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Evanston Community Foundation Raises Over $160,000 At Annual Celebrate!Evanston Fundraiser

September 26, 2022 | For Immediate Release

Evanston, IL- Over 280 guests attended the Evanston Community Foundation’s (ECF) sold out Celebrate!Evanston fundraiser on Thursday, September 22nd from 6-9pm at the Palmhouse Evanston located at 619 Howard Street. The event commemorated the organization’s 30th year of its signature programming: Leadership Evanston- an intensive leadership training program designed to develop local community leaders. The event also served to spotlight the organization’s evolution as they embrace a bold new strategic plan designed to promote systemic racial justice by implementing four new strategic pillars: Elevating Voices, Building Justice and Resiliency, Connecting and Strengthening Evanston’s nonprofit sector, and Evolving ECF through Ubuntu. A South African philosophy- translated as “I am because you are”- from which CEO and President Sol Anderson has been able to draw inspiration for his tenure. Specifically, as it relates to ECF’s organizational integrity, vision, and strategic plan. 

“We’re going to strengthen ourselves through the spirit of Ubuntu” said Anderson as he laid out the organization’s pillars of the newly adopted strategic plan to a crowd of nearly 300. “This includes ensuring that internally and externally, we are living our values of equity, inclusion, justice, and repair; because we can't ask our partners and our colleagues to do that if we’re not doing that for ourselves. So, we’re going to hold ourselves accountable to those measures as well.” 

Guests also enjoyed live music and fantastic food as they learned of the exciting organizational changes underway at the Foundation. Specifically, the promotion of Program Officer Karli Butler to her new role as Director of Community Leadership as Jennifer Moran, former Director of Leadership Evanston, transitions her leadership to legacy. Moran reflected on nine years of leadership in her role as Director of Leadership Evanston, while Butler relished the moment as she declared being “purposely positioned” in her new journey during their respective remarks to the audience. Butler and Moran were also joined by colleague and community convener Jenny Valdes Del Valle, for her promotion to Program Officer. 

Overall, Celebrate!Evanston created space for the community to gather and invest in the mission together. The evening will empower the work of the Foundation and allow us to collectively invest in a stronger Evanston - For Now, Forever, and For Everyone. The Evanston Community Foundation (ECF) helps Evanston thrive now and forever as a vibrant, equitable, and inclusive Evanston, where every member of the community can thrive. Through community-driven grantmaking, leadership training, and making connections, ECF enables Evanston nonprofits and community organizations to deliver their mission more effectively. ECF leverages the generosity of its donors, so their charitable giving can have the greatest impact on the community.