“TIF 101” Video Now Live!

We are super proud of producing our first online TIF training video, “TIF 101”! You can watch the 20 minute video right here:

Thanks to the 80 people who contributed to this project.

We are now asking everyone to join our SECOND crowdfunding campaign so we can produce the next video in our projected series of five videos. The next video is “The TIF Hall of Shame” and will focus on the abuses and contradictions in Chicago’s massive TIF program. You won’t want to miss this!

Campaign 2 screen-small

All TIF Presentations Now Available

Since February of 2013 The TIF Illumination Project has Illuminated 127 TIFs across 29 wards in front of some 3,400 people. In case you missed any of those thrilling presentations, you can now download any or all of them for only $2.50 each at our new  TIF Data Store.  Just click on the “TIF Illumination” category and you’ll see all the presentations and other files that are available.

Remember, while the TIF work is 100% volunteer powered, we have to cover the expenses of our home, the CivicLab and we’d also like to build an online platform to make all this data (and much more) easily available.

You can also donate a tax deductible contribution via our fiscal agent, the Investigative News Network here.

“TIF 101” Presentation Now Online

Want to take a crash course in Tax Increment Financing? If so, watch this 33 minute video that will introduce the topic and reveal the details of TIF in Chicago and the work of the TIF Illumination Project. The presenter is CivicLab co-founder, Tom Tresser, who is the Lead Organizer for the TIF research and presenter at TIF town meetings. The video is on this page. It’s password protected and we’re asking a contribution of $5.00 to get the password. All our work is 100% volunteer driven but we’ve some bills to pay and plans to expand. You’re welcome to invest more in our work, of course! Please use this PayPal link to make your payment. When we receive notice of your payment we’ll email you the password.

TIF 101 video+slide-screen

“How To Write A Kick Ass Mission Statement” 7/16

July 16, 7pm – 8:30pm @ The CivicLab, 114 N. Aberdeen Street.

In the nonprofit world nothing happens without a powerful and distinctive mission statement. Everything your organization does stems from the mission statement. A compelling mission is why people support you, why funders fund you and why volunteers donate their labor to you.

This is a hands-on workshop where we will:

  • review the elements of a great mission statement
  • learn to create a positioning statement
  • review great examples of mission statements
  • have a chance to look at attendees existing and proposed mission statements and improve them
  • discuss tag lines and other ways to get across your organization’s mission quickly

The instructor is Tom Tresser, co-founder of the CivicLab. The CivicLab is the 13th social enterprise that Tom has led or started.

The cost for this workshop is just $10 and all the proceeds go to the operation of the CivicLab. Register online here:  https://mission-statement-7-16.eventbrite.com.


she crew Coming To The CivicLab

{she crew} is a six-week summer program for girls, ages 12 to 14, to engage in a multi-disciplinary journaling workshop that culminates in a theatrical performance written entirely by the participants.  We are investigating the question of what it is to be a woman, how one defines womanhood, and how we see ourselves in relation to that definition.  It is our goal to investigate feminine topics through broad questions that encourage participants’ engagement and deep reflection.  Questions and writing prompts include topics of: womanhood, personal identity, women in relation to family, community, career, and the physical body.

she crew will be in residence at the CivicLab this summer. Apply here.