Sheryl Crow
Sheryl Crow, who will appear at an upcoming private concert in Lincoln Park (photo by Anirudh Koul)

Say good-bye to school bake sale fundraisers! This economy is pushing Chicago area not-for-profit organizations to be more creative as they pursue a diminished pool of charitable dollars.

Below are three upcoming fundraisers where you can not only have a great time but support causes that make Chicago the world-class city it is.

Sheryl Crow at Francis W. Park School

Chicago’s prestigious Francis W. Parker School is aiming to raise $1 million for their endowment through a private concert featuring 9-time Grammy award winning singer/song writer Sheryl Crow. The concert will be held in the school’s new Diane and David B. Heller Auditorium.

The show will take place on Saturday, March 7 at 7:00 p.m. and is not being advertised outside of the school community. At $500 to $5,000 a seat, tickets are not cheap. Still, the cause is a good one and the chance to see this popular performer in an intimate venue like a school auditorium is sure to be amazing. Visit to order tickets.

Art and Soul 2009

Chicago’s Alphonsus Academy & Center for the Arts is also trying something a little different. They are hosting “Art and Soul 2009,” an online auction to raise money for the school and its arts-based programming. Following the eBay model, the school is reaching a broader audience through an online auction, increasing the number of potential bidders for each item. The auction is hosted by cMarket, one of the country’s largest online charity auction platforms. Items up for auction include tickets to another private concert, this one by Chicago’s own Sixteen Candles band.

Auction Extraordinaire

However, if you prefer an old fashioned fundraiser where you put on your black cocktail dress and visit with friends while browsing endless tables of silent auction items, you won’t want to miss the St. Chrysostom’s Day School‘s annual “Auction Extraordinaire” fundraiser on Saturday, January 31 at the Racquet Club of Chicago. In addition to a silent and live auction, the benefit includes cocktails and a sit-down dinner, and it typically sells out. To purchase tickets, call (312) 642-3422 or email

In Closing

There you have it – three creative fundraisers to benefit schools on Chicago’s north side. If you know of another interesting school (or charity) fundraiser that might be of interest to our readers, please let us know with an email or comment!

Update: Great news! Ticket prices for the Endowment Fund Benefit Concert starring Sheryl Crow on Saturday, March 7, 2009 have been reduced by 50%. The school’s hope is that the reduced pricing structure will make their benefit concert more available to the community.

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