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Crossroads Fund 30th Anniversary

For three decades, Crossroads Fund has been supporting grassroots movements for racial, social and economic justice in the Chicago area. Our grantees have won historic victories, from accessibility in public transportation to an end to the Illinois death penalty.

Let’s celebrate the work of our grantees over the last 30 years, and raise funds to invest in the next 30!

Friday, March 2, 2012 5:30 p.m. – 9:30 p.m.
At the Chicago Cultural Center
GAR Hall
77 East Randolph Street
Chicago, Illinois

Schedule of Events:

5:30 p.m. General Reception
               live music, silent auction, buffet dinner and open bar
7:30 p.m. Awards Presentation
9:30 p.m. Event Concludes

We are no longer selling tickets online, but you can still buy a tickets at the door with cash, check or credit card. 


Check out a Preview of the Silent Auction!




30th Anniversary Award Winners:


Ron Sable Award for Activism

Chicago Freedom School

Since its founding five years ago, the Chicago Freedom School has served as an invaluable resource for youth activists across Chicago and around the country. Crossroads Fund is honored to recognize the Freedom School for their investment in training and support for young activists and organizations working with youth.

Barbara Ransby

Barbara Ransby’s impact on movements for justice is impossible to measure, from the founding of the Black Radical Congress, to her participation in African American Women in Defense of Ourselves, to her work as a founding member of Public Square and Ella’s Daughters, as well as her service as a board member, donor, ally and grantee at Crossroads Fund.

Donald F. Erickson Synapses Award

The Occupy Wall Street Movement

Seemingly overnight, Occupy Wall Street took to the streets and sparked a national grassroots movement for economic justice and government accountability, and against inequality. Crossroads Fund honors their important work across issues and communities. 

Fri, Jan 13, 2012

We are the 99%

It took thousands of people camping out in parks around the country to convince the mainstream media to acknowledge that economic inequality is a major problem in our country.  One study found that use of the words “income inequality” in the media increased more than 500% in the weeks after the Occupy Wall Street Movement began.

The issues that the Occupy Movement are protesting aren’t new for Crossroads Fund, however. We’ve been funding grassroots groups working for racial, social and economic justice in Chicago for 30 years. That’s why we’ve decided to support Occupy Chicago, by hosting their online donations page, and collecting donations for them in a pooled fund housed here at Crossroads Fund.

Occupy Chicago is a clear match for our mission and priorities. Like the Occupy Movement, we understand that social justice issues are profoundly interconnected, and that we need cross-issue and cross-community movements to create lasting change in our society. Many of our grantees have taken to the streets with Occupy Chicago to protest against foreclosures, for worker rights, to save mental health clinics and to protest cuts to Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security.

So we have put our money (and time) where our mouth is! Not only are we waiving our fees for pooled funds for Occupy Chicago, but we are also paying the costs associated with hosting their donation pages. We’ve dedicated hours of staff time to meeting with folks from Occupy Chicago, attended the General Assemblies downtown, and given advice about everything from legal assistance to fiscal sponsors.

Whatever the outcomes of the Occupy Movement, it represents an important nexus for economic justice organizing in our city, and we’re proud to have played a part.

You can donate online to support Occupy Chicago here.

Thu, Dec 01, 2011

An image from the "We Stand with the 99% Blog"

Over the last month, people have been talking about wealth inequality like never before. Warren Buffet took to the pages of the New York Times to argue that it was immoral that as one of the country’s richest men, he should be taxed at a lower rate than his secretary. Not long after, the Occupy Wall Street movement and its offshoots took up his rallying cry, bringing unprecedented attention to the fact that 1% of Americans own 38% of the country’s wealth. But despite dire warnings from the right that class war is around the corner, these protests are not simply the poor and middle class attacking the rich. Many people with wealth have taken to the streets to express their solidarity with the 99% and to ask to pay their fair share to make the US a more just nation.

The most visible of these efforts have come from the groups Resource Generation and Wealth for the Common Good, and their blog We Stand With the 99%, which features messages from some of the wealthiest Americans calling for higher taxes and more social services. Both groups organize people of wealth to work for a more equitable tax system, and to encourage them to use their resources to promote social justice.

Chicago has its own home grown organization of progressive 1 percenters that pre-dates Occupy Wall Street by more than a year. Rich American Patriots United for a Tax Increase, or RAPUFATI, was formed in protest of the Bush tax cuts and to demand that the wealthy pay their fair share of taxes. The group is a project of “Mary and Kristina, two intelligent women concerned about public finance, tax policy, the deficit and related issues.  Mary is affluent, elderly, and rather cranky.  Kristina is young, vibrant, open to new ideas and initiatives.” They argue that

We owe this republic not only our allegiance but our gratitude.  We are the people who have profited most from American capitalism. Assets appreciate, untaxed capital gains accumulate and huge fortunes pass to new generations of a monied class. We are it. We are cheerfully willing to be taxed so that our government can fulfill its constitutional obligations and legislative mandates.  When our country needs money, government should go to those who've got it. 

