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WSPN invites you to share information, best practices and resources that you believe will assist other fund development professionals in their professional development.
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  • Thursday, March 19, 2020 10:38 AM | Anonymous

    A large coalition of non-profits has been working on capital hill to float a $60B stimulus ask specifically for non-profits. Many are listed on the ‘Nonprofit Community COVID -19 Stimulus Letter 3-18-20’. The YMCA is asking that we reach out to all of you - to reach out to all of your non-profit partners and ask everyone to contact their Representatives and Senators TODAY if possible.

    The 3rd legislation stimulus package is being discussed now in Senate working groups – so time is of the essence. The Y is sharing documents that any organization can adapt to their needs – including a high level talking points doc and a grasstops letter that Y staff throughout the country are already mailing you can find them here and here.

    THIS WILL IMPACT ALL NON-PROFITS – so please participate in contacting your elected officials in DC or local offices AND please forward to all your non-profit partners. Even if their national partner is not listed on the partners letter – it does not matter!

    QUESTIONS? Click here.

  • Friday, March 06, 2020 10:20 AM | Anonymous


    Tuesday, April 21, 2020
    9:00 AM - 4:00 PM 

    Harold Washington Library Center, 
    Lower Level, 
    400 South State Street, Chicago IL 

    Registration Now Open 


    • Keynote presentation by Marilyn Foster Kirk, CFRE on "Strategic Planning for Fundraising Capacity"
    • Funder panel with representatives from the Chicago Community Trust, Bosch Community Fund and more
    • 4 breakout sessions, including Jacki Davidoff on drama-free workplaces, Lauren Wright on reframing human services, and Forefront on strategic partnerships

    Full conference is eligible for 5.5 GPC/CFRE continuing education hours

    Program details available at this link. 

    Registration Rates

    • Full Conference = $115 early-bird/$150 after April 7 (includes continental breakfast and buffet lunch)  Click here to register for the full conference
    • Livestream only = $75 early-bird/$110 after April 7 (includes keynote, funder panel and two breakout sessions)  Click here to register for the live stream only  

    This special event is sponsored by

  • Monday, February 10, 2020 2:34 PM | Anonymous

    And the winner is…

    I'm not sure if you had a chance to watch the Oscar show this past weekend, or any of the other awards shows, but when seeing all the glitz and the glamour, I couldn't help but think about our Awards Luncheon in May.

    Although there is not a red carpet, and we don't typically dress in the gowns and tuxedos as seen at the Oscars, there are certainly superstars present. Philanthropists, foundations, generous volunteers, financial supporters, incredible staff, organization leadership, and amazing causes, these are all present each year at the Luncheon.

    As a lifelong extrovert, I get recharged by being with others. So when I leave the Luncheon after seeing all the incredible work accomplished in the nonprofit sector, it always leaves me feeling recharged. I hope you'll join us and hear and see some of the exciting things happening in our organizations.

    This year, I ask you all to think about the individuals, organizations, foundations, you know. Consider nominating the superstars, be it a longtime fundraising veteran, incredible volunteer, or brand new 'rising star.' Join us in celebrating the great work that is done every day in our communities. Maybe we'll even add some celebrity performances this year-maybe?

    Kate Bousum, CFRE
    WSPN President

    Submit your nominations now before it's too late!

    Nominations are being accepted now through February 14, 2020. To learn more or to submit your nominations click here.

    QUESTIONS? Click here.

    Let's face it, work can be a stressful place. That's where our February program comes in-in this program we'll help you learn how to Manage Stress & Increase Resilience, improving your self-care strategies, optimize your energy, and increase your performance at work.

    Join us and take advantage of these positive health choices!

    Click here to learn more and register today.

    When was the last time you looked at your WSPN Membership profile??? Please take a moment to see if your profile is up to date.

    To sign into your account, go to the WSPN Homepage.

    Click the icon in the top right-hand corner to log in.

    If you are having problems logging into your profile, click here. We are happy to help you out!

