Please Vote on New Yorker Cartoonist Ken Krimstein’s Three Choices

Make It Better Holiday Cartoon Contest

We are thrilled that “The New Yorker” cartoonist and DePaul University professor Ken Krimstein is an avid reader of Make It Better.

Even more thrilling, we have asked him for one of his hilarious cartoons to appear in our December 2014 issue of Make It Better Magazine. But all of his work is so terrific and funny; it’s hard to choose.

So it’s up to our online readers to help us decide. Which of the three following holiday-themed cartoons is your favorite?

Click here to cast your vote.

 1. Christmas in China


2. The First Christmas



3. Regift


A Better Chicago CEO Takes a Stand for Chicago Charter Schools

The Institute on Metropolitan Opportunity (which is part of the University of Minnesota Law School) recently published a repoA Better Chicago supports charter schools in Chicagort that assessed how Chicago’s charter schools are performing relative to comparable CPS schools (aka neighborhood public schools).  The report concluded that charter schools are no more effective (and perhaps less effective) than neighborhood schools on a number of performance metrics.  Additionally, the report recommended a three-year moratorium on opening new charter schools in Chicago, as well as a host of other actions that would make it harder to open additional charter schools in the future.A Better Chicago supports charter schools in Chicago

After reading this report, Liam Krehbiel, Founder and CEO of A Better Chicago felt compelled to write an op-ed for two reasons.  Here’s what he had to say; “First, we at A Better Chicago want to share a different approach to thinking about charter school performance.  It is absolutely true to say that there are some underperforming charter schools. However, it is misleading to only think about charter school performance in the aggregate.  As you’ll see in the op-ed, many of our city’s veA Better Chicago supports charter schools in Chicagory best open enrollment public schools are charter schools.

He continues; “But, the bigger point is that we need to change the conversation.  Rather than focusing on charter schools versus neighborhood schools, we need to think about how to create more great schools (of all types) and how to fix or shut down more bad schools.  In other words, let’s end the ideology debate and instead focus on pursuing whatever practical solutions are available to us to give Chicago’s students the best chance of getting a great education.”

Finding and growing the best practices to insure a good education shouldn’t be a political issue.  Collaborative efforts to support and grow what works is the future.  Liam Krehbiel is spot on.

I’m very proud to be an advisory board member of A Better Chicago. Consider getting involved yourself.

Preventing the Spread of Ebola by Giving

As we get closer to the holiday season, we hope you’ll take the time to think about how you can make it better for some less fortunate people. The below organizations are in need of help. Please read more about them and consider helping out, especially with time-bound issue such as the Ebola outbreak.

Preventing the Spread of Ebola;   Hospital Sisters Mission Outreach

(708) 496-3900  Hospital Sisters Mission Outreach is a medical surplus recovery organization based in Chicago that has stepped up to address the worsening Ebola crisis in West Africa. In the last several years, Mission Outreach has worked with the Archdiocese of Chicago and Rotary International to establish relationships with medical facilities in Nigeria. Through these connections, the organizations have been able to Prevent the spread of Ebolatransport life-saving supplies to facilities struggling under Nigeria’s impover- ished healthcare system. Mission Outreach is asking individuals and companies across Chica- go for financial donations that will help transport supplies and protective gear to medical workers in Nigeria. Individuals and companies can make financial donations at

Barbara J. Timmer Family Foundation

(312) 371-6566 |
The Barbara J. Timmer Family Foundation has been established in honor of mom, wife, sister, grandma and friend, Barb Timmer, who was diagnosed with acute myelogenous leukemia (AML) on October 5, 2011 and lost her battle with AML on November 7th, 2011. The purpose of the foundation is to raise awareness and funds for the Leukemia Research Foundation while remembering Barbara’s love and legacy. You can help raise awareness by supporting their annual walk in September or by donating items for their raffle. Monetary donations can be made on the organization’s website and raffle donations can be sent to The Barbara J. Timmer Foundation at 219 Austin Ave., Park Ridge, IL 60068. For more information please visit bar-

Art Therapy at  Music Institute of Chicago

Music Institute of Chicago847-448-8307 The Music Institute of Chicago (MIC) is one of the largest and most respected community music schools in the country. The school’s mission is to provide lifelong engagement with music through education for people of all skills and age levels. The school carries out its mission by providing music education for individuals whose opportunities are limited, and by supporting the growth of music therapy for individuals with special needs through the Institute for Therapy Through the Arts (ITA). ITA uses integrated arts to help children, adults and families improve functioning related to psycho- logical, developmental, cognitive and physical factors. The school uses monetary donations to help broaden access to musical instruction and clinical services in creative arts therapy. To make a donation or to learn more information, please visit the school’s website ( or contact Sally Braybrooks at 847-448-8307.

