Part 1; Best Annual MIB Supported Chicago Fundraisers

2013 MIB Philanthropy Awards

North Shore philanthropists use their love of big ideas, unique experiences, family fun, great home design, fashion, drop-dead glamour and ladies lunches to support a plethora of excellent causes. Over the next eight days, I’ll give you a sneak peak at Make It Better’s list of top annual fundraisers supported by our audience.  Of course, we’re starting with the annual events for the nonprofits who won our 2013 Philanthropy Awards.

See the full list of winners here. Please click on each organization to view their fantastic work and see the video we awarded each organization, within each links;

(Watch our Video of the 2013 MIB Philanthropy Awards Here)

If you are looking for a special experience tied to a good cause to support, we recommend any of them to you too. Stay tuned over for the next seven posts to cover fabulous NFP organizations in the following categories;

Service & Schools

Ladies Luncheons

Top25 Galas Supported by the North Shore

For Fashionistas

For Families

Art, Antiques & Home Decor

Fabulous Experience Auctions

Please subscribe to the blog to be sure you don’t miss this series. Thanks!

Susan B. Noyes on CNBC’s Closing Bell on Social Entrepreneurship

                                 cnbc's closing bell
I’m joining a panel of women from across the country on CNBC’s “Closing Bell” tomorrow afternoon to discuss my investing style and perceptions of the market.

The more I’ve thought about this, the more excited I get about the opportunity to talk about how putting my money where my heart and common sense dictates works.  I realize that – for the most part – I’ve enjoyed the best returns over the last 30 years by investing in companies doing business that reflect my values and tells a common sense, easy to understand, engaging story.

My first two investments as a young labor attorney at Sidley Austin in the 80s provide a great example of this.

I witnessed the thoughtful negotiations between AT&T and the US government led by individuals at my firm with incredible character and intellect that led to the break up of our one national phone business (Ma Bell) into many smaller businesses (Baby Bells).  No inside information was passed.  But common sense dictated – owners of the original stock will soon have 8 stocks.  That’s going to be a good investment. It was.

It didn’t take long working in the labor group to see that the most success companies were the ones who truly valued their employees. Time, money & energy weren’t diverted from the core mission of the organization to deal with employee grievances.  And if employees shared ownership, they were particularly incentivized to work hard and smart.  I was always impressed by innovators too.  The steel market in the midwest was plummeting then. When I read an article about Nucor Steel renovating a mill in Indiana using cutting edge technology and developing an employee ownership program.  I bought Nucor as my second investment.  Another score.

AT&T could have chosen a less thoughtful route out of the antitrust lawsuit. Nucor invested in it’s people as well as smart technology.  These companies are great examples of smart social entrepreneurship too.


Church Rummage Sales: Community Meets Venture Philanthropy

A great rummage sale means a great community and venture philanthropy.

The North Shore Church Rummage Sale season kicks off this Saturday, at Kenilworth Union Church

Good people, treasures galore, 100% of the proceeds benefit the church’s outreach programs.  

Find a calendar of all the 2013 Rummage Sales here.

Fund Best Collaboration Practices to Grow Best Rehab Practices

“You have given money to an institution that gives life back to people who have had their whole life taken away… It’s much more satisfying to work with them than with politicians too.” – Senator Mark Kirk.

Senator Mark Kirk following his Keynote Address at yesterday's RIC groundbreaking, with me, Winnetka's Bonnie Balkin and Chicago's Julie Allen.

Senator Mark Kirk following his Keynote Address at yesterday’s RIC groundbreaking, with me, Winnetka’s Bonnie Balkin and Chicago’s Julie Allen.

The Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago has long been considered the best of its kind in the country. With yesterday’s groundbreaking and capital campaign launch for a new facility where researchers will work alongside patient care delivery, to be called the Ability Institute, RIC is poised to become a national leader for all research hospitals. The ability to collaborate and innovate often leads to solutions for the most difficult issues that humanity faces. Senator Kirk’s remarkable recovery because of the care he received at RIC’s initial AbilityLab–the concept from which the new hospital has been developed–is a good example of this. Bionic limbs like the one below is another.

Rosetta Robertson, 73. Photo courtesy of the Sun-Times

A place where the researchers work alongside the people who need their help is a simple enough idea, but one that is all too rare, especially in health care.  The Ability Institute bridges this gap, ensuring that funds will go to a real, measurable solution.  Therefore, a philanthropic investment in this new hospital should be effective venture philanthropy indeed.  

The Ability Institute of RIC

Smart With Heart Women, Like Kate Attea and You

Harvard MBA and venture philanthropy expert Kate Attea is perfectly poised to do the most good in the Chicago while juggling all the balls of a mother with 4 young children.

She’s a “smart with heart” Wilmette woman working part time for the venture philanthropy nonprofit, A Better Chicago.

Kate Attea

See the Make It Better article here.

Kate describes her work at A Better Chicago as “supporting cradle to career best practices.”

Cradle to career best practices — isn’t that what every mother works hard to accomplish for her own kids and others too?

We can all learn from Kate, and we would love to do so because she is just as lovely to talk to and be with as she looks in this photo.

Go Kate! Go mothers!

Mind Trust An Example of Venture Philanthropy Best Practices

This is education venture philanthropy at its best.   More cities could use a Mind Trust too.
Teach For America, Brooklyn, June 2012

Announcing our latest Charter School Incubator winners

The Mind Trust announced today that we will invest $1 million in Rocketship Education and $1 million in KIPP Indy to help each launch networks of charter schools in Indianapolis. Rocketship and KIPP are among the very best charter operators in the country.  

We’re making the investments through our Charter School Incubator, which we use to grow the number of best-in-class public charter schools in Indianapolis.

The investments in Rocketship and KIPP will support the launch of two high-quality school networks. Together, these two networks will add 12 schools serving 6,250 students to the Indianapolis landscape by 2020.

Rocketship will start a new eight-school network that serves students in kindergarten through fifth grade. KIPP Indy, which currently operates a middle school, KIPP Indianapolis College Preparatory, will add two elementary schools, another middle school, and a high school to become a five-school network.

Rocketship, founded in San Jose, Calif., has attracted widespread national attention for its success in helping low-income students achieve outstanding results. Across its seven California schools, 90 percent of Rocketship students receive free and reduced-price lunch, yet 82 percent of Rocketship students are proficient in math. That pass rate is higher than California’s statewide rate and that of the neighboring San Jose Unified School District, where half as many students qualify for free and reduced-price lunch.

KIPP, which operates 125 schools in 36 cities, is one of the nation’s best charter school networks. Over the last three years, KIPP Indy has increased student proficiency on the ISTEP+ by 30 points in English and 39 points in math and received an “A” school grade because of its consistent improvement.

Learning From and Cheering Mark Falanga

Venture philanthropists and capitalists alike can learn from Mark Falanga. In only 1/1/2 years the MMPI President reorganized Chicago’s flagship property to return it to 96% capacity and exceed income expectations, as well as turn it into a tech and venture philanthropy hub.

Not to gloat, but we predicted this kind of success when we wrote about him in the article linked below.

Mark just announced that he will be moving on to new ventures. Whatever they are, we will continue to learn from and cheer him on too.

Link to Make It Better article here.

Measuring Lives Made Better

In today’s Wall Street Journal, Bill Gates recommends that we solve world problems by measuring them.

That’s a good start. But we encourage him to catch up to Make It Better Media. We measure Lives Made Better by our work too. That’s authentic venture philanthropy or innovative business help. Make It Better is very proud of these numbers as of today:

Lives Made Better: 82,582
Money Raised For Not-For-Profits: $1,811,122

Would love to help you too!