  • Monday, January 20, 2020 2:00 PM | Anonymous

    Bring on 2020!!! Start the New Year off right with our Winter Social, WSPN's Re"SOLUTION" 2020, and while you're making those New Years' resolutions, make sure you nominate a well-deserving individual, business, foundation, or corporation for our 18th Annual Philanthropy Awards Luncheon.

    So get out your 2020 calendar now, because we don't want you to miss a moment of fabulousness with WSPN!

    Your WSPN Crew


    Join us for Cocktails, Conversation & Connections on Tuesday, February 4, 2020 from 5-7 pm at Yerbabuena Mexican Cuisine in Lisle for WSPN's Re"SOLUTION" 2020!

    Let's come together in celebration of our philanthropic accomplishments of 2019, and share a personal or professional goal you have resolved to achieve in 2020!

    Click here to register today!

    Submit your nominations for the 2020 WSPN Philanthropy Awards. Nominations are being accepted now through February 14, 2020. To learn more and to submit your nominations click here.

    Did you attend our program last Thursday? Please take a moment to fill out our 2 minute survey to let us know your thoughts by clicking here. Thank you in advance for your participation!

    Treat yourself right in the New Year, you deserve it. At the cost of only $40 a year, you too can be a WSPN Member with free access to 8-10 educational programs (A $200 value) and our WSPN Cocktails, Conversations, & Connections Happy Hour. JOIN NOW!

  • Wednesday, August 21, 2019 6:48 AM | Anonymous


    Wednesday, August 21st, 2019

    Time certainly does fly.

    It’s already August, which seems impossible, but for many, this time of year is about new starts, beginnings, and some excitement mixed with tears.

    I want to lead off with saying thank you! Thank you for the incredible work you do for the fantastic organization, for which you work. Thank you for your dedication, the late hours, the new ideas, the excitement, and most importantly, the passion you bring to your work every day. You truly inspire me!

    It is incredibly humbling for me to serve as the President for this association of nonprofit professionals and fundraisers. If you are new to WSPN, welcome, it is an incredible group. WSPN is a vibrant community of development professionals contributing to a wide variety of perspectives and experiences, and will understand the challenges you face in ways that perhaps you may not yet!

    I highly encourage you to attend our educational events and social opportunities. In the educational sessions I’ve attended, folks have encouraged that each professional should have their own board of directors. WSPN will offer you the best of our field to become your friends, your support, possibly your colleagues, and perhaps even your “Board.”

    There are some exciting things in store for WSPN this year, and again, I hope you will get involved, attend sessions, and share your feedback. This group can only serve all of you, the members, with your input on what would better support you in your career both in the day to day and in your long term goals.

    Brene Brown inspires me regularly, but I recently read this quote from her and thought of all my fellow fundraisers. “You can choose courage, or you can choose comfort, but you cannot have both.” I have never met a rockstar nonprofit person (LIKE YOU!) that wasn’t making a daily choice to be courageous.

    Have a wonderful week, and as I remind my little one as she goes to school each day – Be Kind, Be Brave!


  • Thursday, May 16, 2019 10:29 AM | Anonymous
    Press Release

    Contact: Sarah O’Donnell,
    CEO Tri-Town YMCA, 

    May 15, 2019

    WSPN Announces 17th Annual Philanthropy Awards Honorees & Finalist

    Wheaton, Illinois.—The West Suburban Philanthropic Network (WSPN) is pleased to announce the 2019 honorees and finalists who will be recognized at the 17th Annual Philanthropy Awards Luncheon on Tuesday, May 21st at Abbington Distinctive Banquets 3S002 IL Route 53, Glen Ellyn, Illinois 60137.

    WSPN takes great pride in recognizing these individuals and organizations who, through their generous donations of funding, leadership and time, have done so much to enrich the more than 8,000 nonprofits working throughout the western Chicago suburbs. These nonprofits work daily to make a difference in areas such as education, healthcare, arts and culture, social services, the environment, and religion to enhance the quality of life throughout our communities.

