May 3 to May 5 in Chicago
The Awesome Summit of 2019 brought together 75 of our global members to enhance and support our giving network.
Awesome Summit 2019 Highlights
On Friday, we explored the city of Chicago, including the Cultural Museum, the Art Museum, and a karaoke bar.
On Saturday, we met for a full day of keynote presentations and breakout work sessions, and ended with a panel discussion from grant winners.
On Saturday, we continued with keynote presentations and breakout work sessions, and included a show with an illusionist.
Throughout the Summit, we offered extra curricular opportunities for boat tours, karaoke, parties, dinners, and art walks.
Awesome Summit 2019 Sponsors
The 2019 AweSummit has been made possible by our awesome sponsors: Two Sigma, Busy Beaver Button Company, Colossal, VMLY&R, Spantree, CH Distillery, Lagunitas, and Piece Pizza & Brewery.
The 2019 Awesome Summit was a three-day opportunity for the global community to connect, with optional events on Thursday and Monday for those craving more from their travels.
DAY 1: FRIDAY MAY 3
10:30 AM to 4 PM - Pre-summit tourist activities
Meet at the bull at the Chicago Cultural Center, 78 E Washington St. After visiting, we'll have lunch nearby, then around 1 PM walk around the big public art around The Loop. At about 2 PM, we'll hop on Divvy bikes (approx. $5) and make our way to the beautiful lake-front trail to the museum campus. We'll split up there, with some visiting the Field Museum, Adler Planetarium, and/or Shedd Aquarium (approx. $30) and others continuing their rides.
Friday 6 PM to Midnight - Summit kick-off party with Pop-Up Karaoke
Appetizers will be served
Day 2: Saturday May 4
9 AM - Breakfast and coffee
10 AM - Welcome and opening
What do we mean by awesome?
State of the Awesome
12:00 PM - Lunch
12:45 PM - Lightning talks
What's Awesome? How to A.C.E. awesomeness: Project = Adventure | Creative | Eclectic – Domino Ireland
Women behind velvet – Lucineh Kassarjian
Brumadinho chapter: Using the Awesome Foundation structure for rebuilding a place after disaster strikes – Renato Orozco
Glasgow: the good, the bad, and the awesome – Stephen Sloane
How the Awesome Foundation Disability chapter succeeds in radical philanthropy without even trying (How does your chapter flip the script in philanthropy?) – Ingrid Tischer
What awesome can learn from non-profits and vice-versa – Erin Watson
How Sydneysiders are awesome – Theresa Winters
Removing barriers for trustee participation – Erin Wyatt
1:30 PM - Breakout sessions
What’s your grant-making process? – Patrick Dunn
Awesome equity: driving diverse grant applications and selection – Pickett Slater Harrington and David Stanford
Awesomefoundation.org for users – Jesse Chan-Norris
Social media and digital marketing – Claudia Loya-Duran
2:45 PM - Breakout sessions
The right people around the table: recruiting and retaining trustees for your chapter – Beth Harvey
So you want to throw a grant party – Doug Hanke, Cat Rayburn, and Leslie Rodgers
Curating our shared resources – Jesse Chan-Norris
Cheap, easy, guerrilla marketing – James Smeaton
4 PM - Panel: Learning from Chicago grant winners
Moderated by Erin Watson, with Jeremiah Hulsebos-Spofford, Shawn Lent, Jamie Caitlin Lovell, Billy McGuinness, and Rhoda Rosen
5 PM - Free time and dinner
Group reservations have been made at a number of restaurants
8 PM - Midnight - Awesome Summit Party
Light appetizers will be served. Bringing a local friend or +1? Please let us know.
Day 3: Sunday May 5
9 AM - Breakfast and coffee
10 AM - Origins of the Awesome Foundation
10:30 AM - Breakout sessions
Awesome partnerships: creative collaborations with community organizations and your trustees – Domino Ireland
Unfunded grants: alternative solutions and opportunities – Josh Finnell
Growing the Awesome Foundation – Avi Caplan and Renato Orozco
Stimulating your audience with accessibility – Kali Wasenko
11:30 AM - Interview and Performance with Jeanette Andrews
An intimate interview with Chicago grant winner and sensory illusionist Jeanette Andrews on the impact $1,000 had on her artistic career. A brief performance of her work will follow.
12:15 PM - Lunch
12:45 PM - Panel: Thematic chapters in the Awesome Foundation ecosystem, how do they work, and what can we learn from them?
Moderated by Avi Caplan, with Stephen Calnan, Josh Finnell, and Tiffany Yu
1:45 PM - Breakout sessions
Working together as a global community – Avi Caplan, Molly Marshall, and Will Sullivan
Let’s talk swag – Christen Carter
Awesome tips and tools to help your applicants explain their ideas – Michelle Melin-Rogovin
…and other sessions as proposed
3 PM - Closing session
4 PM - Departures / free time
6 PM - Dinner and evening activity for stragglers
Beermiscuous, 2812 N Lincoln Ave.
Thursday Evening: Boat Tour of Chicago River
Monday Morning: Art Mural Walk around the Pilsen neighborhood of Chicago
2019 LOCATION & VENUE
Chicago is a great city to explore. Look here for information on how to get here, how to get around, where to stay, and what to do.
How to get here
Chicago is a highly-accessible city. If you want to arrive by plane, it's easiest to land at either O'Hare (on the CTA Blue Line) or Midway (on the CTA Orange Line). Both train lines will lead you to the Loop. If you are arriving by Amtrak, your last stop will be Union Station. The city is also a destination on Greyhound and Megabus routes.
The Summit location is at VMLY&R, 233 N Michigan Ave, Ste 1600, Chicago IL 60601.
Chicago has a robust train and bus system, plus bikeshare, taxis, and Uber/Lyft. You can even travel by water taxi to the venue if you'd like!
where to stay
Chicago has many lodging options, including hotels, hostels, and Airbnb. It's recommended to pick something near a Red or Blue Line CTA stop, as those train lines run 24/7. We will be offering opportunities to lodge with Chicago trustees, as available. You can also find lodging at Airbnb and hotels within the Loop or West Loop.