Learn About

 

CLA Social Impact Projects

 

The CLA has been built for today’s Millennial leader who doesn’t just want to sit on the sidelines and watch (or complain), but for those of us who desire to work together, build solutions, and play an active role in the future of Chicago.

Rather than focus on just one issue, The CLA provides our members with an opportunity to get involved with dozens of causes, organizations, projects, population segments, and geographical areas in Chicago. We also offer the necessary support and resources so our members can launch their own social impact organizations and initiatives, which pertain to causes they’re personally passionate about.

Below are overviews of some of the projects we've recently taken on:

Techweek Gives

  • Issue: The need to drive awareness of STEM/STEAM programs in Chicago + the fact that there isn’t a great mechanism that promotes giving amongst the entrepreneurial tech ecosystem.
  • Beneficiary: STEAM Programs and Chicago nonprofits overall.
  • Date: Mar 16, 2017

Read More

 

Partnership with Cara Chicago

  • Issue: The need to help motivated individuals break the cycle of poverty and homelessness.
  • Beneficiary: Cara and their unemployed or underemployed students
  • Date: Feb 14, 2017

Read More

 

Chicago Tech Rocks

  • Issue: STEM and STEAM programs need more funding, and awareness
  • Beneficiary: 6 Chicago STEM Programs
  • Date: Aug 13, 2016

Read More

 

Muslim American Leadership Alliance

  • Issue: The need to elevate public dialogue on Muslim-American identity in the 21st Century, unite all Americans in a common struggle for freedom and human rights, and partner with civic leaders to strengthen community and counter extremism.
  • Beneficiary: Muslim American Community
  • Date: Jul 19, 2016

Read More

 

Signs of Change

  • Issue: Process to get a sign permit in the city is way too long, and antiquated.
  • Beneficiary: Chicago's Small Business Community
  • Date: Jul 4, 2016

Involvement The CLA worked hand in hand with The Small Business Advocacy Council to spearhead Signs of Change. We brought together a coalition of over 40 local business groups, alderman, and chambers of commerce to all work together on supporting this initiative. The CLA was also very influential in helping to develop the strategy, messaging, and process for Signs of Change.

Impact The ordinance, along with companion administrative changes, reduces the time it takes to obtain a public way use permit by 50 to 80%. In some circumstances, the city estimates these reforms reduce the process by two-and-a-half months. In addition to reducing the number of days for business owners to obtain their public way sign permits, there are also about 130 other public way uses including canopies, benches and awnings that will be issued more quickly because of this ordinance.

Quote "The CLA was a fantastic partner for Signs of Change. They brought initiative, ideas, and effort to the table. There is no way that Signs of Change would have gotten off the ground, much less succeeded, without The CLA being involved from the start!" -Elliot Richardson, President, The SBAC.

Read Less

 

Community Startups

  • Issue: Chicago Public Schools students have BIG ideas that could potentially transform their communities but no pathway to formally develop those ideas into revenue generating businesses that can seed scholarships and grants.
  • Beneficiary: Chicago Public Schools Youth
  • Date: May 25, 2016

Involvement CLA members devoted over 30 hours of skills-based volunteerism and $5,000 in sponsorships and in-kind resources to Community Startups' pilot accelerator program. Working alongside two teams of youth, CLA was able to help develop, prototype and craft business models that were pitched to a panel of investors.

Impact The goal of Community Startups' Summer Accelerator is to create social impact products and business models that can be acquired, licensed or sold and seed educational scholarships and entrepreneurial grants for CPS students. One of the teams of students was able to catch the eye of an investor who is in the process of seeding a production run of their product. Success from this pilot allowed Community Startups to expand their program to include additional teams for the 2017 Accelerator.

Quote “Startups rely heavily on early stage supporters who are willing to provide resources that enable the success of pilots and test cases. We put out a request for mentors, corporate sponsorships, and various in-kind resources to the Chicago Leadership Alliance and were amazed by the quick responses of "YES!". Our pilot Summer Accelerator would not have been possible without the support of the CLA and we look forward to partnering with them again this upcoming year, making an impact in the lives of CPS students on the south and west side of Chicago." -Beth Bond, CLA Member and Community Startups founder

Read Less

 

Solve Chicago

  • Issue: The job opportunity gap. Specifically, the need to create a network of every workforce nonprofits and align them with neighborhoods and community leaders, job seekers, etc.
  • Beneficiary: Underserved, distressed neighborhoods and workforce development nonprofits.
  • Date: May 17, 2016

Read More

 

Working with DePaul Students

  • Issue: Mentorship and work experience for students
  • Beneficiary: DePaul University and their students
  • Date: Apr 20, 2016

Involvement In April, The Chicago Leadership Alliance announced it's official partnership with DePaul University's Center for Creativity & Innovation.  This partnership is focused around The CLA engaging with DePaul and it’s students in various ways: Providing a pipeline for DePaul students to apply for open internship opportunities at CLA-run companies; CLA members actively mentoring students; Guest lecturing by CLA members; Students and CLA members engaging in ideation sessions together.

