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Connell's Community Collaboration

4/13/20 UPDATE: Thank you to all the nonprofits that are doing the critical work of keeping our most vulnerable citizens safe and healthy during this crisis. So as not to be a distraction over the next few weeks, we are postponing the application period for our Connell Community Collaboration. The application period will be July 1 - July 31. If you have any questions in the meantime, feel free to let us know.


As market researchers and brand strategists, we help companies shape their futures by better understanding and connecting to the people they serve. We want to use these same skills to help those in the local community who may not otherwise be able to afford our services.

Through the annual Connell Community Collaboration (we adore alliteration – a lot), The Connell Group will select one local organization who will receive a pro bono strategy and research project worth up to $30,000.

Past Grant Recipients

2019: As our 2019 grant recipient, The Connell Group collaborated with Imerman Angels. Imerman Angels is a support network for cancer fighters, survivors and caregivers that was created on the belief that no one should have to face cancer alone. Through our research and brand strategy expertise, we worked with Imerman Angels to create a compelling and cohesive brand narrative that effectively communicates what their organization does.

Ready to apply? Applications open July 1 and are due by July 31, 2020. Please apply here!

Have more questions? Keep reading!

What is Connell’s Community Collaboration (or Cx3)?

  • Connell’s Community Collaboration (or Cx3) is an initiative aimed at applying The Connell Group’s strengths and expertise to helping the community around us. We want to lend our services to local, determined organizations. By helping wonderful organizations increase their impact, we can do our part to make the world a better place.

Why are we doing it?

  • Chicago is filled with so many incredible companies and we have had the opportunity to work with many of them. However, we know that there also extraordinary organizations that cannot get the capacity building services they need to reach their goals. We want to help them grow too! We put a lot of love and effort into our industry client work…now we want to work with you.

Who should apply?

  • Local organizations focused on health, wellbeing, and development. Specifically:
    • 501c(3), 501c(4), and 501c(7)
    • Community Centers
    • Foundations
    • Incubators/startups focused on health, wellbeing, and community development
    • Don’t see your specific type of organization? Don’t worry – we have an option for “Other!”
  • Our selection criteria is focused on choosing an organization that:
    • Is trying to make our city a better place focusing on health, wellbeing, or community development
    • Has limited funds/resources to carry out their mission and goals
    • Has the ability to execute on strategic recommendations

Why should your organization apply? (Spoiler: Because it’s awesome.)

  • It’s tough saving the world! You’re the heroes. We’re here to help.

  • If your organization is in need of any of the following, please apply!
    • Balancing long term goals with short term business needs
    • Creating a plan for growth
    • Defining your target audience
    • Differentiating vs. similar organizations
    • Increasing revenues/fundraising
    • Launching a rebranding initiative
    • Launching new products or services
    • Improving your stakeholder’s experience and the journey to donation
    • Prioritizing initiatives to focus on the work that has the biggest impact
    • Raising awareness of your company or organization
    • Refining external communication and marketing efforts
    • Understanding your audience's most important or unmet needs

What’s with the application?

  • We just want to get to know you a bit and understand your organization’s goals. We promise this one’s short (~15 minutes).
  • Applications open on July 1 and are due by July 31, 2020.
  • You can access the application here!

What happens after you apply?

  • We will select four finalists that we'll ask to participate in a one-hour introductory call.
  • The winner will be announced on September 1, 2020 and project kickoff will begin shortly after.


  • If there is one thing we’ve learned from 20 years in business, it’s that every situation is unique. If you have a specific question unique to your organization, please don’t hesitate to shoot us an email (