CF Insights asks a very simple but important question: "What if each community foundation could know what all community foundations collectively know?" This collection features research produced and funded by community foundations, and other resources relevant to the field. Contact us at and visit us at

Search this collection

Clear all

20 results found

reorder grid_view

On the Table: 2015 Impact Report

September 28, 2015

As the kickoff to The Chicago Community Trust's Centennial, "On the Table 2015" marked the beginning of a yearlong campaign to celebrate philanthropy in all its forms -- giving of time, treasure and talent. The Trust's Centennial goal was ambitious; to spark a civic movement that will make the Chicagoland region the most philanthropic in the nation. On May 12, 2015, thousands of Chicagoland residents gathered together across the region to share a meal and celebrate the everyday philanthropists among us who strengthen our communities and improve the lives of others. Participants in these On the Table conversations were asked not only to discuss ideas for improving our communities, but also to make a commitment to work collectively or independently to improve our communities and inspire others to do the same. Again this year, the Trust invited the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC) Institute for Policy and Civic Engagement (IPCE) to partner and assess the impact of On the Table. The report results are based on the responses of those who participated in this year's survey. Highlights include key discussion themes, as well as surveyed participants' thoughts on commitments to future civic engagement.

On The Table 2014 Impact Report

October 7, 2014

In every Chicago neighborhood and many suburban communities, thousands of residents came together to break bread and discuss how to collaboratively build and maintain strong, safe and dynamic communities. This report summarizes conversations based on a wide variety of data collected by or made available to the Institute for Policy and Civic Engagement (IPCE) and addresses three major questions IPCE posed to understand the impact of the initiative: who participated, what was discussed, and how were participants impacted by the conversations? These conversations were intended to provide a platform for partnering with and inspiring participants, organizations, and institutions in the region to take action to improve quality of life and to build a more sustainable future for the Chicago region.

Chicago Neighborhood Indicators 2000-2012

May 2, 2014

Key statistics for Chicago neighborhoods from 2000-2012, including the following indicators:Chicago Community Areas by Race and EthnicityIndividuals in Households with Incomes below 100% FPL (Poverty)Individuals in Households with Incomes below 50% FPL (Extreme Poverty)Individuals in Households with Incomes from 100 to 199% FPL (Low Income)Educational Attainment of Population Age 25+Renter Households Paying Over 30% of Income on Housing CostsRenter Households Paying Over 50% of Income on Housing CostsHouseholds Receiving Cash Public AssistanceHouseholds Receiving SNAP (Food Stamps)Employment Status of the Population Age 16+Poverty Status by Family Type

News That Matters: An Assessment of Chicago's Information Landscape

July 13, 2011

The Community News Matters project of The Chicago Community Trust conducted surveys and focus groups of the general public, local leaders and low-income residents to assess the level to which critical information needs of democracies are being well-met in the Chicago region and to identify critical information gaps and deficiencies in Chicago's information landscape that may need to be addressed.

Chicago Recovery Partnership Evaluation of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act

June 1, 2011

From 2009-2011, the City of Chicago and Cook County received a total of $2.35 billion in funding provided by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act [ARRA]. The stimulus money was allocated to seven areas: education, basic needs, transportation and infrastructure, housing and energy, public safety, broadband and workforce development. The Chicago Recovery Partnership Evaluation of ARRA analyzes the impact of the stimulus spending using a costbenefit analysis framework. This report evaluated $1.09 billion of total spending in Chicago and Cook County, resulting in net benefits ranging from -$173.9 to $2,740.2 million. The wide range in net benefits is attributed largely to education, which received over half of ARRA funding.

What Does the Census Tell Us About Metropolitan Chicago?

May 1, 2011

This publication examines key trends in population shifts across the metro Chicago region (defined as Cook, DuPage, Kane, Kendall, Lake, McHenry and Will Counties). Among the report highlights are the following:Metropolitan Chicago is home to 8.4 million persons, and the area grew by 3.5 percent between 2000 and 2010.The Metro population is shifting westwardSome of the major racial communities are falling in numbers while others grow.Poverty becomes more regionalized.Immigration has slowed.Sharp demographic differences mark the generations.Education levels improve but disparities exist.

Elevating Our Vision for Learning: Improving Schools for All

April 1, 2011

The challenge for the Chicago Public Schools is shared by virtually every urban school district across the nation: How do we organize a school system to ensure that each and every student obtains a high-quality education that develops his or her abilities to become powerful and critical thinkers, responsible global citizens, self-confident individuals, and effective, literate communicators? To meet this challenge, we need to raise standards and elevate expectations for teaching and learning and build staff capacity to meet these standards.While we know that there is no single solution to fixing our education system, we do know that supporting high-quality instruction needs to be at the center of our efforts.Identifying ways for the school system to achieve high-quality education for every student in every school is the focus of this document, developed with the support of The Chicago Community Trust. We believe that our schools will benefit greatly by implementing these recommendations, which draw from the collective knowledge of local and national experts and practitioners. We are grateful for the many contributors who gave their time and expertise to develop this document.

