Having to choose which kid deserves our help…that doesn’t need to be an option


There are literally thousands of kids in our communities waiting for the life-changing opportunity that having a Big Brother or Big Sister offers. Every day, children experience too many negative influences and roadblocks to reaching their potential. That’s where you and the Drive for 5 (D45) come in to play. The goal of the D45 is to take the Big Brothers Big Sisters’ proven one-to-one mentoring model to scale and move from serving 2,000 kids to 5,000 annually. 

  • Focus on both our highest need and the most underserved regions
  • Focus on supporting all aspects of growth and youth development: helping children develop life skills, build relationships, overcome trauma, and navigate life’s decisions


first…watch the mission in action

The Road Ahead: How We Get To The $8.975M Goal


Making Matches


Enhancing Experiences


Transforming Communities

Making Matches

Making and sustaining one-to-one mentoring relationships is at the core of D45

• Invest in talented people who recruit, screen, train and match volunteers with children on the waitlist

Provide ongoing match support and guidance to sustain life-changing relationships

• Invest in the latest technology to maximize efficiency and effectiveness in match making and match support


Enhancing Experiences

BBBS enriches each match through unique opportunities

• Invest in future-focused opportunities for Littles: reading and writing workshops, coding classes, campus visits and scholarships

• Invest in keeping matches together by providing shared experiences such as tickets to arts, cultural, and sporting events


transforming communities

Gain presence, relevance and trust in underserved neighborhoods and communities

• Establish six strategically located regional offices

• Employ individuals from targeted neighborhoods who are representative of the families we serve

• Build awareness and engagement through strategic community partnerships and outreach


Regional Growth Strategy

Big Brothers Big Sisters of Metro Chicago (BBBSChi) will advance a three-year plan focused on each of the identified regional service areas. This area-specific growth strategy is designed to provide 500 kids with a 1:1 mentoring relationship, addressing a set of risk factors that repeat across communities which make youth in these areas more vulnerable to victimization and perpetration.

Establishing a regional community office and a commitment to hiring locally will allow for greater collaboration with other organizations which, in turn, will increase overall impact and volunteer recruitment, build community relationships and establish meaningful referral networks.


Littles' Lives Are Changed


graduated high school


avoided arrest or incarceration


maintained or improved family/parental connectedness

Campaign Giving Chart

The following funding matrix represents the breakdown of gifts that will be needed to reach $8.975 million Campaign goal.

This goal represents gifts above and beyond annual
contributions and will likely be reached with pledges made
over a two to three-year time frame.


Frequently Asked Questions


How Much Money Do We Need To Raise?
The Drive for 5 Campaign funding goal is $8,975,000. That is the amount of money needed to achieve the three Campaign priorities.
MAKING MATCHES: $5,975,000
Am I Being Asked To Make A Commitment To The Campaign Over And Above My Current Annual Support?
To the extent you are able, yes. Investments required to achieve the ambitious vision of the Drive for 5 Campaign (D45) go beyond the organization’s current annual needs. Given that the D45 priorities are designed for driving sustainable growth and impact, we hope you will consider doubling down this year to help make it happen for kids in our communities. is essential that annual support is not sacrificed for the fulfillment of campaign pledges or outright gifts.
What is the Difference Between the Annual Fund and the Drive for 5 Campaign?
The Annual Fund and the D45 Campaign support distinct but equally important funding purposes, both of which ensure BBBS’s financial stability.
Simply stated:
Annual Fund provides "money to live on"
D45 Campaign provides "money to grow with"
The Annual Fund is integral to the operating budget. The Annual Fund and other event-related income are immediately put to our most pressing needs and operational costs. The Annual Fund represents an ongoing, continuing effort.
The D45 Campaign is an intensive, multi-year fundraising effort to secure gifts and pledges that will provide the resources needed to grow mission impact. The Campaign has a defined lifespan with a beginning and an end.
Does Special Event Income Support the Campaign?
No. Income from fundraising events like Tailgate, Golf Outings, Big Bash, etc., is restricted to supporting the Annual Fund.
What Options Do I Have for My Campaign Contribution?
Campaign payments can be made in the way that is most convenient for you; personal check, credit card, electronic funds transfer (EFT), crypto currency or through your donor advised fund. Stock transfers and IRA distributions offer additional options that are both simple and tax efficient. Gifts of appreciated securities may allow a donor to avoid a capital gains tax in addition to receiving a charitable income tax deduction for the fair market value of the stock. BBBSChi’s Development Office* is ready to assist you in setting up a payments or a multi-year pledge, as needed.
If I Make a Multi-Year Campaign Pledge, When is the Initial Payment Due?
D45 Campaign gifts may be paid over and up to a three-year period and installments can be customized by the donor. While the sooner campaign funds are available to be use, the better, it is understood that, in some circumstances, people will need to hold off on making their initial payment or that donors may want extra time to fund a significant gift.
Do Multi-Year Pledges Have to Paid in Annual Installments?
No. When you make your pledge and set up your payment schedule on the Campaign Letter of Intent, you will be able to select annual, semi-annual, quarterly, or monthly payments. This schedule can be adjusted as needed over the pledge period.
Is My Contribution to the Campaign Tax Deductible?
Yes. A charitable gift to BBBSChi is tax deductible to the extent provided by law. This requires that the donor itemize his/her deductions by using the appropriate tax forms.
Can Matching Gifts Be Applied To A Donation?
Yes. Many companies have a matching gift program which increases the value of your gift. Please check with your company’s Human Resource Department or the link on the Donate Page. The matching gift must be initiated by you once you have contributed. When the paperwork from your company is received, we can verify that your gift was made and complete the necessary documentation.
Can I Make my Donation Anonymously?
Yes. You will need to provide your personal information so that we can process and appropriately acknowledge your Campaign contribution. However, if you wish to make your gift publicly anonymous, please simply check the “hide my name from the public” when making an online contribution or the “anonymous” box if you are completing a Letter of Intent.
How do I Specify my Gift in Honor or in Memory of Someone?
You may make your gift a tribute to someone meaningful to you by indicating your preference when making an online contribution or on your Letter of Intent. Simply enter in detail about what type of gift you are making (in honor of, in memory of) and the name of the person you are recognizing. We will follow up with you regarding options for notifying the person you are honoring or the family of the individual you made your gift in memory of.
What if We Make a Pledge And Our Personal Financial Situation Changes? Is My Pledge Legally Binding?
No. Pledges are not legally binding. If your financial situation should change, simply re-evaluate your ability to fulfill the pledge and notify the Development Office of the change.
Can I Make A Bequest Or Legacy Gift To The Campaign?
Not specifically. However, even though legacy gifts will not support the D45 priorities in the near term, the Campaign provides an opportunity to expand the John B. Hirsch Legacy Fund as part of the organization’s long-range funding strategy. If you are interested in joining our community of donors who have named BBBSChi in their wills or other estate plans or if you would like to learn more, we would be honored to have that conversation with you. Your legacy gift will provide lasting support for the BBBSChi mission and will, in many cases, provide tax-related benefits to you as the donor.
What about Recognition and Naming Rights and at What Levels of Giving?
All investments to the D45 Campaign will be recognized in a public manner – the final execution of which is still to be determined. There are a number of naming opportunities available at the $25,000 level and above. If you would like to learn more about specific naming opportunities and tribute gifts, please contact BBBSChi’s Development Office (next FAQ).
I have a question that isn't listed here.
*If you have additional questions or wish to discuss any aspect of your investment in the Campaign, please contact David Gee, Chief Development Officer at 312.207.5601 or gee at bbbschgo dot org.