Written by MAURA FLAHERTY at Make It Better

Join us as Make It Better Media Expands

Make it Better Magazine Hello Dear Readers,

With this November,  we not only celebrate the 5th anniversary of our print magazine Make It Better, but we also announce that we’re expanding our footprint beyond the North Shore into Chicago, awarding our 3rd Annual Philanthropy Awards in a live-blogged roadshow on November 14th, and celebrating those awards and the launch of a spectacular new website on November 18th with a party at 27 Live, an exciting entertainment venue in Evanston.

We know our readers of Make It BetterMake it Better Magazine Magazine; you are well-educated, affluent women who care passionately about family, community, helping others and finding the best resources for home, health, finances, fashion, education, dining and entertainment.  Our mission is to be the most trusted, easiest-to-use community resource that helps you make your life and the lives of others better—online, in print and in person. We’ve grown a wonderful community network of people, businesses and nonprofits by passionately honoring this mission, and for that we are grateful.

We invite you to join us by:

» Subscribing to our “Better Letter” email newsletter


  • »  Joining our social networks for Make It Better; Facebook , Twitter,  Pinterest .
  •     Reading our online version of Make It Better
  • »  Supporting our advertisers
  • »  Using all of our helpful online content and activities at
  • »  Making Make It Better a media sponsor of your upcoming fundraiser
  • »  Requesting to receive future issues of this magazine by subscribing here
  • »  Celebrating with us on November 18th
    You are important to Make It Better. Please contact me anytime to learn more at or please find me on Facebook, LinkedIN, and Twitter.Make it better magazine

Make A Difference Day; October 25th 2014

Mark Your Calendars to Make A Difference

Many of us spend the last days of October wrapped up in spooky party decorations, clever children’s costumes and colossal candy bowls.

What you might not know is that there is another national holiday the weekend just before All Hallows’ Eve that focuses solely on community service. It’s called Make A Difference Day.

Make A Difference Day is Saturday, Oct. 25 and holds the title as the largest national day of community service. The holiday was created 20 years ago through a collaboration of Points of Light and USA Weekend Magazine. From building bird enclosures for wildlife in Alabama to sorting stuffed animals for children who have suffered through crises in San Diego, people are coming together across the U.S. to address issues they see in their communities.

All community projects entered on the Make A Difference Day website will be entered into the running for a $10,000 grant from Newman’s Own. A panel of judges will select 14 winners who will receive the grant money for their project’s favorite charity along with a feature in USA Weekend’s April 2015 magazine.

You can start a project online or volunteer for one of these local projects already scheduled for Oct. 25:

What: The Volunteer Center’s One-Day Collection Drive

Where: Indian Hill Train Station Parking Lot, Green Bay Road and Winnetka Avenue, Winnetka

When: Saturday, Oct. 25 from 9 a.m. to noon

The Volunteer Center is participating in its 10th Make A Difference Day and is collecting everything from outerwear, shoes and boots to school supplies, Halloween costumes and bicycles. The items will be donated to 17 local nonprofits, including New Trier Township Food Pantry, Great Lakes Adaptive Sports Association and Connections for the Homeless. The center is asking volunteers to donate food, clothing and household items and to help count and distribute all of the collected items. For more information, visit The Volunteer Center’s website.


What: Assistance League Children’s Book Drive

Where: Assistance League of Chicagoland West, 120 E. Ogden Ave., Hinsdale

When: Saturday, Oct. 25 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

The Assistance League of Chicagoland West is just one of 93 Assistance League chapters across the country who will collect new books for children in literacy programs and reading clubs on Oct. 25. Assistance League was selected as one of the Make A Difference Day winners in 2013, collecting more than 103,000 books for children. The organization is asking volunteers to collect new children’s books, deliver the books to recipients and collect impact photos and stories of the recipients. For more information, visit the organization’s website or call 630-321-2529.


