This year, we are taking a hybrid approach to our annual event, where individuals and sponsors are invited to join us at an in-person event or a virtual production that will feature a mix of livestreamed action and special guest speakers.

Why Sponsor?

The Start Early Annual Luncheon provides an exclusive opportunity for a sponsor – whether corporate or individual – to demonstrate its commitment to youth and families to thousands of noteworthy individuals.

As an event sponsor you will also:

  • Invest in work that provides early learning opportunities to young children, primarily those born into under-resourced communities, and their families
  • Access to an A-list group of registrants, such as business, civic and philanthropic leaders, donors, partners, Start Early’s Board of Directors and other sponsors with pre-event and post-event marketing and communications and in programming materials during the event

Check out our 2021 Annual Luncheon sponsors

Corporate & Individual

Sponsorship Opportunities & Benefits

What does sponsorship mean for you? See below for a variety of sponsorship opportunities and the benefits that are associated with each.

Presenting Sponsor

$100,000

  • Presenting designation and logo (if applicable) below event title when used in all appropriate event promotional materials
  • 10 tickets to in-person event; unlimited access to virtual event
  • Corporation or individual name included in news release distributed on behalf of Start Early (with opportunity for approval)

For Annual Luncheon sponsorship questions, email [email protected].

Additional Sponsorship Benefits:

  • Recognized in verbal remarks during event
  • Dedicated social media posts pre-event – Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram (distribution to approximately 32,000 followers)
  • Special recognition in event “Thank You” email (distribution of approximately 30,000+ individuals)
  • Sponsor name and logo (if applicable) included in invitation, pre-event emails and on event web page
  • Sponsor name and logo (if applicable) displayed in virtual “waiting room” and via screen during in-person event
  • Sponsor name and logo (if applicable) linked on 2023 Annual Luncheon sponsorship web page
  • Private discussion with an early childhood expert from Start Early for you and your guests or employees (or similar customized employee engagement opportunity)
  • Assisted registration for all guests (for both in-person and virtual event options)
  • Inclusion in Start Early Year in Review and Donor Wall at main office

Champion Sponsor

$50,000

  • 10 tickets to in-person event; unlimited access to virtual event
  • Recognized in verbal remarks during event
  • Dedicated social media posts pre-event – Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram (distribution to approximately 32,000 followers)
  • Special recognition in event “Thank You” email (distribution of approximately 30,000+ individuals)

For Annual Luncheon sponsorship questions, email [email protected].

Additional Sponsorship Benefits:

  • Sponsor name and logo (if applicable) included in invitation, pre-event emails and on event web page
  • Sponsor name and logo (if applicable) displayed in virtual “waiting room” and via screen during in-person event
  • Sponsor name and logo (if applicable) linked on 2023 Annual Luncheon sponsorship web page
  • Private discussion with an early childhood expert from Start Early for you and your guests or employees (or similar customized employee engagement opportunity)
  • Assisted registration for all guests (for both in-person and virtual event options)
  • Inclusion in Start Early Year in Review and Donor Wall at main office

Premier Sponsor

$25,000

  • 10 tickets to in-person event; unlimited access to virtual event
  • Mention in social media posts pre-event – Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, Twitter (distribution to approximately 32,000 followers)

For Annual Luncheon sponsorship questions, email [email protected].

Additional Sponsorship Benefits:

  • Sponsor name and logo (if applicable) included in invitation, pre-event emails and on event web page
  • Sponsor name and logo (if applicable) displayed in virtual “waiting room” and via screen during in-person event
  • Sponsor name and logo (if applicable) linked on 2023 Annual Luncheon sponsorship web page
  • Private discussion with an early childhood expert from Start Early for you and your guests or employees (or similar customized employee engagement opportunity)
  • Assisted registration for all guests (for both in-person and virtual event options)
  • Inclusion in Start Early Year in Review and Donor Wall at main office

Partner Sponsor

$10,000

  • Five tickets to in-person event; unlimited access to virtual event
  • Private discussion with an early childhood expert from Start Early for you and your guests or employees

For Annual Luncheon sponsorship questions, email [email protected].