Impact As of February 2017, The CLA and DePaul have engaged in multiple sessions and events together, providing mentorship, learning experiences, and real-world connections for hundreds of DePaul Students.

Quote "The CLA has collaborated with us on events for our students, bringing business leaders into the classroom and on campus to mentor and inspire future entrepreneurs and innovators.  A panel of CLA members spoke on leadership and career development, sharing strategies and tips with students about to enter the workforce.  We have had CLA members work with our students in interactive sessions to generate innovative ideas for businesses, enabling students to see first-hand some of the challenges and opportunities facing organizations. Working with the CLA has been incredibly beneficial to our students as they get the opportunity to meet some of the city's most transformative leaders and learn about how to create a meaningful work life tied to the community." -Lisa Gundry, Professor of Management & Entrepreneurship

Read Less

 

CLAremix

  • Issue: Startup charity needing awareness and support
  • Beneficiary: The Remix Project
  • Date: Oct 23, 2015

Involvement The CLA hosted "CLAremix" which was an evening of art, music performances, dance and photography. Hosted at Lacuna Lofts in Pilsen, over 200 people attended. The beneficiary for CLAremix was The Remix Project, a local 501c3 here in Chicago. The Remix Project was created in order to help level the playing field for young people from disadvantaged, marginalized and under served communities. Their programs and services serve youth who are trying to enter into the creative industries or further their formal education. The Remix Project provides top-notch alternative, creative, educational programs, facilitators and facilities.

Impact The event helped to bring awareness and publicity to the outstanding work being done by The Remix Project. The event also gave kids involved in The Remix Project the opportunity to either perform live on stage, or actually sell some of their artwork. Finally, the CLA was able to award The Remix Project with over $6000 as a result from sponsorships and ticket sales!

Quote "Partnering with The CLA on this event was amazing. They exposed us and our mission to well over 300 people in Chicago, and provided us with some much needed seed capital. Unreal!" -Corey Jenkins, Director of Programming. The Remix Project

Learn About

 

CLA Social Impact Projects

 

The CLA has been built for today’s Millennial leader who doesn’t just want to sit on the sidelines and watch (or complain), but for those of us who desire to work together, build solutions, and play an active role in the future of Chicago.

Rather than focus on just one issue, The CLA provides our members with an opportunity to get involved with dozens of causes, organizations, projects, population segments, and geographical areas in Chicago. We also offer the necessary support and resources so our members can launch their own social impact organizations and initiatives, which pertain to causes they’re personally passionate about.

Below are overviews of some of the projects we've recently taken on:

Techweek Gives

  • Issue: The need to drive awareness of STEM/STEAM programs in Chicago + the fact that there isn’t a great mechanism that promotes giving amongst the entrepreneurial tech ecosystem.
  • Beneficiary: STEAM Programs and Chicago nonprofits overall.
  • Date: Mar 16, 2017

Read More

 

Partnership with Cara Chicago

  • Issue: The need to help motivated individuals break the cycle of poverty and homelessness.
  • Beneficiary: Cara and their unemployed or underemployed students
  • Date: Feb 14, 2017

Read More

 

Chicago Tech Rocks

  • Issue: STEM and STEAM programs need more funding, and awareness
  • Beneficiary: 6 Chicago STEM Programs
  • Date: Aug 13, 2016

Read More

 

Muslim American Leadership Alliance

  • Issue: The need to elevate public dialogue on Muslim-American identity in the 21st Century, unite all Americans in a common struggle for freedom and human rights, and partner with civic leaders to strengthen community and counter extremism.
  • Beneficiary: Muslim American Community
  • Date: Jul 19, 2016

Read More

 

Signs of Change

  • Issue: Process to get a sign permit in the city is way too long, and antiquated.
  • Beneficiary: Chicago's Small Business Community
  • Date: Jul 4, 2016

Involvement The CLA worked hand in hand with The Small Business Advocacy Council to spearhead Signs of Change. We brought together a coalition of over 40 local business groups, alderman, and chambers of commerce to all work together on supporting this initiative. The CLA was also very influential in helping to develop the strategy, messaging, and process for Signs of Change.

Impact The ordinance, along with companion administrative changes, reduces the time it takes to obtain a public way use permit by 50 to 80%. In some circumstances, the city estimates these reforms reduce the process by two-and-a-half months. In addition to reducing the number of days for business owners to obtain their public way sign permits, there are also about 130 other public way uses including canopies, benches and awnings that will be issued more quickly because of this ordinance.

