• NextGen Leaders in Philanthropy

      NextGen Leaders in Philanthropy brings together emerging leaders and philanthropists in the Oak Park, River Forest and Forest Park communities to make an impact on the community by raising funds and being a resource.

      Contact Rhea Yap to learn how to become a member.

      member contributionMember Contribution

    • Impact: Award professional development grants ($500 - $2,000) for small organizations and/or projects to bring them to the next level.
    • Fundraising Goal: $10,000 total, annually. Grant $5,000 in same year. Invest $5,000 for future.

    • Benefits for Members
    • Learn the art and science of grant making and philanthropy
    • Learn how to be a good non-profit board member, via optional board boot camp from the Community Foundation
    • Network with and work alongside other next generation leaders

What is NextGen Leaders in Philanthropy?

NextGen Leaders is a giving group for emerging professionals and philanthropists established in 2015.

Identify and address social issues while positively impacting Oak Park, River Forest & Forest Park communities through capacity-building grants and sustainable philanthropic action.

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
Member Contribution

Advisory Committee Member: $300* or $25 per month
Member at Large: $150*

* 95% of contributions go towards grants; 5% go towards circle's operating costs.

For more information about joining NextGen Leaders, contact Rhea Yap at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Meetings & Events

Advisory Committee: 3 meetings
Grants Sub-Committee: 4 meetings
Social & Fundraising Events Sub-Committee: 4 planning meetings

NextGen Leaders in Philanthropy Capacity Building Grants 
NextGen awards capacity building or professional development grants of up to $2,000 to amplify and streamline the work of small local non-profit organizations. Based on video submissions, the NextGen Grants Committee selects recipients with expressed goals to develop increased knowledge, skills and capabilities. 

Contact Rhea Yap, Director of Fund & Donor Development, at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Next application period: Spring 2020

Committees & Roles

Advisory Committee
  • determine overall strategy for group
  • recruit new members
  • elect committee officers
  • review fund performance
  • approve grant recommendations
  • meet quarterly
Grants Sub-Committee
  • 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
    • plan fun quarterly social and philanthropic events
    • recruit speakers
    • meet bi-monthly
    • members at large may volunteer



Advisory Committee

  • Lauren BrightmoreLauren Brightmore, Development & Event Coordinator, Oak Park River Forest Food Pantry
  • 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
  • Beth GunzelBeth Gunzel, Community Engagement Coordinator, Heifer International
  • Laura GutierrezLaura Gutierrez, Administrative Assistant, Programs at The Chicago Community Trust
  • Diana SheaDiana Shea, Yoga Teacher and Director at The Yoga Centre, www.DianaShea.com
  • StarrickMichael Starrick, Personal Banker at Community Bank of Oak Park River Forest
  • sullivanMaggie Sullivan, Account Coordinator at C.H. Robinson
  • wasserstromRoss Wasserstrom, Vice President, Operations at Avenue Computer
  • Chryl WisniewskiCheryl Wisniewski


  • Meridian Herman, Market Maven, The Salvation Army Chicago Metropolitan Division LinkedIn
  • Mark Walden, Program Coordinator, Oak Park-River Forest Chamber of Commerce LinkedIn
  • Doug Weismantle, Senior Accountant at AY USA - Intelligent Real Estate Solutions LinkedIn
  • Rhea Yap, Donor & Grants Officer at OPRF Community Foundation  LinkedIn
  • Ken Zimmer, Financial Planning Specialist  LinkedIn

email2Questions about the Call for Submissions or how to become a NextGen Leaders member?
Email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., Donor & Grants Officer, or call 708-848-1560

Share this page

Submit to FacebookSubmit to Twitter