Additional Sponsorship Benefits:

  • Sponsor name included in invitation, pre-event emails and on event web page
  • Sponsor name displayed in virtual “waiting room” and via screen during in-person event
  • Sponsor name linked on 2023 Annual Luncheon sponsorship web page
  • Assisted registration for all guests (for both in-person and virtual event options)
  • Inclusion in Start Early Year in Review and Donor Wall at main office

Community Sponsor

$5,000

  • Three tickets to in-person event; unlimited access to virtual event
  • Sponsor name included in invitation, pre-event emails and on event web page
  • Sponsor name displayed in virtual “waiting room” and via screen during in-person event
  • Sponsor name linked on 2023 Annual Luncheon sponsorship web page
  • Assisted registration for all guests (for both in-person and virtual event options)
  • Inclusion in Start Early Year in Review and Donor Wall at main office

For Annual Luncheon sponsorship questions, email [email protected].

About the Annual Luncheon

Since Start Early’s Annual Luncheon’s inception in 2002, more than $13 million has been raised through sponsorships, attendance and generous contributions. Just this past year, although virtual, we raised more than $1 million! Read more about our 2021 Start Early Annual Luncheon.

Start Early (formerly the Ounce) has welcomed many notable civic and philanthropic leaders as speakers, including: Former First Lady Michelle Obama (2021); Dr. Clinton Boyd, Jr., Postdoctoral Associate, Samuel DuBois Cook Center on Social Equity (2021); Anna Deavere Smith, Activist, Playwright and Actor (2019); Dr. Nadine Burke Harris, Founder & CEO of Center for Youth Wellness (2018); Jackie Bezos, President of Bezos Family Foundation (2015); Wes Moore, Education Advocate & Best Selling Author (2012); The Honorable Arne Duncan (2011); Bill Gates, Sr., Co-Chairman of Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation (2007); Barack Obama, then-Illinois Senator (2006).

2022 Annual Luncheon Co-Chairs

Curt Bailey
President, Related Midwest; Member, Start Early Board of Directors

Mary Hasten
Vice Chair, Start Early Board of Directors

Thank you last year’s 2021 Annual Luncheon sponsors!

Presented by:

LaSalle Network logo

On April 27, we hosted our 20th Annual Luncheon—our first-ever hybrid event—where we welcomed hundreds of individuals in-person here in Chicago and hundreds of others virtually across the country. Presented by LaSalle Network, the powerful program demonstrated how quality early learning and care programs can promote resilience and hope for families with young children—now more than ever.

Through this powerful program of diverse voices and experiences, we hope you can see the role we each have as parents, family members, friends or colleagues to support our children, families and those who care for them.  If you were unable to join us, you can watch a recording of the full program below.

We know a child’s development is not only about what happens in the classroom, but what happens at home and within the community. Yet, far too many families and programs are without adequate resources to support and provide quality experiences. Young children urgently need our help – donate today.  

Give Now

corner square square circle corner pie circle square

Thank You to Our Generous 2022 Annual Luncheon Sponsors!

Presenting

$100,000

LaSalle Network logo

Champion

$50,000

BMO logo DRW logo Related Midwest logo Valor logo

Nancy & Steve Crown
The Crown Family
The Hasten Foundation
Diana & Bruce Rauner
Zell Family Foundation


Premier

$25,000

Allstate Logo Cullinan Logo GCM Logo Peoples Gas logo Wintrust logo


Anne & Don Edwards
The Edwardson Family Foundation
Vicki Escarra
Leslie Bluhm & David Helfand
Doug & Diane Oberhelman
Cari & Michael J. Sacks
Diana & Michael Sands
Catherine Siegel


Partner

$10,000

The Boeing Company
Boston Consulting Group
Noelle C. Brock
Brock Family Foundation
Jacolyn & John Bucksbaum
Buffett Early Childhood Fund
CME Group Foundation
David & Jane Casper
Marilyn & Larry Fields
Cabray Haines & David Kiley
Harris Family Foundation
ITW
The Malkin Family
PNC
Port Capital LLC
Robert R. McCormick Foundation
Sterling Bay
Sunshine Charitable Foundation
Ulta Beauty
Wilson Garling Foundation


