A Catalyst for Change

Since 2003, The Lake County Community Foundation has played an important role in our community as a convener, connector and catalyst for positive social change. Our experienced board and staff continue to engage in valuable leadership work across Lake County. Here is some information about our latest engagements and focus areas.

LCCF board members attended the Foundation’s first annual “Lake County Poverty Awareness Day” on January 23, 2018

On Tuesday, January 23, 2018 over 175 participants joined LCCF for Right Now in Lake County, an event held at the new Northwestern Lake Forest Hospital. The standing room only audience comprised of donors, business and nonprofit executives, municipal leaders, agency partners and concerned residents speaks to the magnitude of the issue of suburban poverty right here in Lake County.

Dr. Scott Allard, author of Places in Need: The Changing Geography of Poverty, delivered remarks  as well as a panel of three nonprofit health and human service providers who shared examples of successful local efforts that are under way to address the growing issue of poverty.

L – R – Cheri Neal, Zion Township, Kathy O’Hara, Village of Lake Bluff, Janet Kilkelly, City of Waukegan, Mayor Steve Lentz, Village of Mundelein, Chairman Aaron Lawlor, Lake County Board, Sandy Hart, Lake County Board and Mayor Charlie Pecaro, City of Highwood

Lake County Board Chairman Aaron Lawlor read a proclamation joining LCCF in declaring January 23, 2018 as Lake County Poverty Awareness Day. We were honored to have Mayor Rob Lansing (Lake Forest), Village President Kathy O’Hara (Lake Bluff), Mayor Steve Lentz (Mundelein), Mayor Charlie Pecaro (Highwood) and Mayor Nancy Rotering (Highland Park) show their support through the creation of their own community specific proclamations.

Our 2018 Lake County Poverty Awareness Day served as a launching point to build awareness of poverty and its effects in suburban Lake County and fostered further dialogue, community engagement and philanthropy to address it.

  • Click HERE to access recordings of our 2018 Right Now In Lake County
  • Access the recording of the “Addressing Poverty Right Now In Lake County” webinar HERE

A year since the first Poverty Awareness Day, efforts continue in Lake County to raise awareness and drive positive change:

  • Zion Township hosted its own Poverty Awareness Day on June 26, 2018.
  • The food insecurity rate continues to decline. LCCF has begun to see positive progress through its collaborative efforts to increase access to affordable, nutritious food throughout Lake County.
  • The Alliance for Human Services, a coalition of over 30 health and human service organizations across Lake County, has committed to providing hands-on professional development opportunities for its members and other community stakeholders to further understand the issues of suburban poverty and how we can work together to collaboratively address them.
Lake County Poverty Awareness Day

Driving Countywide Coordination

Beginning in 2015, the Foundation underwent an extensive evaluation process in partnership with key stakeholders representing different segments of the community. Our discussions helped us gain valuable feedback from volunteers, donors, nonprofits, foundations, faith-based institutions and representatives from local government about the work we do and the value we bring as a community partner.

Through these conversations, our board and staff determined a need for the Foundation to place a greater focus on:

  • Leading countywide coordination
  • Convening and fostering networking opportunities
  • Sharing relevant research and information to help communities make informed decisions

In response, the Foundation’s staff has strategically focused community leadership efforts on areas that directly align with our community investment strategy.

Collective Impact

The Lake County Community Foundation has been a participating member of the Collective Impact Forum’s national funder community of practice since its inception in 2015. The Collective Impact Forum is an initiative of FSG and the Aspen Institute Forum for Community Solutions.

As a member of the national funder community of practice, Foundation staff has been able to translate learning into action through partnership in various collective impact initiatives across Lake County.

The Together Summit
In January 2017, the Foundation served as a co-sponsor and fiscal agent for Lake County’s first Together Summit, a gathering of nearly 200 leaders committed to working together to improve the health and quality of life of all Lake County residents.
Together Summit Results

Live Well Lake County
Foundation staff has served on the Steering Committee of Live Well Lake County since 2012. The Live Well Lake County Steering Committee is comprised of countywide leaders representing key community areas including: philanthropy, the nonprofit sector, health systems, education and government. We serve as a knowledgeable thought partner and resource in supporting community health assessment processes, prioritizing community issues and driving strategies to promote positive social change within key focus areas that improve the overall health and wellness of all who live, work and play in Lake County.

Eat Well Action Team
As part of our work through Live Well Lake County, Foundation staff partners with representatives from the Lake County Health Department and the University of Illinois Extension to lead one of six action teams that has been established to address the need to improve and promote nutritional opportunities within Lake County’s local food environment.

The Eat Well Action Team is comprised of members representing 15 organizations with the mission to empower those who live, work, and play in Lake County to have access, resources, skills and knowledge to eat healthy by cultivating strong collaborations and aligning community efforts.

For questions about the Foundation’s leadership work or to learn more, please contact Maggie Morales or call 847-377-0520.