Where Chicago meets upon a single day

The Chicago Community Trust’s On the Table is an annual forum designed to take people places – to offices, schools, libraries, restaurants and other spaces where they meet others, share ideas and explore ways to improve our region. The results are exciting new relationships, elevated civic conversations and genuine pathways toward collaborative action – outcomes that make our communities more connected, resilient and resourceful. The success of On the Table in Chicago has inspired similar initiatives in more than 20 communities nationally and internationally, including a cohort of 10 cities replicating the project as part of a grant from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation.

Tens of thousands of people have engaged with On the Table since it was launched in 2014. Perhaps you’ve been a host or guest – or, maybe this year will mark your first participation. Either way, everyone is welcome. Everyone is an expert. Browse our planning tools for hosts, download and share our one-page fact sheet, and read real-life examples to inspire what you do after On the Table.

Your story matters: No matter where in Chicago you are, you have lived experiences that shape your view of our city, its challenges and its opportunities. Bring your stories to an On the Table conversation. Share your ideas, listen to others, and then watch what happens. When people come together, their energy leads to action. Where will your table take you?

The Chicago Community Trust, our region’s community foundation, partners with donors to leverage their philanthropy in ways that transform lives and communities. The Trust connects the generosity of donors with community needs by making grants to nonprofit organizations working to improve metropolitan Chicago. Since our founding in 1915, the Trust has awarded approximately $2 billion in grant funding to more than 11,000 local nonprofit organizations – including more than $236 million in 2016.