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As the newest staff member at the AIDS Foundation of Chicago (AFC), I am thrilled to announce an intensive program that will allow AIDS organizations to strengthen their planning and strategy-development efforts, and increase long-term sustainability--hence the title of this mini-series, Sustainable Strategy Program. We're offering this through our Service Providers Council (SPC), a place for leaders in the HIV/AIDS field to continue providing excellent services, especially as the Affordable Care Act transforms our health-service delivery system. For people living with HIV, access to services and continuity of care are paramount. In order for individuals and organizations to thrive, we need to be prepared for health care reform. The Sustainable Strategy Program is a resource to help us do just that.


The AIDS Foundation of Chicago’s Sustainable Strategy Program is an intensive workshop series that will teach leaders of AIDS Service Organizations (ASO) how to sustain their organizations’ work. The Program will address agency challenges and how to increase earned income. Teams will also develop and present a sustainable strategy to a panel of Chicago-area funders, who will offer feedback to strengthen the ASO’s capacity for future funding.

Mark Light, Ph.D., MBA, will lead the Sustainable Strategy Program. Dr. Light has more than 20 years of experience leading and consulting for nonprofits, and he currently serves as Executive in Residence and Assistant Professor at DePaul University’s School of Public Service. To learn more about this Program visit

This series will be divided into 4 workshops: (1) Great Start; (2) Great Ideas; (3) Great Strategies; and (4) Great to Go. Each workshop will be presented as follows:

  1. GREAT START (1 Day)
    Know who you are and where you are now
    Friday, September 20, 2013
    9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

  2. GREAT IDEAS (1.5 Days)
    Decide where you’re going and how to get there
    Thursday, October 10, 2013
    1:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.
    Friday, October 11, 2012
    9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

  3. GREAT STRATEGIES (1.5 Days)
    Transform your best ideas into great strategies, and test them.
    Thursday, October 31, 2013
    9:00 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.
    Friday, November 1, 2013
    9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

  4. GREAT TO GO (1 Day – Final)
    Put it all together in a strategic plan
    Friday, November 22, 2013
    9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

Workshops will occur downtown with a complimentary breakfast and/or lunch. Attendance is mandatory for all participating organizations. Included in the Program is up to 4 hours of on-site coaching per agency, provided by First Light Group. Agencies may use this coaching for a half-day retreat to engage their boards and key staff by revisiting missions and generating strategy ideas.

Upon completion of the Program, participants will have developed a new business model aimed at financial stability for their organization and will present this model for feedback to a diverse panel of funders.

Support for the Sustainable Strategy Program has been made possible through the generous support of the Chicago Community Trust.

The AIDS Foundation of Chicago anticipates that five to six selected organizations will participate in the Sustainable Strategy Training Program. All accepted organizations must meet the following requirements:

  • Organizations must have a minimum annual budget of $750,000.
  • Organizations must provide a nonrefundable payment of $350, once selected.
  • Organizations must have their Board Chair indicate support for staff participation.
  • Organizations must commit to having 3 key members of its leadership team engaged in the training program. Recommended members include the organization’s President/CEO or Executive Director, Chief Financial Officer, and Program Director.
  • Organizations must have a minimum of two members from their training team at each of the four courses.
  • Organizations must commit to completing assignments between training courses.
  • Organizations must have a board representative attend his/her organization’s final presentation on November 22, 2013

Organizations that fail to meet these requirements may be asked to leave the training program.

Organizations must fully complete the program application for consideration. The application includes the following elements:

I. Applicant Information
II. Team Member Summary
III. Statement of Interest
IV. Financial Summary
V. Capacity Assessment
VI. Board Chair Acknowledgement Form
VII. Signature Page

All application materials must be submitted to Jasmine Jenkins at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it by Thursday, August 1, 2013 at 5:00 p.m. For all emailed applications,
place Sustainable Strategy Program Application in Subject line.

Mailed and hand-delivered applications must arrive no later than 5:00 p.m. August 1, 2013. Send applications to:

AIDS Foundation of Chicago
Attention: Jasmine Jenkins
200 W. Jackson Blvd., Suite 2200
Chicago, IL 60606

Faxed applications will not be accepted.

The AIDS Foundation of Chicago will host an Information Session about the Sustainable Strategy Program on Tuesday, July 2, 2013 from 10:00 a.m. – 12 noon. Interested organizations may attend in-person at AFC, 200 W. Jackson Blvd., Suite 2200, or by phone: (866) 206-0240, pin: 783468#. This includes a PowerPoint presentation to explain the program in more detail. Participation in the Information Session is not mandatory.

To register for the Information Session, email Jasmine Jenkins at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it . Please include in the subject line: Information Session Registration.

If you are unable to attend the information session or have further questions about this opportunity, visit or contact Kathye Gorosh, Vice President of Business & Strategy Development, at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or (312) 784-9048.