Here at Crossroads Fund, we know that lasting social change takes the cooperation of folks from every part of society. We were founded 30 years ago by activists, some of whom families of means, and who wanted to use that wealth to fight for racial, social and economic justice. And we are able to support so many grassroots social justice groups because of generous support from people at all income levels. That’s why we’re so excited to see the work of groups like Resource Generation, Wealth for the Common Good and RAPUFATI reach new audiences through the Occupy movement and beyond.

Tue, Nov 08, 2011


30 Years of Workers RightsAs the deepening recession has led to high unemployment and coordinated attacks on organized labor, we need new strategies to end inequality and win widespread improvements in wages and working conditions.

Join local organizers to discuss innovative approaches in the fight for workers rights in today's challenging economic and political climate.

Wednesday October 26, 2011 
6-8 PM
Jane Addams Hull House Museum*
The University of Illinois at Chicago
800 S. Halsted (M/C 051)
Chicago, IL 60607-7017

Erica Sagrans - Editor, We Are Wisconsin

Leah Raffanti, Chicago ACTS
Elvis Mendez, Warehouse Workers for Justice
Linda Haluska, OUR Walmart

This program is part of Reading Change, an ongoing reading and events series celebrating the 30th anniversary of Crossroads Fund. For more information about Reading Change see Copies of We are Wisconsin are available for purchase at Women & Children First Bookstore, and as a free PDF download on the We are Wisconsin website.    

* Location is wheelchair accessible. For other accessibility needs or questions, please contact Rachel Wallis (   

Sponsored by Crossroads Fund, Chicago Jobs with Justice, Public Square and the Jane Addams Hull House Museum.


Thu, Oct 06, 2011

Crossroads Fund is looking for a consultant to help us implement a tool to measure our social change impact. See the RFP below for more information:

Consultant to refine and implement evaluation tool – Request for Proposal

Crossroads Fund

Crossroads Fund supports community organizations working for racial, social and economic justice in the Chicago metro region.  As a community foundation, our grantmaking decisions are guided by community activists. Supporting new, emerging groups is what Crossroads Fund is all about.  Since 1981, we’ve funded hundreds of organizations using innovative strategies to address the most topical issues of the day.  Our grantees work to change systems and policies in an effort to make Chicago more just and equitable for all.  To learn more on our approach and work please visit our website at

Background to the evaluation tool

The first mention of an evaluation tool came out of the strategic planning work completed in 2004 and a discussion around the form of organizing Crossroads supports.  The most common form of organizing in Chicago is the Alinsky model which has some limitations in terms of; not working over the long haul with communities to develop authentic leadership, limited gender and race analysis, not acknowledging different communities requiring different organizing strategies, etc.  Crossroads Fund grantees incorporate some elements of the Alinsky model while also incorporating additional strategies that address community specific requirements.  As the discussion progressed it presented another question on how best to articulate why Crossroads Fund selects the groups that it funds and what the groups were accomplishing toward social change more specifically.  The idea of developing an evaluation tool to measure this came up.

Evaluation tool working group

A working group was formed to provide input as the evaluation tool was created and to provide suggestions on its implementation thereafter. The working group is composed of Crossroads Fund Board members, grantees, researchers, evaluation practitioners and organization development consultants.  In addition to the working group members, there is an advisory team mainly of academicians that acts as a sounding board to the working group.


At the moment the working group has produced a draft tool that looks at indicators of social change impact related to four types of social transformation (cultural transformation, community transformation, institutional transformation and sustainable transformation), and links these “domains” of transformation with five areas of capacity (communications capacity, leadership capacity, strategic capacity, research capacity and infrastructure capacity) we believe are required to achieve them.

Part of what excites us about the current version of the tool is that it can be used in multiple applications – as a planning document, or as a way to gauge work that has already been accomplished, by individual organizations, or by Crossroads Fund as a whole. It is not a “one size fits all” approach, but allows grantees to articulate their own goals, needs and assets, in consultation with Crossroads Fund, or in peer exchange conversations with one another. It values some of the specific forms of organizing and social change goals that make Crossroads Fund grantees unique – like prioritizing the leadership development of those most directly affected by issues of racial, economic and social injustice -- as an end and not just a means. It also makes an attempt to achieve the Crossroads Fund theory of change by situating our own and our grantees’ work within a framework of broader movements and movement-building.

