Innovations & Trends in Philanthropy | Opportunities to Amplify Your Impact

“We make a living by what we get. We make a life by what we give.”
– Winston Churchill

K Sujata, Kay Koehler, and Julie Hoffmann led an enlightening conversation that offered several reminders as we continue our philanthropic pursuits and amplify our impact with the causes that matter most to us.

They shared their perspectives on the evolution of philanthropy, common types of philanthropy, the advantages, and challenges of pivoting from corporate work to the non-profit world, how to think about philanthropy as being part of our legacy, and strategies for using our influence to make a positive difference in the world we live in today and beyond.

Enjoy the recap and video replay of our program!



Philanthropy is a Mindset

And the word literally means “love of humanity,” expressed through actions of giving your time, and talent, sharing your network, and your financial support.

What is your Why?

Explore your own motivations for giving.

    • As Sujata offered, “What is the injustice that sets you on fire?”
    • Identify your giving goals, what you hope to achieve, and how you will measure the impact of your gift.
  • Educate yourself.

    Before you select a charity because you recognize the name, or it is suggested by watchdog groups, friends, or philanthropy influencers, conduct your own due diligence and give from a place of trust.

    Pivoting to a Career in Philanthropy

    Transitioning from a for-profit to a non-profit leadership role requires careful consideration before taking the leap. Many non-profit organizations seek leaders who have experience from both sectors and can bridge the gap between the two. And if you do make the shift, be curious and from a place of listening and learning before offering a corporate-influenced solution.

    Philanthropy and Your Legacy

    Create your legacy by leaning into philanthropy.  Make small gifts to several organizations aligned with your Philanthropic Identity (see #1 – Philanthropy is a mindset.), and see how they respond to you and steward your gifts.

    Trust-based Philanthropy

    Trust-based philanthropy places a strong emphasis on cultivating trust between donors, non-profits, and the communities they serve. It can include letting go of restrictions and trusting the non-profit to focus on acting in the best interests of the communities they serve, and how they can have the most significant and positive impact within those communities.

    Community-based Philanthropy

    Community-based philanthropy and giving circles support and empower organizations within a particular community. There is a fit for every budget and they are a catalyst for gaining deeper insight into local community needs. Giving circles pool their financial resources to make larger grants and impacts, make collective decisions, foster connections, and make giving enjoyable.



  • NP Board Training and Education Resources

    Chicago Foundation for Women (CFW)



    UIC Continuing Ed

    Arts and Business Council


    Women’s Philanthropy Institute

    Dorothy A. Johnson Center for Philanthropy

    Philanthropy Together

    Collective/Collaborative Philanthropy and Giving Circles

    Research your local community foundation

    Impact 100 Global – Chapters

    i.e. Impact the Palm Beaches

    Chicago Foundation for Women Giving Circles

    Women’s Foundation of Florida Giving Circles


    Julie Hoffmann, Founder and CEO, JH Philanthropy, has spent over 20 years as a philanthropic and strategic leader in the social impact sector. She is passionate about leveraging nonprofit-centered philanthropy and smart business principles to affect and deepen impact in Chicago and beyond.  Her career has been shaped by a drive to help philanthropists, entrepreneurs, and business leaders identify and execute on their philanthropic priorities and to help promising, social impact organizations build their self-sufficiency and scale their impact.

    Often serving as a bridge, coach, and strategist for both donors and nonprofits, Julie empowers her clients with the strategies and resources they need to increase agency and growth among those they aim to support.

    Julie launched JH Philanthropy to help family foundations and companies bring their philanthropic goals to life. Prior to founding JH Philanthropy, Julie served as CEO of New Coast Foundation, a nonprofit venture philanthropy fund, where she worked at the intersection of the public and nonprofit sectors to maximize the impact of philanthropic investments on root causes of poverty in Chicago. Before New Coast Foundation, Julie was the Illinois Executive Director at America Needs You, where she led the national organization’s growth and programming in Illinois, focusing on supporting and increasing the economic mobility of ambitious, first-generation college students.

    Learn More

    Kay Koehler, President & CEO of CureSearch for Children’s Cancer, spent the first half of her career in the pre- and post-IPO tech sector, driving global sales & go-to-market strategies with F100 corporations to successfully spur M&A activity. A staunch proponent of the power of philanthropy, Kay moved to nonprofit in 2007, developing organizational fundraising initiatives at the national level. Leading major giving and estate planning strategies, she engaged regional teams to create multi-million-dollar pipelines for mission critical research.

    Expert at connecting donors with the impact of giving, Kay has secured 8-figure gifts to support both children’s and oncology research initiatives, with a specific focus on driving funding of multi-arm clinical trials. In 2017, she joined CureSearch for Children’s Cancer, where she implemented organizational strategies to engage Pharma, biotech, regulatory, and academic industries to lead the field in moving cutting-edge pre-clinical research into clinical trial. Her philanthropic philosophy lies in the power of creating an individualized impact vision for constituents.

    Through her efforts, and with the support of staff, donors, volunteers, and organizational collaborations, CureSearch has experienced unprecedented growth. Today, an unparalleled 60% of CureSearch-funded pre-clinical projects reach clinical trial, resulting in the support of investigational new drugs for children with rare cancers.

    K. Sujata, Consultant and Advisor, brings over 20 years of nonprofit experience to enhance the impact of philanthropy – foundations, donors, and social change organizations. She has managed nonprofit organizations, led a community foundation, and advised others in strategic planning, grantmaking, evaluation, and research.

    Sujata served as President and CEO of the Chicago Foundation for Women from 2011-2019, a grantmaking organization focused on basic rights and equal opportunities for women and girls in the greater Chicago area. Sujata has also served at the Eleanor Foundation, as Executive Director of Apna Ghar, Director of Chicago Continuum of Care (now All Chicago), and Director of Planning and Development at Interfaith Housing Development Corporation. She currently serves on the Board of Asian Pacific Institute on Gender-Based Violence. She has previously served as the Chair of the Women’s Funding Network and the Asset Funders Network, as well as on the boards of several notable nonprofits.

     Learn More:

Please let us know if you would like to have a conversation with us. Email the CAP STRAT Women’s Forum with any questions at! Or call us at 630.320.5100.

Barbara Best

Barbara Best, AIF® is a Founder and Principal of CAP STRAT, and Founder of the CAP STRAT Women's Forum


Nancy is a Principal and founding partner of CAP STRAT, and Founder of the CAP STRAT Women's Forum

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