Skip to main content


Learn about Northwestern University's philanthropic partnerships with various Evanston organizations by clicking on the categories below.

Signature Partnerships
Signature partnerships represent our most impactful collaborations, carefully selected and meticulously developed through a rigorous process. Endorsed by university leadership, these partnerships typically involve multiple University and community partners, ensuring they are both comprehensive and sustainable. Each Signature Partnership is strategically designed to be mutually beneficial, providing tangible academic benefits to Northwestern University while delivering meaningful, positive impacts on the Evanston community.

Community Engaged Partnerships
Beyond our Signature Partnerships, Northwestern University fosters a wide array of community-engaged activities that contribute positively to our community. While these initiatives may vary in scope and approach, each plays a crucial role in enriching our community's vibrancy and well-being. They are all vital to our mission, demonstrating our commitment to creating a meaningful and lasting positive impact on our community.

View Partnerships by Category

The Digital Youth Network

The Digital Youth Network (DYN) is a project that supports organizations, educators and researchers in learning best practices to help develop youths’ technical, creative, and analytical skills.

Robert Crown Community Center

Northwestern committed $1,000,000 to the Robert Crown Community Center. The $1,000,000 covers the following items: Northwestern Club Hockey and Synchronized Skating, open Skating for NU Faculty, Students & Staff, Ice time for NU Special Events, Room and Gym Rental for NU Educational Outreach Programs, and Room Rental for NU Community Events.

Signature Partnership

NU Public Interest Program

NU Public Interest Program is a one-year fellowship that helps train a new generation of leaders for social change through paid public interest work, professional development seminars and mentorship opportunities with Northwestern alumni. NUPIP is designed to introduce young alumni to organizations whose missions are to promote the public interest, as well as to enable these organizations to benefit from the Fellows’ experience, passion, and commitment.

NU in Chicago

NU in Chicago is a program of the Center for Civic Engagement that strives to better connect students with civic resources and experiential learning in the city of Chicago. NU in Chicago achieves this goal with a diverse set of initiatives, all of which leverage the unique assets of the city for student learning.

Northwestern Academy

The Northwestern Academy for Chicago Public Schools is a multiyear college preparation and enrichment program for diverse, academically motivated students from Chicago Public Schools, which has provided hundreds of low-income, academically talented CPS students with no-cost access to classes, academic tutoring, college counseling, test preparation, and family workshops to help prepare them for top-tier universities.

Minority Business Incubator

The Minority Business Incubator, received $300,000 to support a collaboration between the City of Evanston, Northwestern and various Evanston business associations to provide minority entrepreneurs with access to programming, networking and capital.

Signature Partnership

equity fund article

Mayor's Summer Youth Employment Program

The Mayor's Summer Youth Employment Program is under the leadership of Evanston Mayor Elizabeth Tisdahl. This initiative between the City of Evanston and Northwestern provides summer jobs and professional mentoring for youth and young adults to support various projects at the University.

Kellogg Board Fellows

Kellogg Board Fellows is a rigorous, 20-month program that connects 100 top Kellogg students to Chicago-area nonprofits for a distinct opportunity in board service.


Jumpstart is a University/community partnership focused on closing the achievement gap, trains college students to work with low-income preschool children, implementing a research-based curriculum designed to help all children develop the language and literacy skills they need to be ready for kindergarten.

Guaranteed Income Pilot Program

$300,000 was allocated to the Guaranteed Income Pilot Program also referred to as Universal Basic Income, which offers monthly cash payments to low-income Evanston households to supplement the existing social safety net.

Signature Partnership

Pilot Program Article

Good Neighbor Fund

The Good Neighbor Fund (GNF), a program funded by Northwestern University that donates $1 million annually to Evanston to support local programs. The GNF was created in 2015. Since then, Northwestern has agreed to a Community Benefits Agreement with the City of Evanston that includes $150 million over the next 15 years.

Signature Partnership

GNF Article

Fellowship of Afro-American Men (FAAM)

The Fellowship of Afro-American Men (FAAM), created in 1968, works with children at a time in their lives when they seek nurturing and positive role models outside of the school environment. This Evanston community organization that provides basketball and cheerleading programs for middle school students has received a four-year sponsorship from Northwestern for $100,000.

Signature Partnership

FAAM Article

Evanston School District 65 Partnership

A central focus of Northwestern’s strategic plan is strengthening engagement with local communities through partnerships that promote bidirectional learning and broader community impact. This focus includes an emphasis on K-12 education and the educators, administrators, caregivers, and civic organizations that play critical roles in youth learning and development. Established in 2016, the Office of Community Education Partnerships (OCEP) supports these initiatives in Evanston/Skokie School District 65.

Signature Partnership

Evanston Own-It

Northwestern provides annual funding for Evanston Own It (EOI), a coalition of predominantly Black churches in Evanston’s Fifth and Second Wards. EOI is dedicated to ministering and offering support to some of the most vulnerable individuals in the Evanston community. Additionally, the group actively fundraises to finance youth employment initiatives and various other community programs aimed at improving the quality of life in Evanston.

Signature Partnership

Evanston MashUp

Evanston MashUp, sponsored by Northwestern, is a starlit evening of conversation and connections with a wide range of individuals, from entrepreneurs to executives, artists to accountants, and city leaders to CEOs. Join the celebration and enjoy a late summer evening in a beachfront tent with amazing food, great music, and the eclectic and electric essence of our community.

Signature Partnership

Evanston Cradle to Career (EC2C)

Evanston Cradle to Career believes system change is necessary to effect long lasting improvements toward social equity.

Signature Partnership


Northwestern partners with the City of Evanston, Evanston Public Library, Evanston/Skokie School District 65, Evanston Township High School District 202, McGaw YMCA, Family Focus and Youth and Opportunity United (Y.O.U.) for a program that seeks to improve access and engagement for students who have traditionally underperformed or have been underrepresented in STEM programs.

ETHS Partnership Office

The Northwestern/ETHS Partnership Office connects important resources to enhance the educational experience of students at both Northwestern and Evanston Township High School (ETHS). The ideas for partnerships bubble up from the people on the ground: students, parents, staff, administration, teachers, and faculty.

Signature Partnership

Center for Talent Development

Center for Talent Development (CTD), a non-profit center within SESP, CTD ensures gifted Pre-K through grade 12 students receive the education, encouragement and support they need to grow into confident and accomplished lifelong learners. CTD offers a comprehensive suite of academic programs, in-person and online, with varying durations and subject matter. SESP is looking to offer additional CTD coursework in Chicago in the coming months.

Books & Breakfast

The Books & Breakfast program offers a nutritious breakfast and homework help to K-5 students at Evanston’s Dewey, Lincolnwood, and Kingsley elementary schools. This program currently serves approximately 30-40 kids per day at each school, equating to more than 12,000 breakfasts per year.

Baxter Center for Science Education

Baxter Center for Science Education a partnership between Chicago Public Schools' (CPS) Lindblom Math & Science Academy, the School of Education and Social Policy, and the Science@Work Program at Baxter International Inc., this program is a hub for high school and middle school curricula, teacher professional development and resources in the field of biotechnology.