Foundation, partner award over $1 million to nonprofits

The Lake County Community Foundation recently announced more than $500,000 in grants, combined with another $500,000 in grants from an LCCF donor-advised fund holder, was awarded to 33 local nonprofits serving the needs of their Lake County neighbors.

This grant-making partnership marks a record-breaking year of investment for the foundation as needs in Lake County continue to grow.

Since 2019, LCCF has experienced a 250% increase in funds requested to support critical needs throughout the county. Each year, the gap between funding requests and LCCF's available resources widens.

In this year's grant cycle alone, LCCF received 85 applications totaling almost $3 million in funding requests.

Fortunately, local philanthropist and volunteer Carlette McMullan stepped up to meet this community need and established the James & Madeleine McMullan Family Foundation Charitable Fund with LCCF in 2021. Through their donor-advised fund, McMullan and her family have committed $500,000 annually, through 2026, to support LCCF's Basic Human Needs grant making each spring. This commitment more than doubles LCCF's annual grant making capacity over the next five years.

"This partnership is an example of the powerful impact that can come from leveraging donor advised funds as a giving vehicle, as it essentially doubles the number of organizations we are able to support," LCCF Executive Director Maggie Morales said.

"We are so grateful for Carlette and her family's commitment to our Lake County community."

Through the donor-advised fund partnership, LCCF staff work closely with the McMullan family to identify organizations that fit within the family's giving priorities and interests.

The foundation then performs due diligence to ensure all organizations are vetted and aligned with the family's vision for impact.

"We greatly appreciate how much detail and valuable information LCCF provides on each agency and their mission, which is helpful to our education and important in building a long-term relationship," McMullan said.

"We are excited to see the progress these groups make in helping underserved communities, and are thrilled to partner with LCCF."

A special focus of this year's grant making cycle for both the foundation and the McMullan donor-advised fund was on organizations providing mental health services. LCCF staff have heard from a critical mass of health and human service agencies that deep investment is needed in mental health support within the context of the ongoing pandemic.

As a result, the foundation was also able to leverage funds from the Lake County Crisis Relief Fund to support select agencies providing mental health services to the Lake County community.

One 2022 Basic Human Needs grant recipient and community-based mental health provider, the Josselyn Center, reports that since they opened their Waukegan clinic in March 2020, they have quickly grown from serving 300 residents to more than 1,300 Lake County residents today.

"Lake County has been historically underserved when it comes to mental health, which has only been exacerbated by the pandemic," Josselyn Center CEO Susan Resko said. "We don't believe it's fair for Lake County residents to have less access to quality mental health care, and we're committed to doing something about that. LCCF funding is helping us grow, expand, and hire clinicians to meet the incredible need."

2022 LCCF Basic Human Needs Grant Cycle recipients include:

• A Safe Place: $50,000

• Art Impact Project: $30,000

• Chicago Workers Collaborative: $45,000

• ConnectWaukegan: $35,000

• Direct Giving Lab: $12,000

• Family Service of Lake County: $30,000

• GiveNkind: $20,000

• Grow Your Own Illinois: $30,000

• Habitat for Humanity: $40,000

• Josselyn Center: $50,000

• LGBTQ+ Center Lake County: $10,000

• Nicasa Behavioral Health Services: $50,000

• Transform Capital: $40,000

• Willow House: $20,000

• Wauconda Fire Protection District: $40,000

2022 James and Madeleine McMullan Family Foundation Charitable Fund Basic Human Needs recipients include:

• Antioch Area Healthcare Accessibility Alliance: $20,000

• Ascend Justice: $25,000

• Boys & Girls Club of Lake County: $25,000

• CASA Lake County: $50,000

• Center for Enriched Living: $20,000

• Curt's Café: $37,000

• ElderCARE: $17,000

• Equal Hope: $50,000

• Keeping Families Covered: $25,000

• Korean American Senior Center (Hanul Family Alliance): $20,000

• Most Blessed Trinity Parish: $31,000

• Mothers Trust Foundation: $20,000

• North Suburban Legal Aid Clinic: $30,000

• Reading Power: $35,000

• Roberti Community House: $25,000

• Waukegan to College: $35,000

• Youth & Family Counseling: $30,000

• Zion Benton Children's Service: $15,000

For more information about the Lake County Community Foundation, visit

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