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    • 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.

      member contributionMember Contribution

    • We award small capacity building grants (up to $2,000) to organizations or projects with operating budgets of less than $1M that serve Oak Park-River Forest and our immediate surrounding communities.

      download View grant submissions guidelines.

    • 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-making process

      • Develop leadership skills

      download applicationDownload a new member application.

What is 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, through an innovative video grant making process, 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.

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.

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Learn more about grant submissions

2019 Grant Recipients

NextGen Leaders in Philanthropy is pleased to announce this year's grant recipients:

Echo Theater Collective bts stack Ping!

We award small capacity building grants (up to $2,000) to organizations or projects with operating budgets of less than $1M that serve Oak Park-River Forest and our immediate surrounding communities.

2020 Grant Cycle: Spring Application Deadline TBD

Upcoming Events

Meeting Dates:
October 10, 2019: Advisory Committee
November 7, 2019: Grants Committee
Social Events:
September 12, 2019: NextGen is partnering with 19th Century Club to host Mindboggle
October 22, 2019: Hambingo at Hamburger Mary's; 8-10pm

Committees & Roles

Advisory Committee (3 meetings)
  • determine overall strategy for group
  • recruit new members
  • elect committee officers
  • review fund performance
  • approve grant recommendations
  • meet quarterly
Grants Sub-Committee (4 meetings)
  • develop criteria for award and selection
  • complete initial screening of proposals; determine final candidates
  • review previous years’ awardees progress
  • meet bi-monthly
  • members at large may volunteer
Social & Fundraising Event Sub-Committee (4 planning meetings)
  • plan fun quarterly social and philanthropic events
  • recruit speakers
  • meet bi-monthly
  • members at large may volunteer

email2Questions 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., Senior Philanthropic Advisor, or call 708-848-1560


Advisory Committee Members

  • Lauren BrightmoreLauren Brightmore, Development & Event Coordinator, Oak Park River Forest Food Pantry
    LinkedIn
  • conveyJennifer Convey, Senior Associate Consultant at Giving Tree Associates
    LinkedIn
  • judy ConwayJudy Conway, Attorney at Cooney & Conway
    LinkedIn
  • Connor FlynnConnor Flynn, Buyer at Alliance Paper & Foodservice Equipment
    LinkedIn
  • Beth GunzelBeth Gunzel, Community Engagement Coordinator, Heifer International
    LinkedIn
  • Laura GutierrezLaura Gutierrez, Administrative Assistant, Programs at The Chicago Community Trust
    LinkedIn
  • Diana SheaDiana Shea, Yoga Teacher and Director at The Yoga Centre, www.DianaShea.com
    LinkedIn
  • StarrickMichael Starrick, Personal Banker at Community Bank of Oak Park River Forest
    LinkedIn
  • sullivanMaggie Sullivan, Account Coordinator at C.H. Robinson
    LinkedIn
  • wasserstromRoss Wasserstrom, Vice President, Operations at Avenue Computer
    LinkedIn
  • Chryl WisniewskiCheryl Wisniewski
    LinkedIn

Members-at-Large

  • Meridian Herman, Market Maven, The Salvation Army Chicago Metropolitan Division LinkedIn
  • Mark Walden, Program Coordinator, Oak Park-River Forest Chamber of Commerce LinkedIn
  • Doug Weismantle, Senior Accountant at AY USA - Intelligent Real Estate Solutions LinkedIn
  • Rhea Yap, Senior Philanthropic Advisor, Oak Park and River Forest Community Foundation  LinkedIn
  • Ken Zimmer, Financial Planning Specialist  LinkedIn

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