Partners for the Future

Since 2010, Evanston Community Foundation has had an extraordinary opportunity to invest in the capacity of high-performing Evanston organizations.

Anonymous donors have contributed over $700,000 to create the Partners for the Future Fund at the Foundation in order to provide matching funds in the range of $50,000 to $100,000 to help build organizations’ ability to increase major gifts, as well as other intiatives to build nonprofit development capacity.

1:1 matching gift challenge grants

Partners for the Future is a long-term project. Over a number of years, a succession of organizations will be awarded 1:1 matching gift challenge grants to double their donors' new and increased giving. Each organization has twelve months to meet its fundraising objectives. Funds can be used for current operations, held in operating reserves, or used to create or add to endowments.

grant process

Partners for the Future is by invitation only for Evanston based nonprofits.

seven successes and counting

Since 2010, seven organizations have successfully completed a Partners for the Future Challenge. Books and Breakfast, the current grantee, is working to match $100,000 in major gifts by spring 2021. The previous grantee, Youth Job Center, raised $100,000 in major gifts by in 2018-19. They were preceded by the YWCA Evanston/North Shore in 2010-11, Connections for the Homeless in 2011-12, Housing Options (Impact Behavioral Health Partners as of 2017) in 2013-14, Center for Independent Futures in 2014-15, Evanston Scholars in 2015-16, and the James B. Moran Center for Youth Advocacy in 2016-17.

"Partners for the Future was transformative for our organization," says Kathy Slaughter, Vice President for Development at the YWCA Evanston/North Shore. All of the organizations who have completed these challenges report that the impact on the way their staff and board think about working with donors has been crucial in building their organizations' ability to gain support for their missions.