We are looking for a consultant to help us bring the tool to the next stage by piloting it with a small group of our grantees

Consultant Job Description

The consultant will work closely with the evaluation tool working group, grantees, staff and other stakeholders to refine the evaluation tool, oversee implementation of the tool for both Crossroads Fund grantees and Crossroads Fund, document the process and make recommendations as the process moves along.  Responsibilities associated with this include but are not limited to:


  1. Provide input on the existing evaluation tool based on best practices and knowledge of evaluating social change work.
  2. Facilitate evaluation tool grantee pilot group to ensure; deep understanding of the tool, incorporation of grantee feedback to the tool and ensure there is enough buy in to use the tool to evaluate social change work.
  3. Work with grantees individually to ensure clarity in the use and purpose of the tool.
  4. Work with Crossroads Fund Board and staff on using the evaluation tool to examine our own grantmaking and programs and their contribution to movement-building.
  5. Help Crossroads Fund develop mechanisms for understanding in a more direct and specific way the role  our grants play in assisting grantees achieve their social change outcomes.
  6. The consultant will analyze and synthesize the results from the grantee pilot group as well as the efficacy of the implementation process.
  7. Analysis of data and recommendations in the form of a formal written report.
  8. Help Crossroads Fund develop ongoing mechanisms and report formats to synthesize and analyze data collected through our evaluation tool for presenting our own impact to the general public.
  9. Help Crossroads Fund design mechanisms to convert qualitative findings into quantitative findings that can be shared with the general public.


Qualifications (consultant’s knowledge, skills and abilities)

  1. Experience and knowledge of evaluating social change work.
  2. Ability to work with community based social justice grassroots organizations that are; small in budget size, working on various social justice issues, volunteer run organizations, at various stages of organizational growth and organizations using nontraditional organizing models.
  3. Experience working with people of all backgrounds and experiences.
  4. Excellent writing and interpersonal skills, attention to details, team player and ability to manage multiple constituents and stakeholders.
  5. Willingness to share knowledge and skills with participants of the evaluation tool process to empower them with the same.
  6. Commitment to social change and progressive politics.
  7. Sense of humor.


  • October- November 2011: Interview evaluation tool consultants, hire consultant. Bring consultant up to speed on existing documents.
  • November-December 2011: Consultant meets individually with pilot grantees to facilitate understanding of the tool, provide a safe space for critical feedback of the tool, facilitate implementation and communication of findings from the evaluation tool.
  • November 2011-January 2012: Consultant conducts research to begin structuring their foundation (Crossroads Fund) -level analysis.
  • December 2011:  Work with Communications/Fundraising staff to identify designer to structure the text that accompanies the tool, in order to maximize its accessibility.
  • Early January 2012: Staff/consultant meets with pilot group for check-in.
  • January 2012: Determine next steps, timeline for consultant’s report.
  • January – July 2012: Consultative role in monitoring feedback and progress of the evaluation tool pilot.

 Project supervision

The project will be supervised and directed by the Program Director in consultation with the Executive Director.  The Evaluation Tool working group will act as an advisory body. The consultant will work most closely with program staff, including the Program Director and Program Associate, but will have some contact with fundraising and communications staff and Crossroads Fund board members in helping them apply the tool to their own work within the organization.

Selection Criteria

  1. Technical experience and knowledge in evaluating social change work
  2. Ability to work with grassroots social justice organizations.
  3. Ability to complete the task successfully and in a timely manner
  4. Good record of past performance
  5. Solid execution plan

Proposal submission

Interested consultants should submit the following, no later than 5:00pm on October 21st 2011, to Jane Kimondo at or mail/ deliver to Crossroads Fund 3411 West Diversey, Suite 20, Chicago, IL 60647. 

  1. A proposal describing your qualification in evaluating social change work.
  2. Description of how you would approach this assignment.
  3. Tools that you would use i.e. type of data analysis, specific software, feedback mechanism during the course of the project etc. 
  4. Sample/s of similar work completed successfully.
  5. Names, phone numbers and contact people at three nonprofit organizations that you have provided evaluation services in the last 18 months, whom we can call as references.
  6. A firm itemized estimate of fees and related costs associated with the project.  Costs should take into consideration that Crossroads Fund is a relatively small foundation.
  7. Resume.

Interview with finalists will be held soon after the October 21st, 2011 deadline.


Crossroads Fund reserves the right to select the consultant determined to closely match the experience, knowledge and skills set that fit the project and to negotiate all fees associated.  Any material generated from the project is the sole property of Crossroads Fund.


Mon, Oct 03, 2011