About the Organization

The Ms. Foundation for Women strives to build women’s collective power in the U.S. to advance equity and justice for all. The organization seeks to achieve this by investing in and strengthening the capacity of women-led movements, particularly by women and girls-of-color, to advance meaningful social, cultural, and economic change in the lives of all women and girls. Since 1973, the Ms. Foundation has invested more than $70 million into building the power of women in social justice fields, serving as a conduit to the philanthropic sector as an intermediary funder investing in women and girls. Ms. Foundation believes that equity and inclusion are the cornerstones of a true democracy in which the worth and dignity of every person is valued. They have long held a unique position in the philanthropic world and have taken risks to invest in those who have systemically been left out. Through its partnerships, Ms. Foundation seeks to build a collective understanding and collaboration to advance gender, racial equity, and justice for all.

About the Position

The Vice President of Advancement will report to the President and CEO and serve as a visionary partner. They will be considered a member of the Executive Team. This newly created position will oversee the Development and Communications departments. The Vice President is responsible for cultivating and soliciting principal and major gifts, annual giving, corporate and foundation giving, special events, and prospect research and tracking. They will work with the Board of Directors and Foundation staff to determine overall fundraising strategies and priorities, with the goal of significant expansion of the donor base and overall contributions. In addition, this position will work to develop and implement an organization-wide, communications plan to raise the visibility of the Ms. Foundation, its grantees, and partners to key external audiences.


Click here to view the full position description, essential qualifications, and application instructions.

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Jessica Kadish-Hernandez

Jessica joined Morten Group in 2011 as the firm’s Project Coordinator and later as Project Manager for a wide array of client projects, including strategic planning, executive searches, organizational assessments, and board development. As a Consulting Associate, she works as a facilitator with Morten Group’s Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) team. She has been a teaching artist for over ten years, leading sessions with participants ranging from kindergarteners to corporate professionals. She holds a B.A. from the University of Chicago and an MFA from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, where she worked with the Krannert Center for the Performing Arts to develop and facilitate professional development curricula for elementary school teachers in the Urbana Public Schools. She is fluent in Spanish.

We asked Jessica, “If you could share a meal with any two individuals, living or dead, who would you choose and why?” She said, “Lorraine Hansberry and James Baldwin. For their transformation of the American literature and theatre. For their incisive insights (here). And for their wicked senses of humor. They were friends in life, and I bet their back-and-forth banter across the table would be hilarious.”

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2018 Chicago LGBTQ Community Needs Assessment

On Wednesday, October 17, Morten Group, in partnership with the LGBT Community Fund of the Chicago Community Trust, kicked off the 2018 Chicago LGBTQ Community Needs Assessment at Howard Brown Health – Clark. During this launch, Morten Group shared the 2011 Community Needs Assessment data and presented the 2018 Community Needs Assessment process.

To access the survey link for the 2018 LGBTQ Community Needs Assessment, click [HERE].


LGBTQ: What’s New?

In the fall of 2011, Morten Group conducted the LGBT Community Needs Assessment (LCNA) on behalf of the LGBT Community Fund at The Chicago Community Trust. Over 2,000 individuals participated, and the information we gathered informed three subsequent rounds of grantmaking by the LGBT Community Fund, which you can read about [HERE]. You can read the summary of findings [HERE].

The world has changed so much over the past seven years – so we’re launching round two of the assessment! For this reason, The LGBT Community Fund has again partnered with Morten Group to launch a new assessment. “LGBTQ: What’s New?” will be designed to capture the strengths, assets, needs and challenges of today’s 2018 Chicagoland LGBTQ community, primarily via an online survey.

There has not been a comprehensive needs assessment of the Chicago area’s LGBTQ community conducted since our last one in 2011, and in general there is not enough data available about LGBTQ populations nationwide, making this effort hugely significant not only to inform future grantmaking decisions by The LGBT Community Fund of The Chicago Community Trust, but for community representation in research literature more broadly. A community needs assessment happens only with the support and participation of folks in the community.

To access the survey link for the 2018 LGBTQ Community Needs Assessment, click [HERE].


Kicking Off the 2018 Chicago LGBTQ Community Needs Assessment at Howard Brown Health – Clark. L to R: Mary F. Morten, President, Morten Group, LLC; Kristin Keglovitz Baker, Chief Operating Officer, Howard Brown Health; Denise C. Foy, Co-Chair, The LGBT Community Fund; Adnaan Hamid, Co-Chair, The LGBT Community Fund; and Bob Eichinger, Director of Donor Services, The Chicago Community Trust

Photo credit: Timmy Samuel, Starbelly Studios Photography


Presenting Data at the 2018 Chicago LGBTQ Community Needs Assessment at Howard Brown Health – Clark. L to R: Jessica Kadish-Hernandez, Consulting Associate, Morten Group, LLC and Keisha Farmer-Smith, Senior Consulting Associate and Methodological Lead, Morten Group, LLC


Photo credit: Timmy Samuel, Starbelly Studios Photography


*Additional photos from the 2018 Chicago LGBTQ Community Needs Assessment launch can be found here.


On October 24, Morten Group’s Keisha Farmer-Smith and Chicago LGBT Fund’s Adnaan Hamid speak about the 2018 LGBTQ Community Needs Assessment sharing the purpose and meaning behind the assessment, as well as what the process entails. To listen, click [HERE].


On November 29, E3 Radio shared the importance about the 2018 Chicago LGBTQ Community Needs Assessment. Morten Group’s Keisha Farmer-Smith calls in to the show and shared results from the 2011 data, the background of the needs assessment, and the changes and purpose of the 2018 LGBTQ Community Needs Assessment survey. To listen, click [HERE].


On January 15, Windy City Times assisted in spreading the word about the Chicago LGBTQ Community Needs Assessment deadline. Dr. Keisha Farmer-Smith shares, “We must have meaningful participation in the data collection activities so we can make sure that the reality of people’s lives is being reflected in the grant-making by the community fund.” To read more, click [HERE].


On January 17, the Chicago Reader released an article to assist in the push of the Chicago LGBTQ Community Needs Assessment survey during the final two weeks of the data collection period. “The fund will use the results from the survey to inform its grant-making decisions to organizations that serve the 146,000 Chicagoans who have self-identified to the Chicago Department of Public Health as LGBT,” states Chappell. To read more, click [HERE].

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