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Chicago Community Trust to host "On the Table" dinners to celebrate historic centennial

The Chicago Community Trust—one of the top three longest-serving community foundations in the nation—will be celebrating its Centennial in May 2015. Chicago Loop Alliance is proud to announce our support and partnership in the anniversary celebration.

It was decided early in the Trust’s Centennial planning process to have the celebrations be a multi-year endeavor and far more substantive than just a "pat on the back." The Trust views this as an opportunity to focus on policies that can chart a bold and ambitious course for the next generation of Chicagoans; on the future model of philanthropy in all its iterations; and on generating new and innovative ideas for making progress on community priorities that should matter to us all.Throughout the organization of this momentous event, the imperative to connect with and engage Chicagoans in the process has been of foremost consideration.

Thus "On the Table," ​was born. On The Table will use the Trust’s 99th Anniversary on May 12, 2014 to launch the Centennial by recruiting at least 1,000 Chicagoans (using the term broadly to include the suburbs and collar counties) to host small dinners or other meal-time conversations (10 - 12 persons each) about the ways we can work together to build strong, stable, safe, secure, and economically viable communities.

The goal is engagement, inclusion and the innovation of collaborative ideas, both big and small, that can guide an agenda in which everyone feels like they have a stake in success. The Trust is aiming to recruit at least 10,000 individuals at 1,000 dinners throughout the metro area. Hosts can invite friends and colleagues, and/or the Trust will pull together an interesting and diverse selection of attendees from their database of people who register to participate. Dinner conversations should be forward-leaning, broadly-focused (avoiding single issues in favor of synergies) and relatively unstructured (although the Trust is developing, in collaboration with the UIC Institute on Civic Engagement, a Host Discussion Guide).

As the Trust prepares for its second century, theyand wehope these conversations will generate new ideas, inspire bold solutions, and cultivate relationships and collaborations that reinvent what it means to be part of a community.

The Chicago Community Trust is our region's leading community foundation donating more than $150 million to non-profit organizations in 2012. As nonprofit organizations, local governments and businesses strive to tackle issues of concern, the Trust provides civic leadership bringing all stakeholders to the common table. Working together, the Trust, its donors and its community partners leverage collective knowledge, creativity and resources for a greater impact than any of us can make alone.

(Photo: The Chicago Community Trust)


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