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The Forefront Racial Equity Collective Mapping Survey

A smiling dark-skinned man walks down a city street looking at a smartphone with coffee in hand.
Identifying organizations and initiatives advancing racial equity in Illinois
  • Client
  • Dates
    November 2022 – October 2023


There is no clear view of Illinois organizations that promote racial equity.

Illinois lacks a comprehensive database of organizations working to advance racial equity within the state. Nor is there a clear understanding of how many organizations in Illinois are engaged in racial equity work, how many policies or programs exist within these organizations, or which equity areas or industries their racial equity work addresses. This can lead to a fragmented social impact sector in which organizations seeking to advance racial equity along similar dimensions may be unaware of each other’s work and unable to form partnerships or unify their efforts.


NORC conducted a mapping survey of organizations doing racial equity work in Illinois.

The Center on Equity Research at NORC has partnered with Forefront, an association of Illinois nonprofits and grantmakers, to conduct a mapping survey of organizations doing racial equity work in Illinois. The goal of this partnership is to improve the awareness of organizations working to advance racial equity in Illinois. The mapping survey will inform the assembly, organization, and coordination of racial equity work across the Illinois social impact sector and support strategic planning by Forefront’s Racial Equity Collective.

The mapping survey includes each organization’s name, address, and general information. It also provides details on organizations’ racial equity programs and policies, and the equity areas and industries that align with the racial equity work of each program and policy. 


Our mapping survey found more than 800 programs and policies across Illinois.  

The 2023 Racial Equity Collective Mapping Survey of Illinois nonprofits, grantmakers, and individuals found more than 800 programs and policies across Illinois. Most respondents were operating nonprofits. Nearly half of the respondents were small organizations led or staffed by people who identify as Black, Indigenous, Latino/a/e/x, or other People of Color.

Sixty percent of survey respondents sought to address systemic inequities through direct services. Many organizations also sought to address attitudes and cultural perceptions of racism and racial inequities through arts and culture. Most survey participants were based in northern Illinois.

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