Future Philanthropists Program

member contribution

NextGen Leaders in Philanthropy

NextGen Leaders is a giving group for emerging professionals and philanthropists in the Oak Park-River Forest area whose mission is to make a positive impact on the community and to develop its members into lifelong philanthropists.


Each spring, through an innovative video grant making process, we award capacity-building grants for small organizations or projects with operating budgets of less than $1,000,000 to increase their operational effectiveness and bring them to the next level of growth.

It is our hope that through organic membership growth, we will expand our Funds and presence in the community as one of its long-standing philanthropic contributors.

Join NextGen Leaders in Philanthropy to…
  • Collaborate with a diverse network of emerging professionals
  • Engage in social and fundraising events
  • Directly participate in our grant-awarding process


download application

Download a new member application here.


Learn more about This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

2021 Grants & Grantee Partners:

NextGen is proud to share that these three organizations were selected in 2021 to receive capacity building grants:


"Empowering our youth for a better tomorrow by enhancing our capacity to serve using technology in a virtual environment. We look forward to using the NextGen funds to acquire more workstations needed to fulfill our technology center."

– Ed Redd, Executive Director, YEMBA

Welcome to Fatherhood

Welcome to Fatherhood is a 501c3 nonprofit created by Dr. Raheem Young and Sir Royce Briales. We work with dads to help them cope with the pressures and stresses of fatherhood.

“We are extremely honored to be selected to receive the NextGen Leaders in Philanthropy Capacity Building Grant. This opportunity will allow us to become more effective at engaging the fathers currently connected with our program as well as recruiting and retaining more fathers.”

– Dr. Raheem Young, co-founder, Welcome to Father (WTF)
Pro Bono Network

PBN will purchase technology to support new staff who will advance the racial equity legal assistance program and projects.

Committees & Roles

Advisory Committee (3 meetings)
  • determine overall strategy for group
  • recruit new members
  • elect committee officers
  • review fund performance
  • approve grant recommendations
  • meet quarterly
Grants Sub-Committee (4 meetings)
  • develop criteria for award and selection
  • complete initial screening of proposals; determine final candidates
  • review previous years’ awardees progress
  • meet bi-monthly
  • members at large may volunteer
Social & Fundraising Event Sub-Committee (4 planning meetings)
  • plan fun quarterly social and philanthropic events
  • recruit speakers
  • meet bi-monthly
  • members at large may volunteer

Questions about the grant submission process or how to become a NextGen Leaders member?
Email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., Senior Philanthropic Advisor, or call 708-848-1560

Advisory Committee Members

  • conveyJennifer Convey, Senior Associate Consultant at Giving Tree Associates
  • judy ConwayJudy Conway, Attorney at Cooney & Conway
  • Connor FlynnConnor Flynn, Buyer at Alliance Paper & Foodservice Equipment
  • Laura GutierrezLaura Gutierrez, Administrative Assistant, Programs at The Chicago Community Trust
  • Darien Marion-BurtonDarien Marion-Burton, President at D.M. Burton
  • Courtney PolosCourtney Polos, Program Coordinator at American College of Surgeons
  • Diana SheaDiana Shea, Yoga Teacher and Director at The Yoga Centre, www.DianaShea.com
  • sullivanMaggie Sullivan, Account Coordinator at C.H. Robinson
  • wasserstromRoss Wasserstrom, Technical Account Manager at Onward Technologies, Inc.
  • Chryl WisniewskiCheryl Wisniewski


  • Carina Diaz, Director of Sales and Marketing at Acorn Wire and Iron Works LinkedIn
  • Meridian Herman, Market Maven, The Salvation Army Chicago Metropolitan Division LinkedIn
  • Sarah Najera, Artistic Director, MOMENTA  LinkedIn
  • Michael Starrick, Community Manager at M&M Property Management, Inc. LinkedIn
  • Mark Walden, Program Coordinator, Oak Park-River Forest Chamber of Commerce LinkedIn
  • Rhea Yap, Senior Philanthropic Advisor, Oak Park-River Forest Community Foundation  LinkedIn


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