in collaboration


July 2017 Newsletter

Graphic Depicting the Ladder to Leadership Cohort 2 Collaboration Network (baseline vs. end of program)

Collaboration and Connectivity


The Regional Health and Human Services Agenda aims to transform the Western Suburbs into the healthiest region in the country through cross-sector collaboration and the development of transformational leadership, a community-identified Value of the Agenda. In its recent evaluation of Community Memorial Foundation’s Ladder to Leadership program, the Center for Creative Leadership noted that increased collaboration among participants, and by association, information sharing and connectivity between their organizations, is one of the hallmarks of the program.

Prior to the Ladder to Leadership program, there was only one collaborative relationship reported among its participants. After the program, every member of the cohort was collaborating in some way: 97% of these collaborative relationships involve exchanging information; 88% are sharing resources; and 70% are jointly implementing an activity.

Connectivity between participants (baseline vs. end of program) is represented in the above graphic, where size reflects the number of relationships, blue indicates an incoming relationship, red indicates a reciprocal relationship, and the width of the lines represent frequency of collaboration ideas.

For more information on the Ladder to Leadership program, please contact Tom Fuechtmann.

Photo courtesy of Greater Chicago Food Depository

Spring Grant Cycle Awards Nearly $1M

Community Memorial Foundation’s spring grant cycle has awarded $946,662 dollars to enhance and expand healthcare access and human services programming throughout the western suburbs of Chicago. The funding supports 25 local organizations servicing western Cook and southeastern DuPage counties, and brings the Foundation’s cumulative investment in the region to more than $70 million dollars.

The Greater Chicago Food Depository, one of the Foundation’s spring 2017 grant recipients, received funding for its Mobile Pantry distribution throughout the Township of Lyons. Since 2012, Community Memorial Foundation has leveraged its grantmaking for this program with the township, which also awards funding for the project. With this grant, the Food Depository will serve approximately 5,000 people from CMF communities through the distribution of at least 100,000 pounds of food (a 26% increase from last year). “Public-private partnerships like these – between funders, local government, and service providers – improve access to basic needs at a time when many of our neighbors still struggle to make ends meet,” says Kate Maehr, Executive Director and CEO of the Food Depository. “They are more vital now than ever.”

For a complete list of the programs supported by Community Memorial Foundation’s spring 2017 grant cycle, please visit

Watch The Living Room Video

The Living Room Video

Community Memorial Foundation has partnered with The Chicago Community Trust on a video chronicling the development of The Living Room in La Grange. Emerging from an idea posed at a community On the Table conversation in 2015, the project has evolved into a fully-operable alternative to the hospital emergency room for those experiencing elevated mental health symptoms.

Since its release, The Living Room video has been viewed more than 350 times. We invite you to view the video and share it with your networks, as we spread the word about this important community asset.

The Living Room is open 365 days/year and does not require insurance. For more information, please visit

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