ECL @ Illinois

Accessibility Options

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign South Quad on a spring day

Thank you for considering United Way's ECL @ Illinois program!

Emerging Community Leaders (ECL) is a personal development program designed for professionals to learn how they can impact our community through nonprofit volunteerism. 

ECL @ Illinois brings all the content of our award-winning ECL Program to campus. Since 2005, 780 people have graduated from ECL.

By offering the program on-campus, we are making ECL more accessible and helping you meet community-minded faculty and staff from across campus.

The ECL @ Illinois program is offered FREE OF CHARGE thanks to support from the Office of the Chancellor and the United Way Board of Directors.

Click here to read a note from Chancellor Robert J. Jones regarding the ECL @ Illinois program!

About the ECL @ Illinois Program

ECL’s structured like a class – but with no grades or tests

You’ll join together with other professionals for our five educational seminars:

  • Finding Your Why
  • Nonprofit Basics
  • How to be an effective Board/Committee member
  • Fundraising for Impact
  • Introduction to Campus and Community Partnerships

You will put your new knowledge to work by participating in a team project that addresses a community challenge identified by United Way.

We will also plan social and volunteer events throughout the year. At the conclusion of our program, we'll celebrate your accomplishments with a Graduation event.

View the 2024 ECL @ Illinois Calendar

What You Will Learn

ECL graduates have the skill set necessary to become effective nonprofit volunteers, committee members, or board members. Plus, you'll grow your network of professional and caring colleagues with other ECL members.

Read our Learning Outcomes.

Frequently Asked Questions

Click here to find answers to some common questions about the program.

How to Apply

The application period is open now! Please apply by Friday, March 8, 2024 at noon.


For specific questions, contact Anne Clark Skuse at United Way of Champaign County.

Apply for ECL @ Illinois

Choose your Emerging Community Leaders program.

Which program is right for me?

Emerging Community Leaders -
Open to all community members in the C-U and surrounding areas who can meet the in-person attendance requirements with many events in Champaign.The suggested participant age range is 21-40, which matches expectations for professional and community experience that will best fit the objectives of the program.

ECL @ Illinois - Open only to UIUC employees and programming is offered on campus during the lunch hour. There is no suggested participant age range. At this time, employees working in an extra help or academic hourly capacity are not eligible to participate in ECL @ Illinois - we welcome you to apply for our Emerging Community Leaders program.

Both Emerging Community Leaders options offer the same core content. Regardless of which program you choose, you will have access to the same shared social events and community volunteerism events. The 2024 application period closes at noon on March 8th. 

By checking this box, you acknowledge the following:
  • You have read the 2024 ECL program calendar or ECL @ Illinois calendar.
  • You either live or work in Champaign County, Illinois
  • You understand the ECL program has minimum attendance requirements for graduation.
  • You understand that the ECL program includes participation in a Team Project.
  • You are excited to get more involved in the Champaign County community!
Personal Information
Workplace Information
University Information
How did you hear about Emerging Community Leaders? Choose all that apply.

Short Answers

We would love to get to know you better! Please provide brief, informational responses to the following questions. Responses must be at least 25 words, and are limited to 250 words. 


One goal of the Emerging Community Leaders is to help people connect with their community and find new ways to give back. Please share the ways you've been involved in your community or workplace over the past few years.


A large part of the Emerging Community Leaders program is a Team Project. We would love for you to share an example of a time you demonstrated leadership and/or worked with a team to overcome a challenge.


Emerging Community Leaders is an opportunity for personal and professional growth. How do you hope to grow by participating in the ECL program?
To complete your ECL application, you must submit one letter of recommendation. The letter of recommendation may be from a personal, professional, or volunteer source. 

If you do not upload a letter today, you may submit one via email to Anne Clark Skuse. The deadline to submit your letter is Friday, March 8, 2024 at 12pm.
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