Articles

Insights from our Community Field Trip™️ to Star Farm Chicago

We recently had the pleasure of hosting a group of wealth advisors for a Community Field Trip™️ to Star Farm Chicago, located in the vibrant Back of the Yards neighborhood. While normally our Community Field Trips are for donors, we held this event to demonstrate the program’s value to advisors so that they could potentially share their experience with clients.  

The half-day trip brought together Chicago-based professionals and key stakeholders from Star Farm Chicago, including Executive Director Stephanie Dunn, dedicated staff, and enthusiastic summer camp youth participants.  

Fostering Insights and Advisor Engagement  

With ideal weather and a carefully planned agenda, the day was perfect for this new learning experience. It offered a break from phones and computers, an opportunity to connect with colleagues and witness the impact of philanthropy firsthand. 

The advisors gained insight into the impact of grassroots organizations and the challenges they address. They came away with a better understanding of community needs and the role of philanthropy in driving change. Engaging directly with the nonprofit’s leaders and program, participants provided a clear sense of how their philanthropy-minded clients could benefit from an organized site visit.

About Star Farm Chicago

Star Farm Chicago is a grassroots organization making a significant impact in the Back of the Yards neighborhood, a food desert with limited access to healthy food. Our visit provided an unfiltered look at the daily challenges residents face, such as lack of transportation and food insecurity. Star Farm Chicago stands out as a beacon of hope, offering fresh, locally-grown produce, educational programs, and employment opportunities that empower the community. 

Invigorating and Energizing Attendees 

This shared experience is a great tool to help advisors strengthen their relationships with their clients and celebrate community success and opportunity together. See some of the comments from participants below. Even this brief immersion in the community’s reality helped attendees better understand innovative ways to address needs and provided new tools to engage their clients in meaningful conversations about their philanthropy journeys. 

Image of a Star Farm Chicago - Strategic Philanthropy Community Field Trip for Wealth Advisors and their Clients.


I was greatly impressed with ED Stephanie Dunn.  It’s clear she’s making an impact on the local community with her organization. It was a wonderful opportunity to meet with her, visit her farm, and see the vision for their future commercial space.”

As someone who has lived in the Chicagoland area for over 17 years, I had absolutely no idea that a local organization like Star Farm existed. What surprised me the most was how much impact can be made by turning 12 vacant property lots into an organic farm – one that not only provides nutritional food for CSA deliveries but also provides employment opportunities for residents.”

“Strategic Philanthropy’s field trip was the perfect way to learn about and connect with organizations doing meaningful work right here in our city. As an attendee, you gain an awareness of how different grassroot groups are addressing complex problems, the logistics of researching which groups do what, and how to connect with them.”


Experience Your Own Community Field Trip™️

Download our PDF to learn more about how we can recreate this experience for you, whether you are a donor or an advisor.