Standard Operating Protocols at the Chicago Trust

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The Chicago Community Trust





Organization Overview:

The Chicago Community Trust is the Chicago region's largest community foundation. Founded in 1915, the Trust is one of the oldest and largest community foundations in the world. Its vision is a thriving, equitable and connected Chicago region where people of all races, places and identities have the opportunity to reach their potential.  For more than a century the Trust has convened, supported, funded and accelerated the work of community members and change-makers committed to strengthening the Chicago region. In 2019, the Trust revised its strategy to tackle our region’s biggest challenge: racial and ethnic wealth inequality.

Project Name:

Standard Operating Protocols at the Chicago Trust
Project Type: 
Performance Management; Program Development

Project Overview:

For more than century, the Chicago Community Trust has focused its resources on the Chicago region's more pressing needs, however the Trust hasn't always invested resources internally. In order to meet the needs of our stakeholders, improve efficiencies and strengthen our internal operations, the Trust has pledged to support numerous internal infrastructure projects. However, we do not have documented standard operating procedures to ensure that we are leveraging our internal resources in the most effective way.


  1. Documented Standard Operating Procedures for all 40 core processes
  2. Related training materials for staff (might be diagrams, how-to guides or short videos).

Examples of core processes include: 

  • Managing the grant application and approval process
  • Managing grantee relationships
  • Monitoring grantee performance and analytics
  • Managing talent and professional development
  • Generating dashboards and analytics
  • Managing donor information
  • Managing impact investing
  • Managing internal and external communications and public relations


The student would not be responsible for recommending efficiencies, but documenting challenges or opportunities could be part of the project.  The first priority is to document current state and highlight challenges or ‘wish-list’ for current processes.  Optimizing processes and designing new future state workflows would follow but are probably beyond the scope of this engagement.


Project Timeline: This project is expected to take about 6 mos.

Fels Institute of Government

The Fels Institute of Government
3814 Walnut St. 
Philadelphia, PA 19104

(215) 898-7326