Have you been wanting to devote time or money to one of the many Chicago nonprofits but just haven’t found the right one yet? Say no more.
Chicago is absolutely jam-packed with amazing organizations advancing some of the most ambitious social programs in the country. No matter what issue captures your heart, Chicago has an organization for you and we’ve made the search process easy. As nonprofits, it can be easy to keep our heads down and do the work, but it’s also awesome to connect with all the incredible groups making Chicago a better place.
Without further ado, here are 11 of the best nonprofits in Chicago.
1. Social Works
You might have heard about this charity because of the high-visibility achieved by its Founder, Chance the Rapper. This young man has become a hallmark example of what it means to be from Chicago – hard work, a passion for people, and a creative spirit that isn’t afraid to jump right in and do the work. Social Works has awarded grants to various CPS schools on the South Side, while envisioning a beautifully adept way of identifying needs based on dialogue and interaction with the communities they serve.
2. Alliance for the Great Lakes
The Alliance has helped reduce pollution flowing into Lake Erie by 40 percent, and helped Illinois phase out the manufacture and sale microbeads, which marine organisms mistake for food. Their Adopt-a-Beach cleanup leverages 15,000 volunteers picking up 52,000 pounds of debris, which provides researchers with valuable data for marine health.
Since 1980, they’ve directed more than $350 million to 2,300 research studies. One of its innovations: TrialMatch, a free online service that connects patients with clinical trials for which they might be eligible.
The loved ones of Saturday Night Live cast member Gilda Radner founded this nonprofit after she succumbed to cancer in 1989. It now provides more than 350 free activities each month like support groups, social events, arts and crafts, and family programs. Membership is open to those all who are affected by cancer, including friends and loved ones.
More than just a housing program, Bridge places DuPage county homeless families into comfortably furnished apartments for two years. They provide financial coaching, career advice, interview preparation, therapy, and even nutritional counseling to help them get back on track.
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