Written by: John McKevitt, CSI | CSI Chicago Foundation President
I’m honored to have been selected to be the President of your CSI Chicago Foundation for 2021. I’d be remiss if I didn’t thank those that put in a substantial amount of time and effort to found and organize the foundation. I have the easy job of building on what has been put in place. In this brief, I’ll cover the common questions we hear of why the chapter has a charitable foundation, where the money comes from, and how money is allocated.
The CSI Chicago Foundation was established in 2018 as a 501 (c)3 non-profit organization to facilitate the receipt of tax-deductible donations from individuals, corporations, foundations, and other entities that wish to support the charitable activities of the CSI Chicago Chapter. With the establishment of the foundation, we are now able to pursue support from the many corporate foundations that exist to facilitate the charitable giving of for-profit corporations. It also makes us eligible to receive matching funds from those that work for businesses that match the individual donations of their employees. All donations to the CSI Chicago Foundation qualify for the charitable tax-deduction under the current IRS rules.
As many of you are aware, over the years the chapter has endeavored to raise funds via raffles and outright solicitations to support our charitable efforts such as scholarships and Rebuilding Together. These efforts, coupled with direct donations and other fundraisers, will continue to be the primary source of funding. The CSI Chicago Chapter board has provided funds in support of these efforts as well. One of the goals of the foundation is to move away from the use of membership funds to support our charitable efforts. Look for upcoming announcements and opportunities to support the foundation or consider making a one time or monthly donation today. Moving forward, the foundation board hopes to continue to work closely with the various chapter committees, especially the social committee, to develop low key opportunities to raise funds.
Now onto the fun part, spending the money! On an annual basis, the CSI Chicago Chapter board establishes various committees to carry out the work of the chapter. Some of these committees, such as the Rebuilding Together committee, are exclusively focused on charitable activity. Others, such as the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Committee, may view certain charitable activities as important to facilitate their mission. In all cases, any committee desiring funding from the foundation will submit their proposal to the chapter board for review. In consultation with the foundation board, the CSI Chicago Chapter board determines if the request aligns with the chapter’s mission and is a charitable initiative. Once the chapter has determined that, they will pursue the initiative, the foundation board advises the amount of funding they are able to provide in support of that particular initiative.
This all sounds more complicated than it is in practice. We are a relatively small organization with great communication. The budget for the foundation is voted on each January and is based largely on available funds and anticipated chapter requests. The annual fundraising goal and activities necessary to achieve this goal will be based on a combination of these two factors.
Please understand that while the foundation, as required by law, is an independent entity, it exists, as the mission states, to support the philanthropic causes of the CSI Chicago Chapter. As such, the foundation does not originate initiatives or requests for funding. We simply provide funding for the CSI Chicago Chapter’s philanthropic initiatives.
The 2021 CSI Chicago Foundation Board Members’ contact information can be found at the foundation’s leadership webpage. Please reach out to any of us with any questions or opportunities. Great communication will assist us in achieving audacious goals.