    This year marks 17 years that WSPN has been honoring outstanding leaders, philanthropists, and volunteers in the western suburbs.  Over 350 attendees are expected for the 2019 Awards Luncheon, which will celebrate the contributions of the following individuals:


    • Heidi & Peter* Huizenga (Oak Brook)


    • Candace King (Glen Ellyn)


    • Patricia Fragen (Naperville)


    • The Greer Foundation (Alsip)


    • Hawthorne's Backyard (West Chicago)


    • The Naperville Woman's Club (Naperville)


    • June Barnard (Downers Grove), The Driskill Foundation

    WSPN DISTINGUISHED SERVICE PERSON OF THE YEAR FINALISTS (winner announced during luncheon): 

    • Greg Adzia (Plainfield), Houndstooth Marketing 
    • Cathy McCann (Downers Grove), Topfer Foundation
    • Jessica Noe (Naperville), Feeding America

    NONPROFIT VOLUNTEER OF THE YEAR FINALISTS (winner announced during luncheon): 

    • Dietre Hayford (Hinsdale), Hinsdale Humane Society
    • Mick McKillip (Woodridge), West Suburban Community Pantry 
    • Howard Peterson (Wheaton), DuPage Habitat for Humanity ReStore
    • Dr. Keith Suchy (Wheaton), Chicago Dental Society Foundation
    • Karen Tulloch (Naperville), YWCA Metropolitan Chicago

    NONPROFIT EXECUTIVE OF THE YEAR FINALISTS (winner announced during luncheon):

    • Judie Caribeaux (Wheaton), Family Shelter Services
    • Lisa Drake (Wheaton), CASA of DuPage
    • Mike Havala (Naperville), Loaves & Fishes Community Services
    • Sarah Orleans (Naperville), DuPage Children's Museum
    • Barb Thayer (Hinsdale), Robert Crown Center for Health Education

    In addition, over 70 attendees will be recognized as Outstanding Volunteers for their extraordinary work in and around the western suburbs. 

    “This luncheon has been an outstanding opportunity to honor individuals and organizations whose impact is felt throughout the western suburbs,” said Sarah O’Donnell, Awards Luncheon Co-Chair.“We are committed to advancing philanthropy in our community and this luncheon recognizes the many who help achieve that goal.”

    About WSPN
    Established in 1986, WSPN brings together more than 200 members from the philanthropic community of the western suburbs of Chicago. WSPN is a volunteer-led organization dedicated to advancing philanthropy and helping to meet the needs of suburban philanthropic organizations. We provide the opportunity for development professionals to join their peers and continually develop their skills. Our vibrant professional community, along with practical and compelling programs, empowers and inspires our members to contribute at a higher level to their nonprofit organization's success. WSPN is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization.

    For more information about WSPN, visit Opportunities for feature stories, quotes, interviews, and photos are available as well as recognition as a media partner. Media representatives are encouraged to attend, with complimentary tickets available upon request. To make arrangements, email Sarah O’Donnell, Awards Luncheon Chair, at

  • Wednesday, May 01, 2019 8:00 AM | Anonymous

    May 2019 Newsletter


    IT'S MAY! You know what that means, it's AWARD LUNCHEON month! Only a few weeks until the Big Day. Time for the pre-event checklist...have you:

    • Purchased tickets or secured a table for you and 19 of your fellow philanthropic cohorts?
    • Recognized an Outstanding Volunteer at your organization (just add them during Registration)?
    • Started to plan what your going to wear on the Big Day?
    • Volunteered to help the hard working WSPNer's on the Big Day? Maybe help with greeting, registration check-in, photo booth support, reception set-up, goodie bag packaging, collecting name tags, clean up - as you can see, there's a ton to do! If you're willing to be a Luncheon MVP and volunteer please email Sarah O'Donnell.

    17th Annual Philanthropy Awards Luncheon
    Tuesday, May 21
    Abbington Distinctive Banquets, 3S002 IL Route 53, Glen Ellyn




    “Of the Community.” How a New African-American Giving Circle is Gaining Steam

    As part of our ongoing coverage of giving circles across the country, we’re always on the lookout for emerging groups that advance the philanthropic power of women, people of color, and other disenfranchised groups. Often, these giving circles are established out of a sense that mainstream philanthropy isn’t paying enough attention to historically marginalized communities. Giving circles offer a way to channel this frustration into action. But their growing popularity also speaks to rising interest in philanthropy overall, with more people getting involved in giving with whatever resources they have.