Quote "The CLA was a fantastic partner for Signs of Change. They brought initiative, ideas, and effort to the table. There is no way that Signs of Change would have gotten off the ground, much less succeeded, without The CLA being involved from the start!" -Elliot Richardson, President, The SBAC.

Read Less

 

Community Startups

  • Issue: Chicago Public Schools students have BIG ideas that could potentially transform their communities but no pathway to formally develop those ideas into revenue generating businesses that can seed scholarships and grants.
  • Beneficiary: Chicago Public Schools Youth
  • Date: May 25, 2016

Involvement CLA members devoted over 30 hours of skills-based volunteerism and $5,000 in sponsorships and in-kind resources to Community Startups' pilot accelerator program. Working alongside two teams of youth, CLA was able to help develop, prototype and craft business models that were pitched to a panel of investors.

Impact The goal of Community Startups' Summer Accelerator is to create social impact products and business models that can be acquired, licensed or sold and seed educational scholarships and entrepreneurial grants for CPS students. One of the teams of students was able to catch the eye of an investor who is in the process of seeding a production run of their product. Success from this pilot allowed Community Startups to expand their program to include additional teams for the 2017 Accelerator.

Quote “Startups rely heavily on early stage supporters who are willing to provide resources that enable the success of pilots and test cases. We put out a request for mentors, corporate sponsorships, and various in-kind resources to the Chicago Leadership Alliance and were amazed by the quick responses of "YES!". Our pilot Summer Accelerator would not have been possible without the support of the CLA and we look forward to partnering with them again this upcoming year, making an impact in the lives of CPS students on the south and west side of Chicago." -Beth Bond, CLA Member and Community Startups founder

Read Less

 

Solve Chicago

  • Issue: The job opportunity gap. Specifically, the need to create a network of every workforce nonprofits and align them with neighborhoods and community leaders, job seekers, etc.
  • Beneficiary: Underserved, distressed neighborhoods and workforce development nonprofits.
  • Date: May 17, 2016

Read More

 

Working with DePaul Students

  • Issue: Mentorship and work experience for students
  • Beneficiary: DePaul University and their students
  • Date: Apr 20, 2016

Involvement In April, The Chicago Leadership Alliance announced it's official partnership with DePaul University's Center for Creativity & Innovation.  This partnership is focused around The CLA engaging with DePaul and it’s students in various ways: Providing a pipeline for DePaul students to apply for open internship opportunities at CLA-run companies; CLA members actively mentoring students; Guest lecturing by CLA members; Students and CLA members engaging in ideation sessions together.

Impact As of February 2017, The CLA and DePaul have engaged in multiple sessions and events together, providing mentorship, learning experiences, and real-world connections for hundreds of DePaul Students.

Quote "The CLA has collaborated with us on events for our students, bringing business leaders into the classroom and on campus to mentor and inspire future entrepreneurs and innovators.  A panel of CLA members spoke on leadership and career development, sharing strategies and tips with students about to enter the workforce.  We have had CLA members work with our students in interactive sessions to generate innovative ideas for businesses, enabling students to see first-hand some of the challenges and opportunities facing organizations. Working with the CLA has been incredibly beneficial to our students as they get the opportunity to meet some of the city's most transformative leaders and learn about how to create a meaningful work life tied to the community." -Lisa Gundry, Professor of Management & Entrepreneurship

Read Less

 

CLAremix

  • Issue: Startup charity needing awareness and support
  • Beneficiary: The Remix Project
  • Date: Oct 23, 2015

Involvement: The CLA hosted "CLAremix" which was an evening of art, music performances, dance and photography. Hosted at Lacuna Lofts in Pilsen, over 200 people attended. The beneficiary for CLAremix was The Remix Project, a local 501c3 here in Chicago. The Remix Project was created in order to help level the playing field for young people from disadvantaged, marginalized and under served communities. Their programs and services serve youth who are trying to enter into the creative industries or further their formal education. The Remix Project provides top-notch alternative, creative, educational programs, facilitators and facilities.

Impact: The event helped to bring awareness and publicity to the outstanding work being done by The Remix Project. The event also gave kids involved in The Remix Project the opportunity to either perform live on stage, or actually sell some of their artwork. Finally, the CLA was able to award The Remix Project with over $6000 as a result from sponsorships and ticket sales!

Quote: "Partnering with The CLA on this event was amazing. They exposed us and our mission to well over 300 people in Chicago, and provided us with some much needed seed capital. Unreal!" - Corey Jenkins, Director of Programming, The Remix Project