JUNIOR LEAGUE OF CHICAGO INC

Empowering Women to Transform Our Community

aka JLC   |   Chicago, IL   |  www.jlchicago.org

Mission

The Junior League of Chicago, Inc. is a metropolitan organization of women committed to promoting voluntarism, developing the potential of women, and improving the community through the effective action and leadership of trained volunteers. Its purpose is exclusively educational and charitable. We serve the Chicagoland area.

Ruling year info

1935

Operations Director

JaCee Burnes

President

Kristin Bernhard

Main address

1447 N Astor St

Chicago, IL 60610 USA

Show more contact info

EIN

36-2195474

NTEE code info

Human Services - Multipurpose and Other N.E.C. (P99)

Youth Development Programs (O50)

Women's Service Clubs (S81)

IRS filing requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

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Communication

Blog

Programs and results

What we aim to solve

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

The Junior League of Chicago is committed to addressing our three signature issues, namely: 1. Meeting Essential Needs - By partnering with local organizations working to meet essential needs, we will make strides to improve the lives of those impacted while reducing the short-term and long-term effects of poverty and homelessness in Chicagoland. 2. Violence Prevention & Awareness - By partnering with local organizations working to promote awareness and education to reduce violence and lessen the impact of exposure to violence in children, we will work to improve the lives of those impacted. 3. Literacy - By partnering with local organizations and expanding programs, we hope to address the literacy issues Chicagoland children and adults face by providing tools, resources, and programming to combat the multifaceted adverse effects of low literacy levels.

Our programs

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

First Year Placement

The women who serve on the First Year Placement ("FYP") committee partner with community organizations and community committees within JLC throughout the year to address the ever-evolving needs of women and children in Chicagoland. FYP is unique in that the placement is staffed solely by incoming Associates (JLC’s provisional members) in an effort to foster strong ties among new JLC members while volunteering.

Population(s) Served
Adults

The Mad Hatters promote literacy throughout Chicagoland by providing high-energy, interactive, storytelling-based performances geared toward children ages 3-9 and their parents. Primarily held in branches of the Chicago Public Library, these fun-filled storytime shows feature children's books, poems, and songs which demonstrate to children how much fun reading can be while encouraging parents to read to their children at home. Originally founded by the Junior League of Chicago in 1921 as a children's theater, the Mad Hatters have been promoting children's literacy for over 100 years. At the end of each library performance, the Mad Hatters give each child a bookmark, sticker, and a book to take home.

Population(s) Served
Children and youth

Child Enrichment provides programming centered on creative self-expression and fun activities to enrich the lives of children and their families. Child Enrichment's primary partner is Chicago Children’s Advocacy Center ("CAC"), where our partners are the front-line responders in Chicago to reports of child sexual abuse, as well as reports of physical abuse of children under age 3. Since opening their doors in 2001, they have served more than 30,000 children. Chicago CAC is the city’s only not-for-profit organization that coordinates the efforts of child protection staff, law enforcement professionals, family advocates, medical experts and mental health clinicians under one roof. The JLC hosts fun, activity-filled family events at the center with the goal of fostering familial bonding and creating a welcoming environment for families served by CAC (e.g., for ongoing therapy sessions). Other partners include Maryville Crisis Nursery and Big Shoulders.

Population(s) Served
Children and youth

Done in a Day ("DIAD") organizes service projects throughout the year targeted at helping women and children in the community in just one day. The committee has relationships with dozens of partners throughout the city and creates opportunities for JLC to work with other organizations and explore future partnerships. The committee’s wide offering of projects, times and locations make the Junior League of Chicago’s ongoing service in the community possible. Last year, DIAD events included "Give Back Day" at Big Shoulders, processing diapers and clothes at Share Our Space, and donating food and kitchen items to the Ravenswood Elementary School Pantry Program.

Population(s) Served
Women and girls
Children and youth

The Junior League of Chicago introduced a new signature issue in 2016 – Human Trafficking. Freeing Individuals from Human Trafficking (FIHT) formed to support the fight against Human Trafficking in Chicagoland with boots on the ground. The FIHT committee works with organizations across Chicago to help support the community effort against human trafficking. In addition, FIHT explores opportunities for how the JLC can get more involved as well as educate JLC members about the human trafficking both in Chicago and beyond.

Population(s) Served
At-risk youth
Women and girls

Homework Heroes’ focus is to support elementary and middle school children by assisting with homework, reinforcing study skills, and mentoring children in an engaging environment. The JLC partners with Second Presbyterian Church in Chicago's South Loop to tutor neighborhood children and assist them with their homework during the school year. In addition to building our relationship with the children through educational activities, the sessions include a fun activity and a nutritious snack.

Population(s) Served
Children and youth

Kids in the Kitchen is a nationally recognized health education program that empowers youth to make healthy lifestyle choices and help reverse the growth of childhood obesity and its associated health issues. The Junior League of Chicago’s Kids in the Kitchen mission is to impact the lives of area children for healthier lifestyles through hands-on events throughout the year. By providing fun, family-oriented solutions to healthy living, kids and youth are encouraged to be active participants in their own health and well-being.

