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Aug 2, 2017

Strength of a Connected Network

LEND Alumni Reunion
LEND Alumni Reunion

Supporters of LEND,

One of the most remarkable qualities of our organization is its persistence. Year after year, we continue to attract incredibly talented, dedicated students who are committed to growing LEND's reach and making a tangible difference in the community. Over the past few months, it has become even more evident that the commitment to driving impact continues beyond our time on Northwestern's campus.

In May, we celebrated an alumni reunion in Chicago, connecting team members ranging from LEND's founding in 2009 to our newest group of talented volunteers, the class of 2020. The pioneers who laid the groundwork for what has now become a 20-member team shared fond memories and valuable learning experiences. From taking the initial leap and raising capital to provide our first small business loan to an incredibly passionate entrepreneur, to 25 loans disbursed and more than 10 pro-bono consulting projects completed each year, we have come a long way. Our success as an organization is a testiment to togetherness; LEND alumni pave the path and exemplify professionalism, while new members demonstrate passion and commitment that drives compounding growth.

Entering the summer months can be a difficult time for maintaining operational standards, as LEND team members travel across the world to complete internships. Yet, this summer has proven we stay unified and continue making an impact -- the connected network remains strong. Over the past month, our loan due diligence team has remained hard at work in processing applications and expanding our reach. They collaborate from home bases in Seattle, Chicago, Boston, and China to ensure we remain client focused and continue to lend a hand in the Evanston community. Furthermore, our members based on-campus for the summer remain engaged with clients: volunteering on pro-bono projects, developing new relationships, and supporting business operations with monthly check-in meetings.

As summer winds down, we look forward to returning to Northwestern and starting what is sure to be an exciting and fulfilling new school year. Please follow our progress on Facebook and stay in touch!

Thank you for your continued support of LEND and for playing an essential role in making our connected network so strong,

Kyle Dubuque - President

May 5, 2017

LEND Springs Forward: Client Services Thriving

Supporters of LEND,

It has been an exciting start to 2017 at Lending for Evanston and Northwestern Development. We are highly engaged in pro-bono client services work, developing personal relationships in the community that will foster economic development for years to come! Here are some of our major updates:

1) New Partnership Program - Evanston Economic Development Fund

Throughout the Winter, our executive team was busy working alongside the Evanston Economic Development Fund to launch a brand new grant program for underrepresented startups in the community. The Entrepreneurship Support Program is a $300,000 annual fund for low-income and minority business owners to attain licensing, marketing, legal support, or other services necessary to mobilize their dream company.

LEND is excited to partner with the Development Fund, offering pro-bono client services such as Business Plan Composition and Financial Modeling Training. Our team crafted the formal business plan template that the review committee is providing to applicants. With our support, business owners with little formal education can compile strategic reports and apply for the grant with ease, returning to LEND down the road to finance capital.

Throughout the past 2 months, we have worked with 6 inspired entrepreneurs taking the first major step towards owning and operating their own business!

2) Looking Forward: On-target to Dispurse Record Lending Total

Looking ahead at the 2017 annual forecast, LEND is aiming to dispurse a record loan total this year. We are actively fundraising to support 6 loans for $30,000. With your donation, local business owners can fund essential capital, gaining the initial boost they need to launch new ventures.

3) Check out our updated website here!

Learn about the major milestones in LEND's 8 year history with our new interactive timeline.

Visualize the impact we have delivered to the Evanston community with a map of our most recent loan partnerships, broken out by ward/income.

Thank you for continuing to support our mission! We are so appreciative of the opportunity to serve this community.

- The LEND Team

Jan 23, 2017

A Winter of Transitions!

Dear Supporters of LEND,

LEND has begun transitions for the new leadership team! We've selected a new president, Kyle Dubuque, who had previously worked as our Director of Marketing & Outreach. He did an exemplary job fostering new client relationships, renewing partnerships with city aldermen, and hosting special speaker events for LEND during his term as Director of M&O. We're happy to have him as our new president, and excited to see how LEND grows in the coming year!

We've also slightly restructured the leadership team to streamline client and internal processes, and hope that the new structure will give more clarity into each leader's and member's role.

LEND has successfully disbursed a loan to a client that runs a unique eatery, and is starting a catering service-- we are excited about supporting her business! We hope to increase the client pipeline once leadership transitions have begun.

This new year will also see increased focus on fundraising through creative means, tapping into LEND's unique relationship with the Northwestern student body.

We greatly appreciate your support and we will make 2017 another great year for LEND!

Sincerely,

Luke Bertolet & Sarah Xie

 
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