a positive impact on the community and to develop its members into lifelong philanthropists.

Each spring we award capacity-building grants for small organizations or projects with operating budgets of less than $1,000,000 to increase their operational effectiveness and bring them to the next level of growth. View our Past Grants & Grantee Partners.

It is our hope that through organic membership growth, we will expand our Funds and presence in the community as one of its long-standing philanthropic contributors.

Join NextGen Leaders in Philanthropy to…
  • Collaborate with a diverse network of emerging professionals
  • Engage in social and fundraising events
  • Directly participate in our grant-awarding process

download application

Download a new member application here.

Questions about the grant submission process or how to become a NextGen Leaders member?
Email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., Development Associate,
or call 708-848-1560, x105

2022 Grants & Grantee Partners:

NextGen Leaders in Philanthropy are proud to share that the following organizations were selected in 2022 to receive capacity building grants:

Heph Foundation

Founded by Steve and Sheila Conner, the Heph Foundation helps learners find STEM-related pathways for success in school and the future workforce. This year, the Heph Foundation aims to reach a multitude of children with entertaining STEAM content by purchasing Motionbuilder, a 3D character animation software.

One Earth Collective

For over 10 years, One Earth Collective has worked hard to build environmental awareness and has inspired action in the Chicago area, as well as nationally, with an emphasis on developing youth leadership. Since their work focuses on the intersection of environmental, racial, and social justice, One Earth Collective will be applying their grant towards working with a consultant to provide DEI training for their staff and Board of Directors.

Member Roles

General Membership

In collaboration with the NextGen Chair, determines overall strategy for group

  • Encourages and welcomes new members
  • Gives or fundraises to support mission, as able
  • Attends social events, as able
  • Volunteers on a committee
  • Elects NextGen Chair and Committee Chairs
  • Approves grant recommendations from the Grants Committee
  • Meets quarterly



Grants Committee
  • Develops criteria for award and selection
  • Completes initial screening of proposals; determines final candidates
  • Reviews previous years’ awardees progress
  • Meets bi-monthly
Membership Committee
  • In collaboration with the NextGen Chair, sets new membership and retaining membership goals
  • Recruits and welcomes new members
  • Plans social and volunteer events, with support from CF Staff
  • Meets bi-monthly


as of May 2023

  • avendanoNestor Avendano
  • callahanJulia Callahan
    Grant Cycle
  • conveyJennifer Convey
  • judy ConwayJudy Conway
  • Julie CrossJulie Cross
  • diazCarina Diaz
  • Connor FlynnConnor Flynn
  • Alice Geglio
  • gutierrezLaura Gutierrez

  • hermanMeridian Herman

  • Darien Marion-BurtonDarien Marion-Burton

  • najeraSarah Najera
  • conveyCassaundra Sampson
    Social/Membership Co-Chair
  • Diana SheaDiana Shea
  • starrickMichael Starrick
  • Anne TanAnne Tan
    Social/Membership Co-Chair
  • waldenMark Walden
  • wisniewskiCheryl Wisniewski
  • rhea yapRhea Yap

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