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Looking Back, Looking Ahead: 2017 CWIP Annual Meeting Report

Posted By Administration, Wednesday, September 13, 2017

“This has been a tremendously exciting and productive time for CWIP, stepping up for women and girls during these times of change and uncertainty,” outgoing board co-chair Maricar Ramos told attendees at the CWIP Annual Meeting in August. The event, which drew more than 130 attendees, included a roundup of the year’s wins and a preview of what’s to come.


Ramos presented some of the highlights of the CWIP 2016-17 year, including:

        Expanding the Women’s Leadership Mentoring Program program to add mentoring for mid-career professionals; five mentees were added to the program

        Launching a series of programs on racial equity and justice; “we felt it was important to take a stand with educational opportunities and an open space for discussions.” This theme will also be woven into future programming

        Implemented a new member database and web site

        Annual luncheon raised more than $50,000 and honored Elizabeth Dozier

        Successful events such as Face to Face with Funders, Speed Mentoring, and the Path to Racial Consciousness

        There are 251 CWIP members this year

Ramos reported the organization is ending its fiscal year with healthy reserves. “This allows us to be more innovative in our offerings, focusing on topics that advance women and girls,” she said.


Incoming board co-chair Rachael Marusarz presented the board slate for 2017-18. The slate was approved. Information about the CWIP board can be found here.


Treasurer Tawa Mitchell reported that the organization is in “great fiscal health” and had surpassed its financial goals for the year. This success allows the organization to reinvest into programs such as social justice and community outreach.


The meeting also included recognition of outgoing board members and outstanding volunteers. “These members work behind the scenes; they craft programs, orchestrate opportunities for funders and grantees, execute events, and bring us together for annual luncheons and coordinate communications mechanisms that keep us in the know,” presenters Katie Claussen Bell and Carolyn Nopar said. “We are grateful to you and the talents that you bring.” Outgoing board co-chair Bell and outgoing board member Maria Kim were thanked for their outstanding service. Volunteers Jacki Davidoff, Glynnis Hokenson, Alexis Allegra, Katherine Dreher, and Ann Wilson were also recognized.


CWIP members should keep their eyes open for communication about future events, Bell said. A continuation of the conversations on racial justice is tentatively planned for October 20, and the 2018 Annual Luncheon is tentatively planned for March 21.

--Anne Zender

To see more photos from the CWIP Annual Meeting, please click here.

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Tags:  Annual Meeting  CWIP Events 

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CWIP Courage Centered Dialoge Series

Posted By Jessica Richter, Thursday, July 20, 2017

Educator, writer, and facilitator Stacey Gibson urges listeners to practice the difficult emotional work of addressing how race impacts our lives and to commit to being anti-racist. Gibson spoke at the first of CWIP’s series of Courage-Centered Dialogues in mid-June. At the event, which tackled the issue of racial consciousness, Gibson challenged a room full of community leaders to start on a collective path of learning and understanding how race impacts our everyday lives. Race is one of the only places where we are encouraged to limit literacy, Gibson said, asking the audience to challenge those limitations and commit to a lifestyle of learning.

Join our e-mail list for more information on upcoming events in this series.

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Event Recap - Face to Face with Funders

Posted By Jessica Richter, Tuesday, May 23, 2017

By Caronina Grimble

Face to Face with Funders provided over 40 community organizations the unique opportunity to engage one-on-one with one of 20 local grantmakers and receive feedback on a grant proposal. From arts programs to workforce development and everything in between, pairs of funders and grantees filled the room with conversations about how to craft and present strong grant applications.
"There are a lot of amazing things happening across the city, and I wish we could fund them all" remarked one funder after hearing about an arts program looking to expand.
"Being able to talk directly with someone without the fear of any kind of backlash is incredibly helpful; I can freely ask questions of funders and not be afraid of the responses...and the feedback was invaluable" said a grantseeker.  
Through Face to Face with Funders, grantmakers are able to provide valuable support to nonprofit professionals, and grantseekers are able to further advance the mission of their organizations across the city. 

Stay tuned for next year's Face to Face with Funders. We hope to see you there! 

Tags:  CWIP Events  F2F  Face to Face with Funders 

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Getting to Know Our Members - Iris Krieg

Posted By Administration, Tuesday, May 23, 2017

An Interview with Iris Krieg by Katherine Dreher 

Chicago Women in Philanthropy (CWIP) is a community of philanthropic, corporate-giving, and nonprofit women. Our members are passionate about helping other women advance in society. Meet CWIP's founder, Iris Krieg. 

Why did you found Chicago Women in Philanthropy?
"The context of the time was completely different than it is today, this was years before the Chicago Foundation for Women, so we did not even have a place to focus that attention in the world of philanthropy.