Population(s) Served
Children and youth

The Teen Mentoring committee aims to inspire confidence, learn about women’s issues, encourage women’s empowerment and education, and promote volunteerism for teen girls (9th-12th grade) in Pilsen. The group provides a safe space, enriching activity, and lunch on select Saturdays throughout the school year. This past year, the committee began a new partnership with the Las Chicas group at Cristo Rey high school in the Pilsen area.

Population(s) Served
Children and youth
Children and youth

Where we work

Accreditations

Association of Junior Leagues International 1921

Affiliations & memberships

Association of Junior Leagues International 1921

Our results

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

How does this organization measure their results? It's a hard question but an important one.

Number of volunteers

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Women and girls

Type of Metric

Input - describing resources we use

Direction of Success

Holding steady

Context Notes

The efforts of our league are made possible by the 1,000+ women civic leaders who volunteer their time, energy, and diverse perspectives.

Number of women and children served

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Women and girls

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Number of community service events hosted

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Women and girls

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Holding steady

Context Notes

As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, much of our community programming was temporarily suspended out of an abundance of caution to protect the health and safety of our members and community partners.

Number of community partnerships

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Women and girls

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Holding steady

Context Notes

The JLC maximizes its impact through strategic partnerships with community-based organizations throughout the city of Chicago.

Our Sustainable Development Goals

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn more about Sustainable Development Goals.

Goals & Strategy

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn about the organization's key goals, strategies, capabilities, and progress.

Charting impact

Four powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

The Junior League of Chicago (JLC) is dedicated to strengthening and transforming our community through effective action and leadership of well-trained volunteers. For more than a century, the Junior League has empowered women to lead, through hands-on mentoring, advocacy, and education. We've built transformational female leaders who've set bold goals, opened their circles, disrupted convention and changed the conversation for the betterment of civil society. Through collaboration and engagement with our community partner agencies, we are committed to improving the lives of at-risk populations throughout the Chicagoland area, seeking to remove the many barriers to success which limit the ability of disadvantaged children and families to improve themselves and their community.

The Junior League of Chicago donates both volunteer hours and fundraising dollars to community organizations and programs that support underserved women and children throughout the Chicagoland area. All of our community, advocacy, and fundraising efforts support women and children in alignment with our league's three signature issues. Each one of our community projects addresses at least one of these issues, and is built on strong relationships with our community partner agencies, in order to ensure that we have a real, direct impact on the Chicagoland communities we serve.

Our strategies for achieving our organization's goals include a commitment to leadership, advocacy, and a focus on community impact. Central to the mission of the Junior League is developing the potential of women to be civic and community leaders. In order to achieve this, we provide leadership training events designed to help our members hone their leadership potential. We also have a dedicated Advocacy Council, committed to encouraging our members to be informed and active citizens who address the public issues that impact our community. Finally, we have implemented a strategic committee placement system, that places our members in various committees and councils based on their respective skills development and goals, in order to maximize engagement and to train stronger leaders.

The Junior League of Chicago is a community of over 1,000 female leaders who contribute their valuable time, talents, and perspectives to make meaningful changes in the lives of women, children, and families in the city of Chicago. Supported by our parent organization, the Association of Junior Leagues International, we are equipped with the tools and capabilities necessary to train civic leaders, serve communities, and improve the health and well-being of our target populations. We also work in partnership with well-established community partner agencies who share our passion and purpose, further expanding the reach of our league's impact across the city.

Founded in 1912, the current year marks the 110th anniversary of our league. We are extremely proud of all that we have accomplished in more than a century, and are very excited for our league's potential going forward, diligently building upon that progress. In the past year alone, our league hosted over 400 programming events, including advocacy events, volunteer service opportunities, fundraisers, as well as education and training events. Our most recent successes include numerous expanded community partnerships established throughout the Chicagoland area, each serving a diverse range of communities, providing rewarding volunteer experiences for our members, and advancing the reputation of the Junior League as an advocate for women and children. We are also extremely proud of the financial donations we have been able to invest back into the communities through our fundraising efforts.

When considering what's next for our league, we continue to focus on growing our membership and identifying new community partner agencies, so that we are able to best reach those under-served communities throughout our city. We have also committed to a five-year update to our diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging (DEIB) efforts, embedding that as a focus to the entire JLC membership experience.

How we listen

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Seeking feedback from people served makes programs more responsive and effective. Here’s how this organization is listening.

done We demonstrated a willingness to learn more by reviewing resources about feedback practice.
done We shared information about our current feedback practices.
  • Who are the people you serve with your mission?

    The Junior League of Chicago partners with various community-based organizations, each of which targets an under-served population within Chicago. More specifically, our mission is to establish trusted partnerships that address unmet community needs and issues facing women, children, and families.

  • How is your organization collecting feedback from the people you serve?

