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Annual Report

Our Collective Impact

We were responsive in a year of change around the COVID-19 pandemic

Responding to the COVID-19 Pandemic

We provided $506,602 in emergency assistance to communities, which included:

Responding to the COVID-19 Pandemic
Responding to the COVID-19 Pandemic
Residents of Bickerdike Apartments receiving their grocery deliveries
grocery deliveries to seniors who were most at-risk to the virus and unable to leave their homes
Responding to the COVID-19 Pandemic
Elevators transporting water pallets with community volunteers in Chicago
bottles of water delivered to families impacted by water shutoffs
Responding to the COVID-19 Pandemic
Ms. Cartagena is part of the Resident Resiliency Incentive Initiative with Bickerdike and LUCHA

Photo: Anjali Pinto for the Urban Institute
in rental assistance for over 200 residents of our affordable housing partners
Responding to the COVID-19 Pandemic
A previous participant of Elevate's programs, Ms. Taylor had an air conditioner installed in the summer
23 air conditioners
installed for people sheltering in place during the hottest months of the summer
Responding to the COVID-19 Pandemic
A loan helped WindSoliel continue its mission of providing people with affordable renewable energy options
of zero-interest loans to help small contractors bridge the period of work stoppage
Responding to the COVID-19 Pandemic
Elevate works with child care providers to make homes safe and healthy for children
to help child care providers remain open with a fewer number of children to serve families with essential workers

We continued to center equity in the climate conversation and responded to the historic moment of national reckoning


We continued to prioritize equity internally with our Diversity, Racial Equity, and Inclusion committee

Our team took a leading role in the national conversation calling for justice for Black lives
We focused on the needs of our communities with 491 virtual meetings and town halls

We invested in our non-energy programs


LeadCare Illinois launched, providing lead in water testing and education to child care providers across Illinois

We made 22 homes lead safe, impacting 67 children and future generations to come

"I felt valued, which is very important to me because that's not always the case when it comes to assistance programs with low-income families like mine." - Lead abatement program participant

And our name changed to “Elevate,” showing that our work is more than just energy

We continued to deliver on our energy goals

Responding to the COVID-19 Pandemic
Energy efficiency upgrades reduce energy use and save money for building owners to help keep housing affordable
542 buildings
retrofitted through our energy efficiency services
Over $6.5 million
in bill savings by customers using smart electricity options
Responding to the COVID-19 Pandemic
Hands-on solar training with our partner Millennium Solar Electric Training Academy
42 students
graduated from our training programs
Responding to the COVID-19 Pandemic
The Dubois family received solar on their home in the Marynook neighborhood on Chicago’s South Side
8,563 kWh
solar energy generated through Illinois Solar for All

We worked on big climate challenges

We advocated for a progressive policy landscape through the Clean Energy Jobs Act, bringing our experience in workforce development and clean energy programs to policy discussions
Our research with Rocky Mountain Institute showed how building electrification can help meet climate goals across the Midwest
We worked with the City of Ann Arbor to assess the greenhouse gas reduction potential and costs associated with strategies in their aggressive plan to be carbon neutral by 2030
Responding to the COVID-19 Pandemic
Our appraiser-led analysis showed that high-performing homes in the Midwest sell for a higher price in the real estate transaction when marketed correctly

We expanded our reach as a national organization

In 2020 we worked on projects in 8 states
In Michigan we worked with Michigan Energy Options to incorporate solar energy in the Michigan Department of Natural Resources, including the implementation of a 10kW solar array at the Oden Fish hatchery!
Responding to the COVID-19 Pandemic

Elevate turned 20 years old!

Our team grew to 143 employees
Responding to the COVID-19 Pandemic
We published our first-ever podcast, Climate Changemakers, featuring stories of community climate leaders
And we marked our anniversary at Elevate Together with all our friends, funders, and partners

Thank you for your interest in Elevate and our impact in 2020.

Scroll down to view our financials and a list of our funders and board of directors.

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Total Revenue: $31.2 million

Total Expense: $29 million


Board of Directors

  • John Cleveland,
    Board Chair
  • Anne Evens
  • Scott Bernstein
  • Marty Cohen
  • Susan Page Estes
  • Mindy Mercaldo
  • Margaret O’Dell
  • Jennifer Tescher
  • Robert Weissbourd
  • Sharonda Williams-Tack


  • BMO Harris Bank
  • Center for Neighborhood Technology
  • The Chicago Community Trust
  • Chicago Council on Global Affairs
  • Citi Foundation
  • City of Chicago
  • City of Detroit
  • City of Evanston
  • City of Lancaster (PA)
  • Crown Family Philanthropies
  • Energy Foundation
  • Enterprise Community Partners, Inc.
  • Illinois Department of Health
  • Illinois Institute of Technology
  • Illinois Power Agency
  • Illinois Science & Energy Innovation Foundation
  • Joyce Foundation
  • The JPB Foundation
  • The Mayer & Morris Kaplan Family Foundation
  • McKnight Foundation
  • Mott Foundation
  • Natural Resources Defense Council
  • Nexant Inc.
  • Polk Bros. Foundation
  • Southland Development Authority
  • TRC Solutions
  • United Way of Metropolitan Chicago
  • Urban Institute/Robert Wood Johnson Foundation
  • US Department of Energy