Internship Opportunity
Forest Preserve Foundation Internship


The Forest Preserve Foundation story begins with its founding in 2006, with the foresight that tax dollars would need to be supplemented in order to realize the visionary goals of the Forest Preserves of Cook County. In 2012, the Foundation actively started raising private funds by hosting its first annual golf benefit, the Conservation Cup, and granted $3,500 to the Forest Preserves. Our mission resonated so clearly with local businesses and community leaders and we were able to continually grow our grant making with their support. In 2015, we awarded nearly $250,000 to increase and enhance meaningful experiences in nature for children, their families, and their mentors from a diversity of Cook County’s communities. The resounding show of support for the Foundation’s commitment to our forest preserves inspired our leaders to embark on a strategic planning process to help guide our growth and increase our impact.

Mission and Programs
The Forest Preserve Foundation’s mission is to engage in protecting and restoring the treasured natural habitats within the Forest Preserves of Cook County and to enhance the outdoor experiences of all communities.

The Foundation, which is an independent, 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, encourages and administers private gifts to further the Forest Preserves of Cook County's mission and goals. ​The Foundation adopted its first strategic plan in September, 2015 to help guide its growth and impact over the next two years.
Our programmatic goal is to increase access to the Preserves for a greater diversity of visitors and deepen their awareness, appreciation and commitment to the health of the Preserves.  Our ongoing initiatives include:

• Expand Conservation Corps—a job training program to provide underserved youth skills in the conservation industry
• Increase access to Family Campgrounds—increasing public access and usage of the Preserves to urban publics who may not otherwise have opportunities to have camping experiences
• Nature Gateways Site Plan Implementation—increase public programming in Chicago Preserves that are underutilized by nearby communities on Chicago’s south and northwest sides.

Our strategic plan and a video showcasing our work can be found on our homepage: 

Populations Served
City residents, youth of color, low income families

Training Experiences Available to Students
Raisers Edge database training
Fundraising training, phone and mail solicitations
Grantee site visits, proposal review
Board of Directors Material Development

Anticipated Tasks
Writing blog posts, newsletters and e-blasts —to profiles of grantees’ programs – who are participating in the programmatic initiatives listed above that engage communities in the Forest Preserves via camping, conservation corps job training and gateway programming 

Contributing to donor prospect research 

Developing social networking strategy by increasing the Foundation's virtual profile and ultimately raising its visibility 

Staffing the Foundation’s Young Professional Association 

Assisting with data entry in Raiser’s Edge fundraising software 

Board of Directors material development and meeting staffing

To apply send resume and cover letter to:
Shelley A. Davis
Forest Preserve Foundation
69 W. Washington Street, Suite 2040
Chicago, IL 60602