The Chicago Public Library Foundation

In Every Neighborhood. For Every Chicagoan.

aka CPLF   |   CHICAGO, IL   |  https://cplfoundation.org/

Mission

Established in 1986, the Chicago Public Library Foundation (CPLF) is an independent nonprofit that exists to accelerate the potential of our public library by investing in resources that transform lives and communities. For more than 30 years, we have connected individuals and corporations, neighborhood organizations, and City agencies committed to building a stronger and more equitable Chicago. Together, we make pathways to learning, creativity, and civic engagement accessible to Chicagoans of all ages through investment across three funding priority areas: Close the Academic Opportunity Gap; Activate Creativity & Connection for All; and Bridge the Digital Divide. Find us online at www.cplfoundation.org.

Notes from the nonprofit

Please note that our annual impact report is now available online at https://empowereverychicagoan.org/.

Ruling year info

1987

President & CEO

Ms. Brenda Langstraat

Main address

200 W Madison St 3rd Floor

CHICAGO, IL 60606 USA

Show more contact info

EIN

36-3480353

NTEE code info

Single Organization Support (A11)

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

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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?

YOUmedia

YOUmedia is a 21st century multi-purpose learning space for teens. Through YOUmedia, teens can pursue their interests in music, video, 2D and 3D design, photography, fashion, podcasts, art, STEM projects, and more – all assisted by skilled mentors. Free and open to all teens and pre-teens, YOUmedia encourages both collaboration and independent learning and discovery.

Population(s) Served
Adolescents

On Monday through Thursday afternoons during the school year, a Teacher in the Library can be found in most of Chicago Public Library’s 80 branches. These certified teachers provide one-on-one and small group assistance to kindergarteners, high schoolers, and every age in between.

Population(s) Served
Children and youth
Families

Summer Learning Challenge Keeps Chicago kids ages 0 – 13 reading and learning during the summer, with free, branch-based programming, field trips, and activities based around a Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Math (STEAM)-based theme. Recognized as a national leader in summer programming for children, the Summer Learning Challenge helps prevent the “summer brain drain” that can occur over the summer months.

Population(s) Served
Children and youth
Families

ScienceConnections is a year-round program available in all Chicago Public Library branches. It provides kids in grades K-8 free, “hands-on, minds-on” STEM activities designed to encourage their ability to think analytically, experiment, collaborate, and problem-solve.

Population(s) Served
Children and youth
Families

One Book engages diverse groups of Chicagoans around an annual book selection and central themes. Free public programming such as book discussions, author series, performances, art exhibits and films take place throughout Chicago and in partnership with Chicago’s robust cultural, educational and civic institutions.

Population(s) Served
Adults

A recipient of a Social Innovator Award from the Chicago Innovation Awards, CPL’s Maker Lab is the first, and still the only, FREE maker space in Chicago. In the space, patrons can experiment with new technologies while they work collaboratively with others and with guidance from Maker Lab staff.

Population(s) Served
Adults

In every community, CPL supports parents of young children 0 – 5 years with books, interactive toys, games and guidance to propel children’s language development and early literacy skills. The Library’s approach promotes evidence-based practices, encourages parents to talk and read with their children, and creates ample opportunities for play.

Population(s) Served
Infants and toddlers
Families

Digital readiness is defined as having both the access to digital tools and online resources, and the skills needed to use those tools. CyberNavigators help Library patrons become digitally ready through free one-on-one help sessions and small group classes. With CyberNavigator assistance, patrons create resumes and fill out online job applications, set up their personal email accounts, learn the basics of cyber-security, and find out how to access other online resources, such as educational programs and health information.

Population(s) Served
Adults
Seniors

Where we work

External assessments

Evaluated via the Impact Genome Project (2018)

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 new donors

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

Adults, Children and youth, Families

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Holding steady

Number of overall donors

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

Adults, Children and youth, Families

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Holding steady

Average number of dollars received per donor

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

Adults, Children and youth, Families

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Holding steady

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.

As the exclusive fundraising partner of Chicago Public Library, the Chicago Public Library Foundation connects individual, foundation, and corporate donors with opportunities to support above and beyond Library programs across three investment priority areas: 1) Close the Academic Opportunity Gap, 2) Activate Creativity and Connection for All, and 3) Bridge the Digital Divide.

Our 2022 organizational goals are:
1) Achieve our 2022 financial goals, including revenue and expense goals.
2) Drive donor support, including event support, program-specific support, and unrestricted donor support.
3) Ensure operational integrity, including data integrity, leading CPLF with data-informed decisions, and continue to advance our Equity Action Plan.
4) Stregthen our partnership with Chicago Public Library, including supporting CPL staff, and building awareness and visibility for CPLF.

To build awareness of CPLF and its mission, we will engage in such strategies as:
1) Building a strong brand identity
2) Increasing digital lead generation
3) Developing relationships with the media
4) Engaging more CPL patrons to join the CPLF community

To meet our revenue and fundraising support goals, CPLF will engage in strategies including:
1) Events to raise flexible funds and steward existing donors
2) Solicitations that build a diversified and balanced donor pyramid
3) Stewardship to celebrate and engage donors at all levels.

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

    Electronic surveys (by email, tablet, etc.), Paper surveys, Focus groups or interviews (by phone or in person),

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

    To identify bright spots and enhance positive service experiences, To make fundamental changes to our programs and/or operations, To understand people's needs and how we can help them achieve their goals,

  • With whom is the organization sharing feedback?

    Our staff, Our board, Our funders, Our community partners,

  • 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 act on the feedback we receive,

  • What challenges does the organization face when collecting feedback?

    The people we serve tell us they find data collection burdensome,

Financials

The Chicago Public Library Foundation
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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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  • 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.

The Chicago Public Library Foundation

Board of directors
as of 06/14/2022
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board chair

Mr. Robert Wislow

Co-Founder, Parkside Realty, Inc.

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 ? Not applicable
  • 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? Not applicable

Organizational demographics

SOURCE: Self-reported; last updated 1/18/2022

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)

Race & ethnicity

Gender identity

 

Sexual orientation

No data

Disability

No data

Equity strategies

Last updated: 03/09/2022

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 review compensation data across the organization (and by staff levels) to identify disparities by race.
  • We employ non-traditional ways of gathering feedback on programs and trainings, which may include interviews, roundtables, and external reviews with/by community stakeholders.
  • 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 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.