    Electronic surveys (by email, tablet, etc.), Candid conversations between Committee Chairs or Members and constituents subsequent to programming,

  • How is your organization using feedback from the people you serve?

    To identify and remedy poor client service experiences, To identify bright spots and enhance positive service experiences, To make fundamental changes to our programs and/or operations, To inform the development of new programs/projects, To strengthen relationships with the people we serve, To understand people's needs and how we can help them achieve their goals,

  • What significant change resulted from feedback?

    The JLC concentrates our work in the community across three signature issues that reflect the highest need across the greater Chicagoland. In 2019, our board of directors approved a new strategic plan which included evaluating whether our signature issues of Health & Wellness, Education, and Human Trafficking were still aligned with the greatest needs in our community. Beginning in 2019, we met with a variety of elected officials at the state and local level to discuss their greatest needs and the issues their constituents were facing. In evaluating this feedback, the JLC felt it warranted further research to confirm that data and community feedback supported what we were hearing from these officials. We began a formal audit process in 2020, gathering additional data and feedback fro

  • With whom is the organization sharing feedback?

    Our board, Feedback is shared with the respective Committee Chairs and its Member, as necessary,

  • Which of the following feedback practices does your organization routinely carry out?

    We collect feedback from the people we serve at least annually, We aim to collect feedback from as many people we serve as possible, We take steps to ensure people feel comfortable being honest with us, We look for patterns in feedback based on demographics (e.g., race, age, gender, etc.), We look for patterns in feedback based on people’s interactions with us (e.g., site, frequency of service, etc.), We engage the people who provide feedback in looking for ways we can improve in response, We act on the feedback we receive,

  • What challenges does the organization face when collecting feedback?

    We don’t have the right technology to collect and aggregate feedback efficiently, The people we serve tell us they find data collection burdensome, Data sharing between our organization and our community partners (5013c organizations) is complex,

Financials

JUNIOR LEAGUE OF CHICAGO INC
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Operations

The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.

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Connect with nonprofit leaders

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Build relationships with key people who manage and lead nonprofit organizations with GuideStar Pro. Try a low commitment monthly plan today.

  • Analyze a variety of pre-calculated financial metrics
  • Access beautifully interactive analysis and comparison tools
  • Compare nonprofit financials to similar organizations

Want to see how you can enhance your nonprofit research and unlock more insights? Learn More about GuideStar Pro.

JUNIOR LEAGUE OF CHICAGO INC

Board of directors
as of 10/07/2022
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board chair

Mrs. Kristin Bernhard

Start Early

Term: 2022 - 2024

Kara Goodbrand

Legal & General Investment Management America

Becky Hogan

Manifold Group

Bridgette Lobdell

EY

Danielle Powers

Beam Suntory

Elizabeth Kennedy

Xylem

Taylor Sinclair

Finn Partners

Julia Byers

PwC

Rebekah Bueschel

Winston & Strawn LLP

Alexis Curtis

Association of Military Osteopathic Physicians & Surgeons

Cara Stern

Student

Patrice Gramberg

JLL

Jennessa Tabba

Rise Interactive

Lekisha Gunn

Girls on the Run

Magda Pecyna

Aon

JaCee Burnes

Junior League of Chicago

Kristin Bernhard

Start Early

Board leadership practices

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section.

  • Board orientation and education
    Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations? Yes
  • CEO oversight
    Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year ? Yes
  • Ethics and transparency
    Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year? Yes
  • Board composition
    Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership? Yes
  • Board performance
    Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years? Yes

Organizational demographics

SOURCE: Self-reported; last updated 9/12/2022

Who works and leads organizations that serve our diverse communities? GuideStar partnered on this section with CHANGE Philanthropy and Equity in the Center.

Leadership

The organization's leader identifies as:

Race & ethnicity
White/Caucasian/European
Gender identity
Female, Not transgender (cisgender)
Sexual orientation
Heterosexual or Straight
Disability status
Person without a disability

The organization's co-leader identifies as:

Race & ethnicity
White/Caucasian/European
Gender identity
Female, Not transgender (cisgender)
Sexual orientation
Heterosexual or Straight
Disability status
Person without a disability

Race & ethnicity

Gender identity

 

Sexual orientation

Disability

Equity strategies

Last updated: 09/12/2022

GuideStar partnered with Equity in the Center - an organization that works to shift mindsets, practices, and systems to increase racial equity - to create this section. Learn more

Data
  • We have long-term strategic plans and measurable goals for creating a culture such that one’s race identity has no influence on how they fare within the organization.
Policies and processes
  • We seek individuals from various race backgrounds for board and executive director/CEO positions within our organization.
  • We have community representation at the board level, either on the board itself or through a community advisory board.
  • We help senior leadership understand how to be inclusive leaders with learning approaches that emphasize reflection, iteration, and adaptability.
  • We engage everyone, from the board to staff levels of the organization, in race equity work and ensure that individuals understand their roles in creating culture such that one’s race identity has no influence on how they fare within the organization.