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City of Chicago announces Nonprofit Capacity Building program

Non-Profit Capacity Building Phase 1 (Photo credit: Chicago.Gov)

Today, Mayor Lori E. Lightfoot and the Chicago Department of Business Affairs and Consumer Protection (BACP) announced the launch of a new Nonprofit Capacity Building program that will offer coaching and assistance to nonprofits interested in applying for Chicago Recovery Plan opportunities. This initiative is being organized in collaboration with several local organizations that have been awarded grants to support the growth of nonprofits across the City. The Nonprofit Capacity Building program will offer a variety of resources to make nonprofits more aware of and better positioned to apply for and manage recovery program grants, including quarterly Readiness Summits, monthly webinars, weekly workshops and one-on-one application assistance.

“Nonprofit organizations play a critical role in the social and economic well-being of our communities,” said Mayor Lightfoot. “The Nonprofit Capacity Building Program will empower and guide nonprofits in their work to serve residents and ensure these organizations have the necessary resources to adapt and thrive. The nonprofit sector’s recovery is an important part of our city’s continued recovery.”   

The Nonprofit Capacity Building Program is a new program of the City of Chicago to invest in strengthening and stabilizing nonprofit organizations. Nonprofit organizations play a fundamental role in creating more equitable and thriving communities. Nonprofits have firsthand knowledge of the needs of their communities and the best ways to meet them. Such organizations are vital to our economic infrastructure and can catalyze hyper-local growth and opportunity.

Webinars will begin in February 2023 and one-on-one assistance is now available. Additional programming and a full calendar of events available to nonprofits will be released soon. Nonprofits interested in participating can register at

During the COVID-19 pandemic, nonprofits across Chicago saw an increased demand for their services without an increase in their financial and operational capacity to meet that higher demand. To ensure a strong recovery for Chicago’s nonprofits, BACP created the Nonprofit Capacity Building Program and provided grant funding to organizations to design and implement technical assistance and capacity-building services to assist disproportionately impacted nonprofits to apply for and manage government grant funding.

“The Nonprofit Capacity Building Program will provide organizations with the training needed to gain new resources and strengthen their operations, enabling them to best advocate for the communities that they serve,” said BACP Commissioner Kenneth J. Meyer. “Every Chicagoan benefits from the work of our City’s nonprofits in one way or another.”    

“For more than three decades, the Women’s Business Development Center (WBDC) has helped to ignite and accelerate the business growth of enterprises in Chicago and across the Midwest,” said Emilia DiMenco, President and CEO of the WBDC. “This history, coupled with experience we have gained seeking partners and resources to sustain our work, has positioned the WBDC to serve Chicago nonprofit organizations as part of the City of Chicago’s Nonprofit Capacity Building Program.  The City of Neighborhoods is strengthened by vibrant neighborhood nonprofit organizations.  We are excited and honored to ignite their growth through the Chicago Recovery Plan and look forward to joining our partner organizations in this important initiative.”    

The Nonprofit Capacity Building Program is part of the Chicago Recovery Plan, Mayor Lori E. Lightfoot’s plan to amplify once-in-a-generation federal funding to create an equity-based investment strategy to catalyze a sustainable economic recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic. The Chicago Recovery Plan invests holistically in communities and industries hardest hit by the pandemic to support equitable economic recovery across the city.

To learn more about the Nonprofit Capacity Building Program and BACP’s Recovery Plan efforts, please visit

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