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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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  • 21 Aug 2019 6:48 AM | Lisa Markovic (Administrator)


    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!


  • 16 May 2019 10:29 AM | Lisa Markovic (Administrator)
    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 wspnonline.org. 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 sodonnell@tritownymca.org.

  • 01 May 2019 8:00 AM | Lisa Markovic (Administrator)

    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!


  • 30 Apr 2019 9:00 AM | Lisa Markovic (Administrator)

    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

  • 13 Aug 2018 3:00 PM | Lisa Markovic (Administrator)

    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

  • 31 Jul 2018 9:37 AM | Lisa Markovic (Administrator)

    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. 


  • 11 Jan 2018 2:54 PM | Lisa Markovic (Administrator)


    Happy New Year!

    As we turn the page on 2017 and look forward to 2018 I wanted to share with you a few of the WSPN Board’s priorities for the year and how you can play a bigger role in our future.

    • We are committed to continuing offering exceptional educational and networking opportunities for our members.
    • We will be launching a new website with an updated look and increased usability to register for events and find the information you need.
    • We are shifting focus to more digital content and using our website, social media and emails to engage our members and provide resources.
    • Be on the lookout for a survey requesting your thoughts on what content and resources are important to you, we want to customize our channels for your needs!

    As we transition our quarterly print newsletter Cultivate to our digital channels I want to personally thank Jill McWilliams for her amazing work on this piece over the years. If anyone is interested in helping brainstorm the future of our newsletter content, please reach out to Lisa Markovic, Communications Chair.

    Finally, we are gearing up for our 16th Annual Philanthropy Awards Luncheon on May 22nd at the Abbington in Glen Ellyn. We are looking for members to join the planning committee to ensure a wonderful event for our honorees. Please reach out to Jessica Noe, Luncheon Co-Chair and we invite interested parties to attend the first committee meeting on January 17th at 4 p.m. at the Forest Preserve District office in Wheaton.

    Thank you for your commitment to bettering the lives of neighbors in our community. 

    I wish each and every one of you a happy, healthy and successful new year!

    Maeven Sipes

  • 05 Jan 2018 10:40 AM | Lisa Markovic (Administrator)

    WSPN is actively looking for support in the following areas. If you are interested in learning more about how you can get involved and help WSPN continue to provide quality educational programming and events for development professionals please let us know!

    Newsletter Committee - produces the quarterly printed newsletter, Cultivate

    • Committee Roles Needed
    •   Committee Chair/Editor
    • Writer/Researcher
    •  Designer

    If you are interested, please contact Maeven Sipes at msipes@northernilfoodbank.org

    Awards Luncheon Committee – plans and implements the May awards luncheon

    Committee Roles Needed

    • Logistics/Vendor Relationships
    • Sponsorship
    • Public Relations and Honoree/Presenter Coordinator
    • Designer
    • Mailing List and Registrations
    • Outstanding Volunteer Recognition

    If you are interested please contact Sarah O’Donnell at sodonnell@cradle.org

    Membership Committee – retain and increase membership and plan networking events

    Committee Roles Needed

    • Stewardship
    • Networking Events
    • Membership Materials
    • Prospect Research and Outreach

    If you are interested, please contact Courtney Simek at csimek@seniorhomesharing.org

  • 11 Jan 2016 5:19 PM | Maeven Sipes (Administrator)

    The West Suburban Philanthropic Network (WSPN), calls for nominations in eight major philanthropic categories for its 14th Annual Philanthropy Awards Luncheon on Tuesday, May 17. The purpose of the award program is to recognize and celebrate those individuals, businesses, foundations and organizations that provide so much to sustain and enhance the rich philanthropic environment that is fundamental to the quality of life in the western suburbs.


    Categories consist of:

    • Philanthropic Leadership Award - presented to an individual who has provided extraordinary leadership and resources or financial support to significantly impact the culture of philanthropy of one or more nonprofits or causes within the western suburbs.
    • Humanitarian of the Year - presented to an individual who has demonstrated an extraordinary humanitarian effort in making a major impact on the quality of life in the western suburbs.
    • Corporate/Foundation/Service Club Philanthropic Award - presented to an organization that has demonstrated an unusual commitment to the western suburbs through financial support, leadership and volunteerism. (Only one award will be presented for this category)
    • Nonprofit Executive of the Year - presented to a senior-level nonprofit executive who has demonstrated exceptional leadership in advancing the mission and services of his or her organization for the benefit of residents in the western suburbs.
    • Grantmaker of the Year - presented to a corporate or foundation philanthropic officer who has represented the donor organization with professional leadership while providing exceptional assistance to the west suburban nonprofit community.
    • Nonprofit Volunteer of the Year Award -  presented to an individual whose volunteerism has profoundly impacted programming and/or philanthropy of the local charity with which the individual serves as a volunteer.
    •  Young Philanthropist Award – presented to a youth leader or leaders who has exemplified commitment and dedication in helping the advancement of their local community in the western suburbs within the past two years. Ages 5-22 are eligible for award.
    • WSPN Distinguished Service Award - presented to a WSPN member whose efforts have helped to significantly advance the mission of WSPN.

    The deadline for submitting nominations is 5 p.m. Friday, January 29, 2016.  All nominations must be written in the form of a nomination letter (no more than two pages) and submitted to Jessica Noe at jnoe@feedingamerica.org or mailed to Feeding America, 35 E. Wacker Dr, Suite 2000, Chicago, IL 60601.

    Nomination letters should be 1-2 pages and must include the below items. For your reference, here are past nomination letters for Corporate Philanthropic Award, Philanthropic Leadership and Grantmaker

    • A detailed list of the nominee’s philanthropic accomplishments in the western suburbs, citing specific examples of the nominee’s fulfillment of the award category criteria. 
    • A list of the nominee’s achievements
    • Biographical information including the nominee’s address, phone, email and relevant professional experience.
    • Optional: Include supporting materials that may include copies of articles or reports.
    • If selected, a headshot of the nominee will be requested for publicity purposes. (Corporate/Foundation Philanthropic awardees will be asked to submit a logo.)

      Honorees and their nominators will be notified in February. Reservations for the luncheon will be accepted beginning in February. Individual tickets are $50 per person and sponsorship opportunities are available from $500 to $5,000. (Honorees will receive two complimentary tickets.)

      For more information regarding reservations or to inquire about ad rates and sponsorship opportunities, please contact Jessica Noe at jnoe@feedingamerica.org.

    • 30 Apr 2015 4:13 PM | Maeven Sipes (Administrator)

      The West Suburban Philanthropic Network is honoring Daniel and Carol Goodwin as our 2015 Philanthropists of the Year.

      On October 29, 2014 the DuPage County Historical Museum honored Daniel Goodwin with the 2014 Making a Historical Difference award. A video tribute was created showcasing Mr. Goodwin's impact in DuPage County. 

      WSPN congratulates Mr. and Mrs. Goodwin and thanks them for their generous contributions to our community.

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