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LISC to Launch Chicago Plans Workshops

LISC Chicago is accepting applications for Chicago Plans, a new workshop series for nonprofit and community leaders designed to strengthen engagement and facilitation skills and support meaningful neighborhood engagement in place-based planning.

Online applications for the Fall 2015 cohort are due by Friday, September 4 at 6:00 p.m. CLICK HERE TO APPLY. 

About the new workshop series

Chicago Plans builds upon LISC Chicago’s approach to community development and neighborhood planning, refined over its 35-year history and anchored in its New Communities Program over the last 15 years.

Using a peer-to-peer format informed by experts from LISC, other intermediaries, and neighborhood leaders, this four-part series will help teams of local stakeholders develop engagement and facilitation skills and build a network of organizations across the city also engaged in community planning.

Together, the group will sharpen skills and practice tools to maximize participation and engagement; explore the unique role of community leadership in planning; reflect on personal skills in convening community stakeholders; and, study comprehensive planning, including participatory analysis, implementation and evaluation, along with resources available to leverage local plans. 

Specific tools include:

  • Historical scans: what history and context do stakeholders bring to your plan?
  • Stakeholder analysis: who is engaged, and how does this relate to your goals?
  • Focused conversation
  • Workshop facilitation
  • Action planning facilitation
  • Implementation strategies 

Application process

Chicago Plans is open to self-identified teams of up to three community leaders – at least one full-time staff at a local community organization and one to two local partners – with a clear goal or vision specific to place-based planning. Teams representing communities or organizations new to planning as well as those interested in revising or expanding existing plans are encouraged to apply. Planning efforts must focus on communities within the City of Chicago. 

Community teams selected to participate are expected to attend all four full-day workshops and will be required to complete assignments between each workshop, which could include: meeting with individual stakeholders, assembling and analyzing issues and data, and convening meetings. Assignments will be responsive to where each team/community is in the process, whether just exploring a plan or already in the midst of planning.

Chicago Plans 2015 fall schedule:

  • Friday, October 2
  • Friday, October 30
  • Friday, November 13
  • Friday, December 11

A total of 7-10 teams will be selected, reflecting the diverse demographics and geography of Chicago’s neighborhoods. 

Each team must submit a single online application here by Friday, September 4 at 6:00 p.m. to be considered for the Fall 2015 cohort. Chicago Plans will be held during Fall 2015 and again in Spring 2016. 


The full value of Chicago Plans for each participant is nearly $5,000, which LISC is able to cover through generous support from The Chicago Community Trust. Each team will contribute a $300 participation fee per team member, which will be provided as an early action grant to the team upon completion of the program towards their planning goals. 

For more information or questions, please contact Jake Ament at 312-422-9573 or 

Chicago Plans is generously supported by The Chicago Community Trust.

Posted in New Communities Network


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Local Initiatives Support Corporation Chicago connects neighborhoods to the resources they need to become stronger and healthier.

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