Category - Members

ICOY’s Equity & Access Fund

Students working at a desk

Unrestricted funds create a barrier for organizational representation

At ICOY we believe that Illinois only succeeds when ALL of its children and youth thrive. To achieve that vision, we must ensure that our coalition and collective voice incorporates representation and experience from the wide range of community providers serving children, youth, and families.

We know that lack of consistent access to unrestricted funds is a real barrier for many organizations to participate as members of ICOY. Many organizations providing critical service in their communities do not have a legacy of philanthropic giving, such as endowment funds, relationships with foundations and corporations, wealthy Board members, an internal development department, or other resources that make it possible for them to join associations such as ICOY.

When voices like these are excluded, even unintentionally, our understanding of the challenges community organizations face is limited, and our advocacy agenda suffers.

Making our collective voice stronger, more inclusive & better informed

For this reason, ICOY’s Board of Directors has taken the bold step to establish the Equity and Access Fund to provide subsidized memberships for qualifying community-based organizations. We ask all ICOY members, and especially those who pay dues at the maximum amount, to make an additional annual contribution to the Equity and Access Fund. We will use these funds to subsidize membership for at least three years for community-based organizations that have no or very little unrestricted funding.

Our collective voice will be stronger and more inclusive if we can make it possible for those who serve in isolated rural communities, or urban neighborhoods with a history of disinvestment, to be at the table with us. Our advocacy agenda will be better informed if we can reflect the range of needs that young people experience, and ultimately, we will be more effective in achieving our vision.

Get Involved

If you’re an organization that’s interested in applying for a subsidized membership, or if you are interested in making a donation to ICOY’s Equity and Access Fund, please contact Conor Van Santen for more information.