How to Make a Difference While Networking!

A great way to get involved that you may not have considered is joining a nonprofit board.

As a young professional, volunteering is a great way to connect and collaborate with others while also making a difference.


Growing friendships is easiest when you have a shared passion or interest. For instance, Bear Necessities Young Professional's Board, is a group of young professionals passionate about helping those with cancer. Personally, as someone who saw my sister struggle her way through cancer at 17, I connect with this mission.


Serving others also helps keep us humble and hone our emotional intelligence. How many times have you taken the ability to walk for granted? I bet you’ll be a little more thankful after serving someone who is confined to a hospital bed.


Volunteer boards require time and energy. Depending on what organization you get involved in, you may be asked to step out of your comfort zone or try something brand new. If you are willing to put in the effort, the benefits will often far outweigh the work.


The first step is identifying what kind of an organization best fits you. Would you like to be involved with a charity dealing with homelessness, healthcare, arts, education, disability rights, or environment affairs? The choices are numerous. Which is why we compiled a list of young professional associate boards below. Please take a look below and consider spending your free time helping with a worthy cause!


Volunteer Organizations

Volunteering Untapped Chicago - strives to “untap” resources and opportunities in Chicago for those we serve. There’s a huge group of talented young professionals in the city who want to volunteer. We connect those volunteers with a wide array of nonprofits in the Chicagoland area

Rotaract Club of Chicago - is an international organization of young professionals and students ages 18 to 30 that are committed to service and leadership in their communities and abroad.

Junior League of Chicago- is a group of young women who are committed to industrial and social issues of Chicago and researching ways to effectively address those issues, bring about positive change, and set an example for others about the importance of civic welfare.

Union League Girls and Boys Club Associate Board - is composed of emerging leaders striving for involvement and leadership in the Chicago community.


Young Associate Boards

American Liver Foundation Young Associate Board - is a group of young professionals who are determined to educate young professionals about liver health, create funds for patient services and research on liver disease, and improve the lives of individuals and their families affected by liver disease.

Chicago Community Trust Young Leaders Fund - provides young professionals with an innovative way to make a difference. YLF empowers its donors to manage the grant making process. With support from the Trust, they research innovative grassroots organizations, conduct site visits, interview staff and evaluate grant requests.

Red Shoe Foundation - is all about – giving time, inspiration, creativity, and funds to help families with hospitalized children at Ronald McDonald House Charities of Chicagoland & Northwest Indiana get better together.

Steppenwolf's Young Professional Group - is a group of young professionals that work to inspire Chicago teens to become lifelong theatre lovers.

Chicago Children's Advocacy Center - mission is to support ChicagoCAC within the young professional community by securing monetary and in-kind contributions, facilitating relationships, increasing awareness, and providing counsel.

Overture Council of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra Association - provides a community for Chicago-area young professionals aged 21-45 who share a love of music and a desire to learn more about how to support the CSO.

Friends of the Chicago River - are amazing friends who volunteer to improve and protect the Chicago River system in many different ways.

American Heart Association Associate Board- members apply their time, talent and resources toward building resource capacity and improving the cardiovascular health of the community.

Association House of Chicago Young Auxiliary Board - is a group of young professionals dedicated to support the organization’s mission and create awareness of its community impact for a wider set of professional and public audiences in and around Chicago.

Chicago Alliance Against Sexual Exploitation Young Associates Board- was created to engage young, energetic people who are looking for a directed, effective way to spend their volunteer time. The YPB is led by volunteers who serve as ambassadors for CAASE in the community. Members raise awareness about issues of sexual harm and fundraise to support CAASE’s programs and advocacy efforts.

PAWS Chicago Professional Board - PAWS Chicago Professional Board is a group of young professionals committed to saving homeless pets from kill shelters.

Little Hero's League - is an Affiliated Organization of Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago, that seeks to help babies born with medical complexities like Livi achieve their best life outcomes.

Navy Pier Associate Board - the Navy Pier Associate Board members serve as ambassadors of Navy Pier and support the organization’s mission through fundraising events, advocacy, volunteer service and professional engagement.

CASA Emerging Leaders Auxiliary Board - has a mission of transforming lives and strengthening communities, with a special focus on Hispanic communities.

People's Music School Young Associate Board - has a mission to deliver access to the benefits of high-quality, tuition-free music education.

Tuesday's Child Chicago Young Associate Board - is a group of young professionals passionate about enabling families to thrive through positive parent training, inclusive behavioral classrooms and support services. Our proven model impacts home, school, and the community.

St. Jude Children's Research Hospital Young Associate Board - unites Chicago’s leaders of tomorrow to help advance cures for pediatric cancer by engaging new donors, supporters and sponsors. We also provide young professionals with tools to evaluate their career goals, improve their professional image and create a lifelong and diverse professional network.

Chicago Children's Advocacy Center - is a group of young professionals who are passionate about raising funds and awareness for the center. They also hold special fundraising events that support and raise awareness of our work.

Bear Necessities Young Professional's Board - is a group of young professionals passionate about eliminating pediatric cancer and providing hope and support to those touched by it.

Project Vision Young Associate Board - is a group of young professionals who are eager to get involved in the community! Its purpose is to promote the mission of Project (providing a safe place for teens to call their own): VISION through outreach, fundraising, and volunteer projects.

Chicago Youth Center Young Associate Center - has a mission to invest in youth in under-served communities and to help them discover and realize their full potential.

Working in the Schools Young Associate Board - has a mission of setting students on a trajectory for success by building critical literacy skills and developing positive self-identity through teacher led professional development and volunteer powered mentorship programs.

Young Associates Board (YAB) - is an affiliated organization of Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago that is committed to providing hope for children with brain tumors.

Junior Council of Lurie Children's - is made up of young professionals who are committed to pooling resources and talents to help raise awareness and funds to support Lurie Children’s Pediatric and Adolescent HIV/AIDS Program.

Boulevard Young Associate Board - has a mission of serving homeless individuals and improving their lives by minimizing the impact of illness and injury and affirming the link between health care continuity and stable housing.

Green Star Movement Young Associate Board - is a collection of young professionals who serve as ambassadors of Green Star Movement. The organization has a mission of inspiring students and community members through the creation of public art.

Court Appointed Special Advocates Young Associate Board - mission is is to advance foster care child advocacy for children in Cook County by ensuring that their needs are met and rights are protected; by transitioning out of foster care into permanent, safe, and loving homes as quickly as possible; and that youth aging out of foster care have the resources and support they need to live independently.

Prismatic's Associate Board - is a group of young professionals who work to help raise awareness and scale the impact across low-income communities nationally, ensuring high potential teens find inspiration, resilience, and empowerment in achieving their aspirations.

Children's Research Fund Junior Board - is composed of young professionals who are committed to raising funds in support of pediatric medical research at the Stanley Manne Children’s Research Institute.

CJE Senior LifeYoung Associate Board - has a mission to enhance the quality of life and facilitate independence of older adults.

Alzheimer’s Association Illinois Junior Board - is a group of young professionals united by a single desire to see an end to Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias.

Habitat Young Professionals - supports local Habitat’s service while engaging young professionals as leaders, volunteers, advocates, educators and donors.

Erie Associate Board - is a group of young professionals who gather together to help support the Erie House’s mission of supporting immigrant and low-income families in Chicago.

Infant Welfare Society of Chicago Young Associate Board - is composed of young professionals passionate about children, families, and healthcare. they dedicate their free time to raising money and awareness for infants in need.