Benefit Chicago: A Collaboration for Impact
In April 2016, The Chicago Community Trust, the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, and Calvert Foundation announced the launch of Benefit Chicago, a collaboration that aims to mobilize $100 million in impact investments for nonprofits and social enterprises working throughout the Chicago region. Between 2016 and 2019, Benefit Chicago has raised nearly $100M to build wealth, create jobs, and enhance job readiness in Chicago.
Next Street was initially hired in April of 2016 by the MacArthur Foundation to support the development of a report, Bridging the Gap, which synthesized the findings and key learnings from previously conducted research on the supply of and demand for impact capital in the Chicagoland region.
In June 2016, Next Street was again hired by the MacArthur Foundation in a follow-on engagement to support the Benefit Chicago collaboration in the role of ‘Navigator.’ In this role, Next Street was a part of the day-to-day operations of Benefit Chicago and supported ineligible applicants by directing them to alternative sources of funding or TA support throughout the city. We supported the eligibility screening of applicants, built referral partnerships with a variety of alternative funders and, provided a perspective on the TA landscape throughout the city to inform our recommendations for ineligible organizations.