Linking Audiences to News: A Network Analysis of Chicago Websites

April 1, 2011

The mass media model, which sustained news and information in communities like Chicago for decades, is being replaced by a "new news ecosystem" consisting of hundreds of websites, podcasts, video streams and mobile applications. In 2009, The Chicago Community Trust set out to understand this ecosystem, assess its health and make investments in improving the flow of news and information in Chicagoland. The report you are reading is one of the products of the Trust's local information initiative, Community News Matters. "Linking Audiences to News: A Network Analysis of Chicago Websites" is one of the first -- perhaps the first -- research projects seeking to understand a locala

Economic Impacts of GO TO 2040

January 21, 2011

The economy of the Chicago metropolitan region has reached a critical juncture. On the one hand, Chicagoland is currently a highly successful global region with extraordinary assets and outputs. The region successfully made the transition in the 1980s and 1990s from a primarily industrial to a knowledge and service-based economy. It has high levels of human capital, with strong concentrations in information-sector industries and knowledge-based functional clusters -- a headquarters region with thriving finance, business services, law, IT and emerging bioscience, advanced manufacturing and similar high-growth sectors. It combines multiple deep areas of specialization, providing the resilience that comes from economic diversity. It is home to the abundant quality-of-life amenities that flow from business and household prosperity.On the other hand, beneath this static portrait of our strengths lie disturbing signs of a potential loss of momentum. Trends in the last decade reveal slowing rates, compared to other regions, of growth in productivity and gross metropolitan product. Trends in innovation, new firm creation and employment are comparably lagging. The region also faces emerging challenges with respect to both spatial efficiency and governance.In this context, the Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning (CMAP) has just released GO TO 2040, its comprehensive, long-term plan for the Chicago metropolitan area. The plan contains recommendations aimed at shaping a wide range of regional characteristics over the next 30 years, during which time more than 2 million new residents are anticipated. Among the chief goals of GO TO 2040 are increasing the region's long-term economic prosperity, sustaining a high quality of life for the region's current and future residents and making the most effective use of public investments. To this end, the plan addresses a broad scope of interrelated issues which, in aggregate, will shape the long-term physical, economic, institutional and social character of the region.This report by RW Ventures, LLC is an independent assessment of the plan from a purely economic perspective, addressing the impacts that GO TO 2040's recommendations can be expected to have on the future of the regional economy. The assessment begins by describing how implementation of GO TO 2040's recommendations would affect the economic landscape of the region; reviews economic research and practice about the factors that influence regional economic growth; and, given both of these, articulates and illustrates the likely economic impacts that will flow from implementation of the plan. In the course of reviewing the economic implications of the plan, the assessment also provides recommendations of further steps, as the plan is implemented, for increasing its positive impact on economic growth.

Open to All? Different Cultures, Same Communities

January 1, 2011

Produced for the Interfaith Housing Center of the Northern Suburbs with the support of the Chicago Community Trust, this report aims to better understand immigrants living in the northern suburbs of Chicago -- who they are, where they live in relation to housing patterns and conditions, and the extent to which they exert political influence on local housing decisions. It was produced as part of The Chicago Community Trust's three-year Immigrant Integration Initiative, which began in 2007 to come up with strategies that could help immigrants successfully integrate into the civic and economic fabric of their new communities. A goal of this report is to provide a firm foundation for important discussions -- and decisions -- facing our communities.

Creating a Chicago Regional Building Energy Efficiency System

December 1, 2009

The Chicago area's homes and offices must be brought up to 21st century standards for energy efficiency, both to save money and to reduce climate altering green house gas emissions. Federal money available through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) can jumpstart the creation of a market and infrastructure for accomplishing this, while utility and other financing can sustain the work over the long term.In launching this effort, the Chicago area does not need to reinvent the wheel; successful programs in other states offer principles and models for how to proceed. The Chicago area should immediately begin a two-track process for creating a Chicago Area Building Energy Efficiency System. The first track would identify funding, including ARRA funds to quickly ramp up existing programs to launch significant weatherization initiatives in appropriate locations around the seven-county region. The second track would begin designing the network or institution to carry on this work over the long term.While there are significant hurdles, creating such a system would meet the needs of homeowners, municipalities, utilities, suppliers, and citizens. By strategically combining available resources and existing knowledge, the Chicago area can undertake the massive work of making its physical structure more energy efficient, in the process bringing environmental and economic benefits to the eight million people who live in this region.

Arts and Culture Report

November 1, 2009

The Arts and Culture Report was developed by Arts Alliance Illinois in collaboration with an advisory committee. The report was commissioned by The Chicago Community Trust to support the GO TO 2040 comprehensive regional planning effort led by the Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning (CMAP).