Press Release: Stronger Nonprofits Initiative Returns to Chicago, Addressing Barriers Leaders of Color Face in Accessing Resources January 17, 2023

IFF program aims to provide nonprofits led by people of color the resources necessary to empower decision making and navigate barriers to accessing capital and real estate opportunity

Chicago, IL (January 17, 2023)IFF, a nationally recognized mission-driven lender, developer, and real-estate consultant for Midwest nonprofits, is excited to announce the return of the Stronger Nonprofits Initiative (SNI) to Chicago after a five-year expansion throughout the Midwest. SNI is a free program providing nonprofit leaders of color with greater access to financial management tools and real estate planning resources. The latest cohort is comprised of 10 Chicago-based nonprofits that will participate in a 14-month curriculum, presented by IFF and BDO FMA and funded by JPMorgan Chase.

“Since its launch in Chicago five years ago, SNI has evolved as a racial equity program that acknowledges and prioritizes the lived experiences of nonprofit leaders of color,” said Vickie Lakes-Battle, IFF’s executive director of the Chicago Metro Region. “As a leader of color myself, I am excited to build relationships and partner with the selected organizations, and look forward to expanding the impact the program has in supporting leaders of color.”

IFF first launched SNI in 2017 in Chicago, and has since expanded the program to Detroit, Milwaukee, St. Louis, Indianapolis, and Kansas City. As the program celebrates its five-year anniversary, it is returning to Chicago with two more cohorts launching this year. Seventy-eight nonprofits have participated in the program, strengthening their organizations and deepening their impact in the communities they serve. Past participants have shared key takeaways from the program spanning from building networks of peers to improving financial management skills and practices.

“The SNI program and collaboration between JPMorgan Chase and IFF will build on a proven track record of helping local non-profits achieve their financial goals and build on the network of our local organizations leading to a more equitable city for all,” Chicago Department of Planning and Development Commissioner Maurice Cox said.

The first of the two remaining Chicago, IL cohorts includes: African American Christian Foundation, Apna Ghar, Inc., ASI, Inc., Bright Star Community Development Corporation, Erie Neighborhood House, Greater Englewood Chamber Foundation, Hispanic American Construction Industry Association Scholarship & Education Foundation, UrbanTheater Company, Women in Need Recovery, and You Matter 2 Inc. These 10 organizations will partake in a comprehensive curriculum including: training sessions focused on team-based fiscal management, one-on-one financial coaching, customized real estate consulting, expert panel discussions, special networking opportunities, and other events.

“JPMorgan Chase is deeply committed to collaborating with nonprofits, community partners and the business community to help advance inclusive economic growth and close the racial wealth gap,” said Joanna Trotter, JPMorgan Chase’s executive director and senior program officer of global philanthropy. “We applaud SNI’s return to Chicago and are committed to investing in nonprofit leaders of color to help build an economy that creates opportunity for all.”

Recruitment for the second Chicago, IL cohort launching this year will begin in the Spring 2023. For more information on SNI, visit

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Media Contact: Laura Silverman, Director of Communications,

Categories: Press

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