    Thank you to all of you that participated in the first "Food For Thought" Event. Couldn't make it? Well, this is what you missed. A group of the "brightest minds" in philanthropy participated in an open-table format. Each participant was able to address challenges, share successes or ask questions of the group for ideas, suggestions and resources. Don't worry, we're working on scheduling some other date and we'll keep you posted.


    Is there a WSPN Member that is tackling a new opportunity? Keep us updated by messaging us on Facebook and we'll include the exciting news in future editions of Cultivate.


    DuPage County Awards $1 Million to Nonprofit Agencies

    The DuPage County Board awarded a total of $1 million to local nonprofits today through the DuPage County Human Services Grant Fund.

    Health and Human Services Committee Chairman Bob Larsen said the fund was created by the County Board to partner with agencies directly serving the needs of DuPage County residents.

    “The DuPage County nonprofits who received program awards today provide vital community services as part of our County’s safety net, protecting our most vulnerable populations. This public-private partnership helps them to pursue additional private and public support to assist the largest number of people possible. We are honored to help improve the lives of DuPage County residents through this program,” Larsen said. 




    Successful Board Fundraising-Tips and Practical Advice from Small, Medium and Large Organizations

    Are your Board of Directors actively a part of your Fundraising and Philanthropy plans?  Join fellow WSPN members on June 20th for a panel discussion from 3 regional not-for-profit organizations that reflect the small, medium, and large scales of successful board engagement in fundraising ideas and best practices.  This panel will explore the practical approaches to build collective buy in with your board members for small and large fundraising goals, and how to best communicate and track involvement to get the best results. 

    Special Volunteer Opportunity: Please note an additional registration is available to participate in a unique volunteer opportunity supporting the Northern Illinois Food Bank on site immediately following this program. Please consider extending your morning if possible and participating as a food bank volunteer  from 10AM-11:30AM. Click the volunteer registration to learn more.

    Board Elections: The June program is also the venue to cast your vote for the 2019-2020 WSPN Officers. So, just one more reason to mark your calendar and attend the June Program.




    WSPN is strong because of you! Our membership is the foundation for our 100% volunteer based organization. With more members there are more ideas, better collaboration and stronger networking opportunities. If you need to renew your membership, you can do so by logging into the website and please keep WSPN in mind when talking to other non-profit and fundraising professionals. We'd love to have them!


  • Tuesday, April 30, 2019 9:00 AM | Anonymous

    Our April program, The Business Case Behind Building Diverse Teams in the Nonprofit Workplace, was such an important program, we wanted to share some additional information with you on this topic that was provided by our fabulous panel of speakers:

    There is a Racial Equity regional Initiative being directed by the WK Kellogg Foundation on Truth, Racial Healing, and Transformation:

    Also, the Independent Sector is hosting the Upswell Conference in Chicago in the Fall: 

    DEI definition links:  

    Lastly, several people were interested in my/our recommendations for DEI consultants. The Morten Group is Betsy Rubenstein's first ecommendation. 

    Thanks & regards,

    Michelle Mobley & Shelley Bromberek-Lambert
    Program Leads

  • Monday, August 13, 2018 3:00 PM | Anonymous

    209 Together Scholarship Recipients, Volunteers and Board Members

    WSPN Member, Michelle Woehrle, Executive Director at MPN Research Foundation (MPNRF) shared with us how her organization will be soon launching a longitudinal biobank project that will identify mutations and symptoms and other clues leading up to progression to a worse form of the cancers which MPNRF funds research into.

    Michelle is also involved in a group out of River Forest, 209 Together, which just raised $18,000 to fund scholarships for graduates of Proviso East, Proviso West and Proviso Math and Science Academy. They were so successful they got to give out $500 more per scholar! Omolabake Oyetayo, one of their scholarship recipients was featured in  The Village Free Press

  • Tuesday, July 31, 2018 9:37 AM | Anonymous

    We love our WSPN community and want to meet your needs.
    Mind taking a survey on how we can best communicate with you? 
    We'd be so grateful. 


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