What: Neighbor-to-Neighbor

Where: The Patrick Sullivan Apartments, 1633 W. Madison St., Chicago

When: Saturday, Oct. 25 from noon to 3 p.m.

Twin sisters Anita and Danita Ivory will lead a project to provide meals to more than 470 senior citizens at the Patrick Sullivan Apartments on Oct. 25 in a service project they call “Neighbor-to-Neighbor.” The Patrick Sullivan apartment complex is a Chicago Housing Authority low-income senior citizen residence located on the near west side of Chicago. This year marks the 20th year that the sisters have participated in Make A Difference Day. They hope to raise awareness to the plight of vulnerable individuals who are food insecure, meaning they have limited funds that may cause them to miss meals. The sisters are looking for volunteers who can help collect canned goods, set up tables, cook and serve the food. For more information, call Anita at 773-344-2947.

12 Keys to NonProfit Fundraising

21ST Century NonProfit Fundraising

BY Susan B. Noyes

We built Make It keys to fundraisingBetter Media to amplify philanthropy and fundraising, harnessing the digital world’s power to connect and help. We know that our audience is inherently inclined to do good and do well. We want to help your favorite nonprofit, too. The following strategies, Make It Better’s tools and powerful publishing ecosystem, we can help you raise more money for your cause.

1. Use emotion and data.

Create a short, heartfelt story, article or video which demonstrates its impact. Back up the story with information on your area of focus, demonstrating the need and your capability to provide it.

2. Let your passion show.

Explain why you care about the nonprofit. Share your personal journey which led you to work on the cause. This will influence others.

3. Tell an engaging story that brings the mission of your nonprofit to life.
Use a short video and article to demonstrate how one person, family or community was helped. Make the audience laugh, cry, think and want to take action.

4. Use venture philanthropy language to prove that donations will be well spent.
Donors want to fund a mission that works. Use data to prove that—given its mission—your nonprofit makes the most lives better per dollar spent.

5. Harness the power of the Internet to make it easy for anyone in the world to find, learn about and support your nonprofit.
Build a website and social network that is search-engine optimized. Include a prominent “Donate Here” button.NonProfit Fundraising

6. Use an “online first” content creation strategy.

Post content on your site first, than push through other appropriate channels, including press releases and social networking.

7. Use crowdsourcing to raise money for your cause.

Crowdfunding8. Develop an easy-to-attend fundraiser that is also FUNraising.
Create an event that potential supporters will enjoy. Make it easy to attend. Give supporters a wonderful experience and they will give generously to your cause.

9. Attract and keep volunteers by making their work fun and meaningful.
People are too busy to lend their time and reputation
to a cause that doesn’t educate, entertain and connect them to okeys to fundraisingthers in a meaningful way.

10. Be innovative and collaborative. Create win/win, virtuous circles for potential business and celebrity sponsors.
The fundraising future belongs to those who create innovative virtuous circles—connecting audience and sponsors to an outstanding nonprofit working on a cause about which they all care.

11. Tap into your personal network for sukeys to fundraisingpport.
Reach out to your friends and family to ask them to help via your personal social network. If you care, they
will care.

12. Say thank you—and mean it.

Thank supporters the way Chicago votes: early and often. Thank them online, in print and in person, but remember the best thank you of all is still a hand-written note.


Vote YES for New Trier High School Referendum Request on November 4th

 “An investment in knowledge pays the best interest.” – Benjamin Franklin
An investment in 21st Century facilities for New Trier High School will pay the best long-term interest for our community.

Inline image 1

  • A YES vote means 25 badly needed new classrooms, three new science labs, and replacing our too small library and cafeteria – all within the existing footprint.
  • A YES vote means energy efficiency and safety enhancements, instead of throwing away $6 million in band-aid fixes over the next five years.
  • A YES vote means taking advantage of low borrowing rates, allowing for a $250 average tax impact annually — which is half of the size for the last bond effort.
  • A YES vote means more and better opportunities for our youth to explore arts, music, theatre, design and other creative fields which are likely to better prepare them for engaging employment in life.
Learn more here: