As many of this blog's readers know, we love hearing - and highlighting - great initiatives that drive social change, social benefit, and social impact in Chicago. One of those initiatives involves corporate philanthropy - companies partnering with nonprofits and other mission-driven organizations to make a definite impact. Many readers are also aware that we've highlighted the past efforts of the Chicago Charity Challenge (or "ChicagoChaCha") in the past, focusing on their unique model which fosters competition between company/nonprofit teams in fundraising goals.
Recently, the Chicago Charity Challenge welcomed 16 new and returning company teams that are working to make fundraising and philanthropy a competitive team sport. New and returning companies represent 11,349 employees throughout the Chicago metropolitan area. Facing off in the 2016 Chicago Charity Challenge, these teams will work towards dual goals: raising the most funds and providing the most volunteer support to their select nonprofits. Through the Chicago Charity Challenge’s friendly competition, corporations and their charity partners focus on Chicago-area issues of hunger, homelessness, poverty, disability, and disease. (Last year, Chicago Charity Challenge participants raised $14 million and volunteered 46,000 hours to aid 581 qualifying nonprofits). Employee teams are also building strategic partnerships that exponentially multiply giving efforts through meaningful, long-term relationships with their charities.
One new addition to 2016's Chicago Charity Challenge is their "Farm League" - a way for companies that want to try out the Charity Challenge to participate without making a full-fledged commitment. The Chicago Charity Challenge Farm League provides prospective companies a chance to foster philanthropic spirit throughout their organization in preparation for becoming a full participant in 2017. Plus, like their full-blooded Chicago Charity Challenge all-stars, Farm Leaguers have the opportunity to use GiveTrak™, a volunteer and fundraising management tool which enables companies to measure, track and report their employees’ volunteer hours and donations in real time. Given this "practice run", Farm League teams can strengthen their fundraising and collaborative abilities for a strong 2017 championship season. Farm League teams can potentially win special recognition for their team, or a small grant for their charity partner. Organizations interested in starting a Farm Team should contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Current Chicago Charity Challenge business/nonprofit teams are going the distance, raising more more than $5.5 million and over 9,500 hours of service during the first 2 months of the 2016 Chicago Charity Challenge. Current Chicago Charity Challenge teams include:
- Think Ahead / Gateway for Cancer Research
- Associated Agencies / Jarrett Payton Foundation
- Astellas / Have Dreams
- Chicago Fire Soccer Club / Chicago Fire Foundation
- CNA / Chicago Lights
- GGP / Open Books
- Harley-Davidson Financial Services / Chicago Coalition for the Homeless
- Kolcraft / March of Dimes
- Latham & Watkins / Do the Write Thing
- Mesirow Financial / Brighton Park Neighborhood Council
- Motorola Mobility / Citizen Schools
- NCSA / The Sports Shed
- Paramount Staffing / Advocates for Adolescent Mothers
- PwC / Youth Outreach Services,and
- The Scion Group / Horizons for Youth
Our primary blog mission is to highlight unique efforts and collaborations that drive social change in Chicago. We're really grateful for the opportunity to highlight organizations around the entire city, showcasing unique strategies that benefit the greater community. The Chicago Charity Challenge, with its emphasis on driving corporate philanthropy, has taken a strong lead in building a better Chicago, and we're grateful for the opportunity to advocate on their behalf.
But we're always willing to highlight efforts around the city, including those hidden, more grassroots/community-based initiatives that need a little spotlight. If you know of any organizations, please feel free to share them share them in the comments section below, or let us know via our Facebook page. (If you want to reach out privately, simply use this "Contact Me" form or any information via this blog's About page)
And as always, thanks for reading!
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