Chicago Charity Challenge Named The People’s Choice of Chicago Innovation Awards

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Chicago, Ill. —  Chicago Charity Challenge has been chosen as The People’s Choice Award winner of the 15th Annual Chicago Innovation Awards, an honor recognizing the impact of the Charity Challenge’s unique annual citywide competition that rewards businesses and their employees for giving back to some of Chicago’s most impactful nonprofits.

The Chicago Charity Challenge was honored in the Innovation Awards’ Civic Affairs category and was selected as The People’s Choice after more than 46,000 votes were cast in that category. The Chicago Charity Challenge is among an elite group of 25 winners chosen from more than 600 nominees. The winners were announced October 25, 2016 before 1,500 business and civic leaders attending the ceremony at Chicago’s Harris Theater in Millennium Park. The Chicago Innovation Awards, celebrating its 15th year, shines a bright light on the creative spirit of Chicago by focusing attention on the most innovative new products or services introduced to the region.

“We at the Chicago Charity Challenge are grateful to the Chicago Innovation Awards and all of the voters who cast ballots for our unique giving platform,” said Craig Foster, co-founder of the Chicago Charity Challenge. “The People’s Choice Award acknowledges what many participating Chicago companies and nonprofits already know: There is no other organization that combines giving with competition like the Chicago Charity Challenge,” he added.

This honor provides validation to the Challenge, a 501(c)3 nonprofit, right at a time of year when it is recruiting businesses to compete in the 2017 Chicago Charity Challenge. Corporate participation is easy: Charity Challenge staff collaborate with company teams and their select nonprofits to create a year-long plan that capitalizes on employee strengths, resulting in greater opportunities for employee engagement and long-term community impact.

Since 2014, Charity Challenge teams have contributed more than $29 million and more than 82,000 volunteer hours to assist charities battling hunger, homelessness, poverty, disability and disease. Businesses compete by teaming up with a nonprofit of their choice and engaging their employees to volunteer and fundraise throughout the year. Money awards are granted to the charity partner of companies that contribute the most time or money or make the greatest impact on a social issue or lower-income community. Thanks to Chicago Charity Challenge teams, Chicagoland has better schools, safer children and healthier families.

In addition to advising and supporting companies on how to multiply their giving efforts, the Chicago Charity Challenge provides teams with access to GiveTrak™, a user-friendly volunteer and fundraising management tool which enables companies to measure, track and report their employees’ volunteer hours and donations in real time. With GiveTrak™, managers get insights into how employees prefer to invest in corporate giving initiatives, which strengthens the Charity Challenge’s mission to simplify and accelerate employee philanthropy. GiveTrak also lets anyone view competitors’ progress online at anytime, which motivates employee giving to push for more contest participation.

The Chicago Charity Challenge would not exist without the generous and unending support of the employees of Call One, one of the nation’s largest providers of communications services and equipment, and the founding sponsor of the Charity Challenge.

“Call One and our employees are passionate believers in giving back to our community,” said Ed Wynn, Executive Chairman, Call One. “We want to congratulate our Give Back Committee for planting the seed that has grown into the Chicago Charity Challenge — an exciting and progressive philanthropic movement. We strongly encourage other companies to join,” he added.

About Chicago Charity Challenge
The Chicago Charity Challenge is a volunteer and fundraising competition that teams businesses with charities to motivate, support, and reward employee giving. A registered 501(c)3 nonprofit organization, the Charity Challenge works with companies and their select nonprofits to collaborate throughout the year to support causes and win monetary awards for their charity partner. Sponsors include Call One, MB Financial Charitable Foundation, BKD CPA’s & Advisors, Mandell Menkes LLC, Northwestern University Kellogg School of Management, the Chicago Tribune and Michelle Damico Communications. For more information, go to or follow Chicago Charity Challenge on Twitter (@ChicagoChaCha), on Facebook, YouTube and Vimeo.

Contact: Michelle Damico,, 312-423-6627