Community

$5,000

Nick & Jessie Alberding
Ellen Alberding & Kelly Welsh
Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago
Jimmy & Eleni Bousis
Joan & Bill Brodsky
Burns & McDonnell
Mark & Shari Coe
Intrinsic Edge Capital Management
Erikson Institute
The Joseph & Bessie Feinberg Foundation
Fifth Third Bank
Jenny & P. Jay Fortner Family Fund
Goldring Family Foundation
Mr. & Mrs. Rodney L. Goldstein
Rachel and Devin Gross
Maxwell Gunnill
Huntington Bank
JP Morgan Chase Private Bank
David & Gerri Kahnweiler
Learning Resources
Ron & Fifi Levin
Elaine & Donald Levinson
Merrill Family Foundation
Paul Metzger & Sarah Bradley
Barbara & Dan O’Keefe
Sharon & Leon Oberlander
Virginia Oviedo & Michael Ojeda
Midan, Inc.
Plante Moran
Protiviti
Tom & Cece Ricketts
Rothkopf Family Charitable Foundation
Cheryl & Craig Simon
Steans Family Foundation
Ken & Kathy Tallering
Anne & John Tuohy
Mr. & Mrs. Mike S. Zafirovski

Our virtual Annual Luncheon celebrated the transformational power of starting early through inspiring stories from families, educators, corporate leaders and early learning advocates.

This year’s complimentary program demonstrated the lasting impact that early learning can have on molding the future of our youngest children and confirm that starting early matters to all families — regardless of race, background, geography or income. We hope our virtual 2021 Luncheon acts as a reminder that when we come together and invest in early childhood education, we can transform the lives of our future generation. If you were unable to join us, you can watch a recording of the full program below.

Investing in early learning and care programs and the people who provide them must be a priority as we rebuild our nation. When we come together to do so, we will transform the lives of our future generations.

Give Now

corner square square circle corner pie circle square

Thank You to Our Generous 2021 Annual Luncheon Sponsors!

Presenting

$100,000

LaSalle Network logo Zell Family Foundation text treatment

Champion

$50,000

BMO Harris Bank logo Peoples Gas logo Related Midwest logo

Nancy & Steve Crown
The Crown Family
The Hasten Foundation
Diana & Bruce Rauner


Premier

$25,000

Allstate Logo Satter Foundation logo Wintrust Bank logo


Leslie Bluhm & David Helfand
Anne & Don Edwards
Doug & Diane Oberhelman
Cari & Michael Sacks
Diana & Michael Sands
Catherine Siegel


Partner

$10,000

Susan & Stephen Baird
Better
The Boeing Company
Noelle C. Brock
Brock Family Foundation
Jacolyn & John Bucksbaum
Buffett Early Childhood Fund
CME Group
Cummins
Marilyn & Larry Fields
Mr. & Mrs. Rodney L. Goldstein
Cabray Haines & David Kiley
Harris Family Foundation

Linda & Bill Friend
Caryn & King Harris
Stephanie & John Harris
Toni & Dr. Ronald Paul
Pam Friend Szokol

ITW
The Malkin Family
Alexandra C. & John D. Nichols
Nicor Gas
Northern Trust
PNC
Julie & Brian Simmons
Sunshine Charitable Foundation
Ulta Beauty
Wilson Garling Foundation


Community

$5,000

Alberding Family Foundation
Jessie & Nick Alberding
Ellen Alberding & Kelly Welsh
Ann & Robert H. Lurie
Children’s Hospital of Chicago
Baird
Bank of America
Boston Consulting Group
Jimmy & Eleni Bousis
Sarah Bradley & Paul Metzger
Joan & Bill Brodsky
The Burns & McDonnell Foundation
Dana Hirt Parenting
Erikson Institute
Vicki Escarra
Fiducient Advisors
Terri & Bob DiMeo
Fifth Third Bank
Maxwell Gunnill
Rachel & Devin Gross
Irving Harris Foundation
Joseph & Bessie Feinberg Foundation
J.P. Morgan Private Bank
Justine Jentes & Daniel Kuruna
Gerri & David Kahnweiler
Sandy & Andrew Killion
Dayna Langfan
Learning Resources
Elaine & Donald Levinson
The Morris & Dolores Kohl Kaplan Fund of
The Dolores Kohl Education Foundation
Sharon Oberlander
Virginia Oviedo & Michael Ojeda, Midan, Inc.
Plante Moran
Isabel & Charles Polsky
Protiviti
Tom & Cece Ricketts
Robert R. McCormick Foundation
Annie Rothkopf
Saul Zaentz Charitable Foundation
Shah Family Charitable Trust
Cheryl & Craig Simon
Ken & Kathy Tallering
Anne & John Tuohy
Susan & Robert Wislow
Zebra Technologies

Corporate & Individual

Sponsorship Opportunities & Benefits

What does sponsorship mean for you? See below for a variety of sponsorship opportunities and the benefits that are associated with each.

