Youth Development

Chicago Engineers Foundation of the Union League Club

Supporting the Next Generation of Engineers

aka Chicago Engineers Foundation

Chicago, IL

This organization is a 501(c)(3) Private Operating Foundation (This organization has notified the IRS of its intention to convert to a public charity, and the IRS has ruled that grantors and contributors may consider it a public charity for the purpose of making contributions to the organization.).


The mission of the Chicago Engineers' Foundation is to encourage and empower young people to become the next generation of engineers through scholarship opportunities, outreach to educational institutions, and promoting interest in engineering careers.

Ruling Year


Executive Director

Debbie Birrell

Main Address

65 W Jackson Blvd

Chicago, IL 60604 USA


education, scholarships, engineering, philanthropy





Cause Area (NTEE Code)

Youth Development Programs (O50)

IRS Filing Requirement

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

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Programs + Results

What we aim to solve New!

Chicago Engineers' Foundation seeks to empower the next generation of engineers with the tools they need to succeed in college and beyond. The world needs hard-working problem solvers to address growing and changing infrastructure in this country. We encourage young people to learn and ask questions early on about the engineering sector via our school outreach initiatives. In addition, our Incentive Awards program provides monetary support as engineering students work diligently through their college courses. Further, our newest initiative, the Student Success Initiative provides career readiness skills to award recipients to ensure they are supported throughout their college years and as they start their engineering careers.

Our programs

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

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Incentive Awards for Aspiring Engineers

Student Outreach

Where we workNew!

Charting Impact

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

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What is the organization aiming to accomplish?

What are the organization's key strategies for making this happen?

What are the organization's capabilities for doing this?

How will they know if they are making progress?

What have and haven't they accomplished so far?

The goals of the Chicago Engineers' Foundation (CEF) are to provide support and resources to every aspiring engineering student in Chicago. We seek to be the organization students look to as they work towards a career in engineering. In addition, CEF hopes to continue to grow as a network for both professional engineers and the next generation.

The strategies CEF is using to achieve our goals include expanding opportunities to reach out to young people interested in engineering concepts. Further, we are increasing our volunteer offerings to include more opportunities for those in the engineering field to get involved in our community. In addition, CEF is reaching out to professional associations and interested community groups to identify opportunities for partnership activities.

Chicago Engineers' Foundation embarked on its first 5-year strategic plan in 2017. The initiatives outlined in the plan are directly aligned with the organization's goals and overall mission focus. The first year of the plan has already exceeded expectations with many initiatives underway with more in development for the coming years. The plan has overwhelming support from the organization's leadership and community. In addition, the organization has an enthusiastic and growing volunteer base, and a working Board of Directors dedicated to achieving our goals and ensuring the long-term stability of the Chicago Engineers' Foundation.

The organization's committees are actively working to develop and sustain the initiatives outlined in the strategic plan. At each Board of Director's meeting, committee chairs report on their progress, and the reporting templates specifically outline how their activities meet the strategies and goals outlined in the organization's overall plans. In addition, the CEF leadership is updating the multi-year plan annually to ensure the organization continues to achieve goals while also looking towards future growth and stability.

The first year of the Chicago Engineer's Foundation strategic plan has been a year of promise, enthusiasm, and growth. The organization debuted several new initiatives for our Incentive Award recipients including corporate tours, career development workshops and an internship resume exchange. In addition, CEF leaders are actively working with both professional associations and community groups on developing partnership activities aimed at expanding outreach to more young people interested in engineering careers. Further, the CEF student outreach program saw incredible growth in the first year. The growing base of professional volunteers are reaching out to young people at schools and community events throughout the metropolitan area with plans in place to continue to expand our interest in educating young people about all the engineering sector has to offer.

External Reviews


Chicago Engineers Foundation of the Union League Club

Fiscal year: Jun 01 - May 31

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

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  • Address, phone, website and contact information
  • Forms 990 for 2017, 2016 and 2015

Board Leadership Practices

GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section, which enables organizations and donors to transparently share information about essential board leadership practices.

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization


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?



Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year?



Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year?



Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership?



Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years?