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Symposium Speaks to Role of Nonprofits in Cities

CHICAGO, IL (May 19, 2011) — Rahm Emanuel, the newly inaugurated mayor of Chicago, spoke about the importance of the nonprofit community in Chicago at North Park University’s annual Axelson Center Symposium for Nonprofit Professionals and Volunteers.

More than 500 people attended the symposium Tuesday, the largest conference in the Midwest focusing on nonprofit management. It included more than 40 of the country’s top nonprofit management experts and thought leaders, who participated in strategy-level discussions and led workshops throughout the day.

Emanuel spoke about the importance of Chicago’s nonprofit community and introduced the closing keynote speaker, Darell Hammond, CEO of KaBOOM!, a national nonprofit organization whose mission is to create great playspaces for America’s children through the participation and leadership of communities.

“We as a city benefit by what nonprofit organizations do for the City of Chicago,” Emanuel said.

“The attendance of Mayor Emanuel at today’s Axelson Center Symposium affirms the critical role schools and colleges like North Park University and all nonprofit organizations have in supporting the well-being of the City of Chicago,” said North Park president David Parkyn.

Pier C. Rogers, director of the Axelson Center, added, “We are delighted that Mayor Emanuel’s friendship with our speaker Darell Hammond has brought him to the University’s Axelson Center Symposium. His comments about our nonprofit community suggest his appreciation of nonprofit organizations in contributing to the vitality of Chicago and all its citizens.”

This year marks the tenth anniversary of the Alford-Axelson Award for Nonprofit Managerial Excellence, which was given to three nonprofit organizations that embody exemplary management practices. Children’s Home + Aid won the Large Nonprofit Award (annual budget exceeding $3 million annually) and Lincoln Park Community Shelter won the Small Nonprofit Award (annual budget under $3 million annually) and will each receive a $5,000 unrestricted grant. Additionally, Urban Initiatives won the Excellent Emerging Nonprofit Organization Award, which targets smaller, emerging organizations and includes more than $25,000 in pro bono capacity-building services and a $2,500 grant.

About the Author

  • Marianne Peters is a freelance writer, master gardener, and environmental educator. She lives in Plymouth, Indiana with her husband, two teenage daughters, and two mischievous ginger cats called Fred and George (after the Weasley twins of Harry Potter fame). From 2008-2013 she wrote the Creation Care column for Covenant Companion magazine. In 2011, her family decided to downsize by half, a decision that led to the publication of her book Declutter for Good: Share Your Life and Reclaim Your Life. She blogs about green living and gardening at www.freshwordswriting.com.

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