This past December, Calumet Collaborative achieved a major milestone in its work to become an independent nonprofit organization. It received its official 501(c)(3) status from the United States Internal Revenue Service.
For the past year, Calumet Collaborative has been building a thoughtful, inclusive organization focused on transforming the Calumet region through sustainable development. They have been developing and convening a robust group of decision makers and stakeholders, narrowing in on its focus areas, and starting their work on four initiatives: brownfield redevelopment, comprehensive regional wayfinding, advancement of the Calumet National Heritage Area and integrated bi-state conservation strategies.
The new status will give the organization an opportunity to apply for grants and seek funding from larger corporations, foundations and individuals to support its financial and long-term sustainability.
“We are an action-oriented organization focused on creating public private partnerships to advance resiliency in the region by catalyzing innovative projects through collective action. This will only help us make additional progress as we can seek sources of funding otherwise unavailable to us,” Calumet Collaborative acting executive director Sarah Coulter says.
Mark Bouman, Calumet Collaborative co-chair and Chicago region program director in Keller Science Action Center of the Division of Science and Education at The Field Museum adds, “Calumet Collaborative is the first of its kind in the Calumet region. An official 501(c)(3) status poises Calumet Collaborative to take a real leadership role in sustainable development in the region.”
In early 2018, the organization will partner with two research institutions, Illinois Institute of Technology Institute of Design and University of Illinois Chicago’s Natalie P. Voorhees Center on two different brownfield redevelopment projects. It will also be leading efforts related to conservation action planning for gap areas in northwest Indiana through the Indiana Department of Natural Resource Lake Michigan Coastal Management Program.