Letter from the Executive Director

Nicole Bronnimann
Executive Director

View Our Challenge

For five years now, Supplies for Dreams has focused on enriching the lives and expanding the horizons of Chicago Public Schools (CPS) students.

This year, we witnessed one of the most tumultuous years in CPS history. One of the most notable changes has been the institution of a longer school day, adding hours of instruction to every week. Additionally, a 10-day teacher strike in September received national coverage and highlighted issues such as teacher evaluation and hiring procedures. Leadership turnover continued as Jean-Claude Brizard resigned as CEO of CPS and Barbara Byrd-Bennett took over. At the current moment, many parents await word on the large-scale school closings slated for 2013.

In this difficult time, our mission is more important than ever. As always, we will focus on our students and provide them with opportunities that make a positive difference in their lives. Through our Dream Drive program, we ensure that all of our students arrive on the first day of school with the tools they need to succeed. Through Award-A-Field Trip, students take excursions out of the classroom to sites of cultural and intellectual importance, expanding their knowledge of the world. Through Academic Enrichment, we give students the individualized attention and encouragement they need to realize their own potential.

In 2012, we served more than 2,100 students through our three core programs, which all experienced substantial growth.

We were proud to continue our strong partnerships with Manuel Perez Jr. Elementary School, Belmont-Cragin Elementary School, and the Chicago Youth Centers and we also added a new partner school—Bernhard Moos in Humboldt Park.

No matter the political climate, interacting with the students at our partner schools always inspires me. They are wonderful kids—creative, engaged, and robustly curious. Because of your unyielding support, we have been able to provide all of them with quality programs. We would never have come this far without you, and I hope you will continue to join us to make the future bright for these students.

Warm Regards,

Nicole Bronnimann

Tackling Our Challenge

Between teacher strikes, leadership changes, and longer school days, Chicago Public Schools (CPS) has gone through a turbulent year in 2012.But even as the schools undergo big changes, some key issues remain untouched. As one of the largest school districts in the nation, CPS has a wide variety of students, but 94% of CPS students will not obtain a college degree (Learn More >). It is imperative that we help these young learners achieve what most of us take for granted.

That’s where Supplies for Dreams (SFD) comes in. As an organization run by college students, SFD recognizes and values the importance of education at all levels. We believe that all students, regardless of socioeconomic background, are entitled to a quality education. Through our programs, we hope to provide fundamental and innovative resources to help CPS students succeed.

In 2012, we are proud to say that we added another partner school, ran field trips for 450 students, established mentorships for 20 kids, and supplied 1,750 children with backpacks. While we are thrilled with our accomplishments this past year, we can’t wait to see what 2013 brings for us, and more importantly, the students we serve.

2012 Highlights

The Northwestern University Chapter, the newest addition to Supplies for Dreams, hosted Wildcat Workout in the fall of 2012. Sponsored in conjunction with the Big Ten Network, Wildcat Workout taught CPS students about the importance of healthy habits. Almost 100 fifth and sixth graders from SFD’s three partner schools came to Northwestern University, participating in learning activities like nutrition jeopardy or mini golf.

Introducing Our New Partner School
As part of our desire to reach as many CPS students as possible, we are pleased to have added another partner school in 2012. All three of our core programs benefit the students at Bernhard Moos Elementary School. In addition to extending our programs, SFD became better acquainted with our new partner through site visits and conversations with school leadership.

Oliver Wyman Volunteers With SFD
SFD was proud to partner with Oliver Wyman to make substantial improvements to one of our partner schools, Belmont-Cragin Elementary School. In July, over 50 volunteers from Oliver Wyman spent the day painting classrooms, sorting library books, gardening and hanging birdhouses in the pouring rain at Belmont-Cragin.

Click on the icons below to learn about what our programs did this year.

The founding program of Supplies for Dreams, Dream Drive equips thousands of CPS students with the tools they need to learn. With 87% of CPS students coming from low-income families, many young learners cannot even go to class with the most basic school supplies, like pencils and notebooks.

Provided 1751 students with backpacks.

110 community volunteers assembled supply packages and backpacks.

helped students pursue education by providing the necessary tools.

Award-a-Field Trip
Nothing sparks curiosity in the minds of young students more than an out-of-classroom experience on a trip to a local museum. The AAFT program delivers a unique opportunity to broaden the horizons of students at our partner schools. Chaperones work with small groups, building a personal connection with students and sharing their love of learning.

Organized field trips for 14 classrooms.

Exposed 455 students to world-class museums.

Inspired students about where education leads.

Academic Enrichment
With the energy and determination of bright college students, Academic Enrichment unlocks potential in CPS students through tutoring programs at our three partner schools.

Recruited 43 NU students as tutors.

Tutored 50 CPS students.

Revamped the program’s evaluation system.

Meet the Team
SFD has 44 team members ranging from freshman to senior university students. These students help Supplies for Dreams thrive at Northwestern University and in the general Chicagoland area. With majors as diverse as film, social policy, journalism and chemical engineering, each member of Supplies for Dreams offers unique and valuable perspective to the organization and its programs.


Management Discussion and Analysis

SFD served approximately 2,270 students in 2012, a 42 percent increase from the year prior. Total public support and revenue rose by approximately 68 percent in 2012 due to strong growth across all channels of giving. Gifts-inkind revenue led the way with a 211 percent increase from 2011, largely due to a one-time donation of a promotional video from a single studio. From 2011 to 2012, cash revenue from public support and special events saw growths of 31 and 51 percent respectively; these two are expected to continue driving
revenue growth, with the inherent volatility in gifts in-kind revenue making it prone to fluctuations each year.

Programming expenditures increased in 2012 by 8 percent, reflecting increased spending on the students from the additional school partnership established. Fundraising expenditures also increased by 7 percent, though fundraising cost per dollar raised fell by 57 percent. SFD was able to grow its total revenue at a faster pace –indicating more efficient

fundraising spending.

General and administrative (G&A) expenses increased by 41 percent from 2011 to 2012, primarily due to one-time expenses on web upgrades and short-term storage rental. As a percentage of total revenue, G&A expenses fell by 16 percent because of improvements made in efficiency. The management team expects to continue streamlining operations to provide more programming while decreasing expenses as a percentage of revenue.


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501(c)3 Ruling

Do you have feedback for us? Feel free to to reach out to us via email at [email protected].

Supplies for Dreams is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization that provides Chicago Public Schools students with critical resources and extra-curricular opportunities ranging from basic school supplies to field trips and one-on-one mentoring.