Scroll down for:

+ ACI Awarded Grant to Establish Leadership Council to Help Raise Funds
+ Tickets, sponsorships available now for ACI’s April 17 Benefit Reception

ACI Awarded Grant to Establish Leadership Council to Help Raise Funds
March 10, 2020

The Council of Independent Colleges (CIC) awarded a grant of $8,500 to ACI to establish a high-profile volunteer group known as the “Leadership Council.” The council will comprise key senior leaders and influencers from corporate, civic, association and nonprofit organizations with a significant interest in liberal arts and sciences education. It is the organization’s first volunteer board focused exclusively on fundraising.

The Leadership Council project is funded through a Capacity-Building grant from CIC.

“ACI is uniquely positioned with access to hundreds of corporations and organizations in the Chicago area and throughout Illinois,” said Mick Weltman, ACI executive director. “We’re excited to create this Leadership Council to enhance our fundraising and support talented, underserved students attending ACI’s 27 member colleges and universities.” The new Leadership Council will be a non-voting, non-governance volunteer board, Weltman added.

Members of the new council will provide financial support, lend their names to ACI initiatives, create and share testimonials and network with like-minded peers to make connections and raise funds for ACI, according to the grant application. To help launch the project, ACI has engaged the premier national consulting firm, Campbell & Company, Chicago, to develop a project plan and timeline, identify and meet with prospects, and secure at least 10 charter members by Aug. 31. Campbell & Company is currently building a Major Gifts Program for ACI.

“CIC is very pleased to help ACI achieve its mission through the Capacity-Building Grant Program,” said Carol Schuler, CIC vice president for State Council programs. “The program, open only to CIC State Councils, has since 2010 awarded more than $482,000 to fund State Council projects that could not otherwise be implemented through existing budgets.”

Tickets, sponsorships available now for ACI’s April 17 Benefit Reception
Act now to make 2020 a record-setting year for ACI
Feb. 28, 2020

ACI scholars and leaders will be at the Benefit Reception.

Help make Associated Colleges of Illinois history by purchasing tickets to ACI’s Annual Benefit Reception on Friday, April 17, 2020, 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m., in the University Club of Chicago’s Cathedral Hall. Registration for the event is open.

“Our attendance record for ACI’s Annual Benefit is 197, and our revenue record is $110,000,” said Executive Director Mick Weltman. “This year, we’re challenging our sponsors, leaders and friends to help us achieve even more.”

Benefit revenue is critical to ACI’s key programs: scholarships for students in need at ACI’s 27 member colleges and universities; the Peer Mentoring Program to improve retention and graduation rates for low-income, first-generation and students of color; ACI’s Career Development Initiative, including an annual Career Development Conference and Work and Life Skills Boot Camps that boost job readiness skills and career opportunities for students at member institutions. The reception will include compelling stories of students who have benefited from these programs. “ACI programs help build the workforce of the future,” Weltman explains, “so when you purchase tickets or sponsor ACI’s benefit, you’re investing in Illinois’ economic future.”

Six prominent firms are already benefit sponsors: Husch Blackwell and Rathje Woodward LLC are Patrons and Aon, Fidelity Charitable, Gallagher and Robbins Schwartz are Partners. “We’re making real progress toward our revenue goal,” Weltman says. “Sponsorships are still available at every level, with great benefits for participants.”

Tickets for ACI’s Benefit Reception are $200. They went on sale on Feb. 10, and are available here. Guests enjoy an open beer and wine bar, plus hors d’oeuvres, a buffet of delicious snacks and live music.

ACI’s 2020 Benefit Reception will feature keynote speaker Melissa B. Donaldson, Wintrust Financial Corporation’s first-ever vice president and chief diversity officer. A strategic change agent at Wintrust, Ms. Donaldson’s mission is to establish diversity and inclusion priorities that drive business success. “Melissa Donaldson brings to life ACI’s vision of an increasingly diverse workforce,” Weltman says. “We are looking forward to hosting her at our Benefit Reception.”

For additional information about sponsoring ACI’s April 17 Benefit Reception or to buy tickets, visit ACI’s website or call Mick Weltman at 312-263-2391, ext. 1.

Higher Education Headlines


Please send us an email, and we'll get back to you.


Associated Colleges of Illinois is a not-for-profit corporation exempt under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code. Contributions are tax deductible as provided by law. ©2020 Associated Colleges of Illinois

Forgot your details?