APA-IL Pro Bono Program: Spring 2019 Call for Projects

Are you an Illinois municipality, neighborhood association, non-profit, or community organization that seeks assistance with a planning project? The American Planning Association - Illinois Chapter can help! The American Planning Association - Illinois Chapter (APA-IL) has relaunched its Pro Bono Planning Services Program and is now accepting applications for new projects.

Ready to Apply?


Applications for the Spring 2019 Pro Bono Planning Service Program must be submitted by March 29, 2019.

Pro Bono Service Program The mission of the APA-IL Pro-Bono Planning Service Program is to provide urban planning services on a pro bono basis by APA-IL members, to assist municipalities, nonprofits, and community organizations in the initiation, organizing, and fine tuning of early stage planning projects. Through the APA Illinois Pro Bono Service Program, organizations walk away with an action plan and a clear understanding of the goals and vision for their city / community / neighborhood.

What We Do

  • Goal-setting

  • Community Visioning

  • Design Charrettes

  • Action Plan Development

  • RFP Scope Development

Eligible Organizations The APA-IL Pro-Bono Planning Service Program provides services to organizations based in Illinois. These may include municipalities, non-profits, and community/neighborhood groups. Rules of Engagement The program Pro Bono Planning Services Program is not intended to compete with private sector planning services which may be needed to perform and complete any of a full range of planning activities. With that in mind, the program follows seven “Rules of Engagement”:

  • No Political Footballs

  • Conduct in a single session

  • Vest Responsibility for Follow-up with Community

  • Don’t Compete with Consultants

  • Ensure Capacity Exists in Community

  • Stick with Planning

  • Help Plan to Plan

Our Process Our Program’s involvement begins with organizing a planning session in conjunction with a local group or municipality. From that foundation we tap into the resources of APA-IL membership for talent, conduct the planning session on location, and work out an action agenda with the local entity. The local entity sponsoring the meeting is required to include a local, representative base of residents, merchants, political interests, and other players that have a vested interest in the success of the project. The sessions typically last half a day. The APA-IL team usually consists of 5 to 10 planning professionals with expertise in the general area being explored. The teams are mixed groups ranging in experience from recent college graduates to veteran planners. Depending on the project, we partner with architects and landscape architects to provide additional subject matter expertise. To date, all projects proved to be win - win in situations for both APA-IL and the sponsoring community.

Want to know how you can volunteer your professional talents?

Regardless of how many years of experience you have or your current job's focus, your help is needed. If would like to volunteer, please become part of our "Talent Bank." When the APA-IL Pro Bono Services Program organizes a planning session, they will search through the Talent Bank for the professionals with talent most relevant to the project.

Please note: professional volunteers that are members of the APA-IL are welcome to join the Talent Bank. Not a member? We now offer Chapter Only memberships, learn more HERE.

#2019 #APAILnews #probono


The American Planning Association - Illinois Chapter (APA-IL) is the premier authority on urban planning issues and professional development for Illinois' urban planners.


The APA-IL is the official membership association for practicing planners in the State of Illinois.  We strive to inform, educate, and connect our members to resources and tools that advance the practice of planning throughout the state.  We pride ourselves on "Creating Great Communities for All" in Illinois.  




American Planning Association - Illinois Chapter

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148 N. 3rd St.
DeKalb, IL 60115


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