When I entered philanthropy in the 1970s, most staff were men. There were very few women in the field. There were no women Trustees or Foundation Directors, leadership at the highest level was mostly male. When I came into this field, I felt alone. I did not have a lot of professional role models or mentors, and for years the field disparaged women's issues. Both in the funding world and in the not-for-profit community, women's issues were not taken seriously.

But I believed and continue to believe that when people get together they can make a difference, and what started as 12 women sharing a brown bag lunch once a month has grown to a network of hundreds of members and volunteers. This is what motivated us to start Chicago Women in Philanthropy and this is what continues to motivate me today."

Worst Professional Advice
"The worst professional advice that I ever received was 'don't trust women.' Another woman told me this and she said the other women in the work situation were untrustworthy and I should be very careful about that.

And it was a surprise to me because in my whole professional life women have always been the contacts, the support -- they have always been kind and informational. It is women who I have almost always had as mentors and sources of assistance, so I was really shocked by that and I am glad I did not heed it. But it reminded me that there were people before me who came from a different time.

The advice I would give to professional women in philanthropy is be positive. I think women want to help other women. I think women want other women to succeed."

Best Professional Advice
"The best advice I ever received was to stop apologizing, and to present yourself with assurance. Even if you feel unsure, present yourself as someone who is trustworthy, a leader, and has something to say, and you will be treated that way."

Iris Krieg is the Executive Director of Bright Promises Foundation and serves as a CWIP Mentor.  Our sincere thanks to her for founding Chicago Women in Philanthropy!

Tags:  Getting to Know our Members  Iris Krieg 

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Annual Luncheon 2017 - Speech from Lindrea Reynolds

Posted By Jessica Richter, Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Thank you again to Lindrea Reynolds for speaking on behalf of CWIP's WLMP program at this year's CWIP Annual Luncheon. Below is a copy of her speech for you to reread and be inspired by. 


I am so proud to represent the Women's Leadership Mentoring Program today. The reason why I applied to WLMP was because I wanted to learn this method on how to effectively merge my passion for youth development and brand development, so that I can thrive and do transformative work in my organization and in my future philanthropic work.


I remember the first time I met my mentor, Jean. I had my pen and notepad, my goals were written down, and I was ready to disclose all of my future endeavors and career aspirations. Jean calmly asked me, "how are you?" We indeed had a conversation about our careers, but also a little bit of our personal lives. In that moment and even some time afterwards, I didn't fully understand her method of mentorship. How is this the method to transformative leadership.


Her relaxed and steadily-paced style seemed to conflict with my fast paced, full speed ahead approach. But what Jean was teaching me was patience and work/ life Balance. Her approach and methodology was tailored to my needs. Our conversations calmed me and allowed me to think clearer, which is critical in decision making and so important in the work that we do because so many stakeholders depend on us. I learned that mentorship is not just about receiving a slew of educational resources and unwavering empowerment. It's actually a reciprocal relationship that can teach you life lessons to not only prepare you to be a phenomenal leader, but to become a better, healthier you. Jean's balanced life approach, calm tone, and personable conversations helped me to understand that my fast-based, get it done approach can lead to symptoms of stress and burnout. And with those symptoms, there's no way I can be truly be effective in my work and be responsible to the communities that I serve.


I also learned what responsibility and thriving really means. In many ways, it means "giving back". During the program, there was also a level of responsibility that challenged mentees to be accessible and to contribute to our mentors success as well. Jean and I were able to exchange resources and knowledge. That was invaluable, because it proved that regardless of what stage we are in our careers, our individual professional experiences can help someone else be extraordinary in the work that they do as well. It's called collaboration. My relationship with Jean, conversations with fellow mentees, along with our provided educational sessions gave me the confidence and skills to increase collaborations with staff and Leadership across my own organization. I've had the opportunity to sit in strategy meetings and share my point of view with leadership and see our ideas come to life and change the lives of Chicago youth. I have also recently joined the board of another not-for-profit, so that I can help young creatives flourish and continue to dream big, because I believe creative minds create change. I'm also proud to say that I had my first meeting with WLMP as a committee member so that I can give back what was given to me.


In closing, I believe that no matter where you sit, whether in a board room meeting or at your computer in a 6x6 cubicle, it's imperative to have a mentor. Especially if you want to become exceptional throughout every level of your philanthropic work. It's also important to receive that mentorship and pay it forward. Become a mentor yourself. I believe this is the path to transformative leadership and being impactful to the people that you serve. I really look forward to my continued journey, future collaborations, and continued growth in this industry. Thank you again WLMP for the opportunity to speak on behalf of this wonderful program. Thank you all for your time, and I am delighted to be a member of such an extraordinary group of women. Thank you.

Tags:  Annual Luncheon  Speeches 

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