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APA-IL Pro Bono Program: Call for Volunteers / Update Your Talent Bank Info

Updated: Jan 20, 2023

The APA-IL Pro Bono Services Program is beginning to take volunteers for the Chapter's 2023 pro bono efforts. Regardless of how many years of experience you have or your current job's focus, your help is needed.

If you are a new pro bono volunteer, please fill out the Talent Bank form, identifying yourself and your professional talents.

If you have already filled out the Talent Bank form and your information has changed, please fill out the Talent Bank form again.

When the APA-IL Pro Bono Program organizes a planning session, they will search through the Talent Bank for the professionals with talent most relevant to the project.

Please read the project descriptions below and learn how you can participate as part of a project team.

Questions about the Talent Bank and projects below can be sent to


2023 Call for Projects Coming Soon

The Pro Bono Services Program anticipates a Call for 2023 Projects to be issued before the end of 2022. Stay tuned and watch your inbox for more information!


APA-IL 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.

Learn More

Visit to read more about the Program and past APA-IL Pro Bono projects.


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