February 2016 Associate Board Spotlight: Chicago Foundation for Education

“A teacher affects eternity; he can never tell where his influence stops.” – Henry Adams

The Chicago Foundation for Education (“CFE”) recognizes the importance of the teacher’s ability to affect change in Chicago Public Schools. For over 30 years, CFE has been providing grants and professional development opportunities to qualifying teachers, and for the past 4 years, the Associate Committee has helped to fund and raise awareness for some of those opportunities. In addition to being tasked with fundraising and publicity for the cause, the Associate Committee members are asked to volunteer, bring aboard new members, and help plan events for the organization.

Sarah Vogt has been on the board for the past 3 years and previously served as the fundraising chair. Sarah spent some time with us at CharityScenes to tell us about her experience. She previously worked at PWC and recently her interest in education has led her to pursue a Master’s degree in public policy. Sarah is one of about 20 young professionals on the board who come from diverse backgrounds, although many of the current members happen to work in finance. She let us know that board is actively looking to recruit about 10 new members over the course of the year…so we’ve tried to make your decision making a little easier and highlighted 3 big reasons you should consider joining the CFE Associate Committee!



o   Connected to the cause – board members have the opportunity to evaluate grants, audit grants (i.e. check that funds are used in accordance with the stated purpose), and even visit classrooms to see their grants being put to good use! Sarah loved seeing one of the grants at work in a classroom performance she attended where all the kids dressed up as animals as part of a science class.

o   Immediate impact – Board members pay $30 in annual dues and the combined funds are used as a small grant to an individual teacher


o   Make friends – the board is fun! They hosts 2 unique fundraisers each year and a lot of the meetings will also have a social component after

o   Spice up your social calendar – what better reason is there to get people together than raising money for a good cause? Board members spend time and energy to pull off successful- and I mean successful! $40,000 raised! – events such as their annual whirleyball tournament in November or a bags/cornhole tournament in the spring or summer. Grab your friends and get them involved too!


o   Take on a leadership position – The executive board of the associate committee is comprised of a chairman, a fundraising chair, a volunteer chair and a social & membership chair. There are often opportunities to take on one of these roles or other leadership positions related to the fundraisers.

o   Networking – while some members are teachers or work in education, most board members do not and are drawn to the cause by their interest in education and making a difference in Chicago. Bonus: associate committee members have the opportunity to network with and reach out to senior leaders who serve on the board of directors, including prestigious lawyers, private equity principals, leaders in education and more!

Want to learn more and see the board in action? Check out their webpage here: http://www.cfegrants.org/about/associate-committee/