October 2017


The Albert Pick Jr. Fund

The Alvin H. Baum Family Fund

BlueCross BlueShield of Illinois 


The Chicago Community Trust 

Chicago CRED

The Field Foundation of Illinois

Irving Harris Foundation

Jewish United Fund of Metropolitan Chicago 

The Joyce Foundation

JPMorgan Chase & Co.

Krehbiel Family Foundation

Lefkofsky Family Foundation

Lloyd A. Fry Foundation

MacArthur Foundation

Michael Reese Health Trust

Motorola Solutions Foundation

Polk Bros. Foundation

Pritzker Pucker Family Foundation

Pritzker Traubert Foundation

Robert R. McCormick Foundation


Steans Family Foundation

United Way of Metro Chicago

Vistex Foundation

Woods Fund

...and more
Last year, following a decade of progress in reducing violence, Chicago suffered more than 4,000 shootings and nearly 800 homicides, a level of violence unheard of since the 1990s. Many are stepping up to stop gun violence, and among the responses is the Partnership for Safe and Peaceful Communities, a coalition of more than 30 Chicago funders and foundations committed to aligning their work to support proven and promising approaches to reducing gun violence.

Starting in 2016, informed by the longstanding work of many organizations to address root causes of gun violence, several foundations supported the operations of the Police Accountability Task Force and made direct investments in more than 100 neighborhood organizations in communities most affected by violence. Today, members of the Partnership, which has been facilitated by Civic Consulting Alliance staff, are working together to coordinate their individual investments in four key strategies:
  • Intervening with likely victims and perpetrators through street outreach, supportive services, constructive policing interventions, cognitive behavioral therapy, and jobs.
  • Increasing legitimacy for and effectiveness of the Chicago Police Department through improved training, better police-community relations, greater community voice in the design and operations of police accountability structures, and other reforms.
  • Strengthening gun laws to reduce the availability of illegal firearms.
  • Supporting 120 grassroots community-based organizations for events and projects in 2017 across 17 Chicago community areas to foster stronger community bonds, crowd out violence and promote constructive engagement with law enforcement.
"PSPC is one of many responses to the crisis in gun violence. By aligning grantmaking on a scale seldom accomplished, philanthropy is working to play its part to address a crisis that we all must respond to," says Gillian Darlow, CEO of the   Polk Bros. Foundation

"We look forward to future collaborations with Civic Consulting Alliance as COPA continues its work"

Annette Moore,
Chief of Staff,
The Civilian Office of Police Accountability (COPA) marked its official launch on September 15. This event was the culmination of nine months of work to wind down COPA's predecessor agency, the Independent Police Review Authority (IPRA), and stand up a new agency charged with investigating claims of police misconduct. The staff and leadership of COPA step into a crucial role in Chicago's criminal justice system: building an agency that Chicagoans will trust to provide effective and fair investigation of claims.
Sharon Fairley, the inaugural Chief Administrator of COPA, brought the Civic Consulting Alliance on board to help wind down IPRA and plan for the launch of the new agency. She recognized that rebuilding community belief in police oversight would require COPA to do things differently, and she sought the support of CCA and its partners to identify how to make essential changes. An EY /Civic Consulting team provided project management support to the subject matter experts COPA already had in position. A partner team from Crowe Horwath created a quality assurance and quality improvement process for COPA to ensure that all cases are handled in a consistent, high-quality manner, while Zeno Group assisted in the COPA communications plan before and at the launch.

COPA's innovations include a mediation process that will allow cases to reach a conclusion more quickly, and the planned opening of satellite offices to facilitate complaint-making. An expanded staff and budget are in place to support these changes. At the launch, COPA Chief of Staff Annette Moore reflected on the supporting role of CCA, its partners, and the future of COPA: "The assistance of Civic Consulting was invaluable. I will miss having their counsel and steady hand with us every day and week, but we look forward to future collaborations as COPA continues its work."

"With the help of Civic Consulting Alliance and its pro bono partners, our innovations are more likely to be both effective and durable."
Kim Fox x ,
Cook County State's Attorney Kim Foxx came into office in January with the promotion of public safety as the centerpiece of her agenda. That has remained her focus during her first year in office. Building on an initial phase of strategic planning work, CCA and pro bono partners helped the State's Attorney's team to implement several specific projects.
The State's Attorney Office (SAO) has reallocated its prosecutorial resources through the creation of a Homicide and Gangs Unit, giving prosecutors more continuity and control in their work. Complementary to that effort is the SAO's expanded use of pathways to deferred prosecution and alternative sentencing for those accused of less serious crimes. The pathways work, supported by the University of Chicago Booth School of Business, serves the 
interests of both public safety and justice by offering opportunities for rehabilitation. Along with these direct operational changes, the State's Attorney's Office has developed a performance management system and leadership strategy, with support from KPMG, and an employee evaluation system to help the SAO define decision rights, with support from Deloitte.

The many changes underway at the SAO underscore the value of a strategic plan when it comes time to set priorities and manage change on multiple fronts. "Civic Consulting Alliance and its pro bono partners have been valued collaborators with my team since I was elected," notes State's Attorney Foxx. "With their help in strategic planning and then in the implementation of the plan, our innovations are more likely to be both effective and durable."

  • Civic Consulting staff moderated a  Chicago Ideas Week  lab hosted by  CannonDesign . Participants worked in teams to come up with solutions to public sector challenges faced in CCA's recent client engagements.

Questions? Comments? Contact Robert Owens.

Civic Consulting Alliance is an affiliate of the Civic Committee of the
Commercial Club of Chicago.