Presenting Sponsor

$100,000

  • Presenting designation and sponsor name and logo (if applicable) below event title when used in all marketing materials
  • Private screening of Tomorrow’s Hope documentary, the inspiring story of three former Educare Chicago students
  • News release distributed on behalf of Start Early and Presenting Sponsor(s)

For Annual Luncheon sponsorship questions, email [email protected].

Additional Sponsorship Benefits:

  • Recognized in verbal remarks during event
  • Sponsor name and logo (if applicable) displayed in virtual “waiting room” pre-event
  • Recognition in event “Thank You” email (distribution of approximately 24,000 individuals)
  • Dedicated social media posts pre-event – Facebook, LinkedIn (distribution to approximately 13,000 followers)
  • Post-event employee engagement volunteer opportunity (for corporate sponsors)
  • Sponsor name and logo (if applicable) included in invitation, pre-event emails and on event web page
  • Sponsor name and logo (if applicable) included on 2022 Annual Luncheon sponsorship web page
  • Sponsor name included in invitation, pre-event emails and on event web page
  • Recognition in digital program book
  • Assisted registration for all guests
  • Inclusion in Start Early Year in Review and Donor Wall at main office

Champion Sponsor

$50,000

  • Recognized in verbal remarks during event
  • Sponsor name and logo (if applicable) displayed in virtual “waiting room” pre-event
  • Recognition in event “Thank You” email (distribution of approximately 24,000 individuals)

For Annual Luncheon sponsorship questions, email [email protected].

Additional Sponsorship Benefits:

  • Dedicated social media posts pre-event – Facebook, LinkedIn (distribution to approximately 13,000 followers)
  • Post-event employee engagement volunteer opportunity (for corporate sponsors)
  • Sponsor name and logo (if applicable) included in invitation, pre-event emails and on event web page
  • Sponsor name and logo (if applicable) included on 2022 Annual Luncheon sponsorship web page
  • Sponsor name included in invitation, pre-event emails and on event web page
  • Recognition in digital program book
  • Assisted registration for all guests
  • Inclusion in Start Early Year in Review and Donor Wall at main office

Premier Sponsor

$25,000

  • Dedicated social media posts pre-event – Facebook, LinkedIn (distribution to approximately 13,000 followers)
  • Post-event employee engagement volunteer opportunity (for corporate sponsors)
  • Sponsor name and logo (if applicable) included in invitation, pre-event emails and on event web page

For Annual Luncheon sponsorship questions, email [email protected].

Additional Sponsorship Benefits:

  • Sponsor name and logo (if applicable) included on 2022 Annual Luncheon sponsorship web page
  • Sponsor name included in invitation, pre-event emails and on event web page
  • Recognition in digital program book
  • Assisted registration for all guests
  • Inclusion in Start Early Year in Review and Donor Wall at main office

Partner Sponsor

$10,000

  • Private discussion with an early childhood expert from Start Early for you and your guests or employees
  • Sponsor name included in invitation, pre-event emails and on event web page
  • Recognition in digital program book

For Annual Luncheon sponsorship questions, email [email protected].

Additional Sponsorship Benefits:

  • Assisted registration for all guests
  • Inclusion in Start Early Year in Review and Donor Wall at main office

Community Sponsor

$5,000

  • Sponsor name included in invitation, pre-event emails and on event web page
  • Recognition in digital program book
  • Assisted registration for all guests
  • Inclusion in Start Early Year in Review and Donor Wall at main office

For Annual Luncheon sponsorship questions, email [email protected].

About the Annual Luncheon

Since Start Early’s Annual Luncheon’s inception in 2002, more than $12 million has been raised through sponsorships, attendance and generous contributions. Just this past year, although virtual, we raised more than $1 million!

Start Early has welcomed many notable civic and philanthropic leaders as keynote speakers, including: Anna Deavere Smith, Activist, Playwright and Actor (2019); Dr. Nadine Burke Harris, Founder & CEO of Center for Youth Wellness (2018); Jackie Bezos, President of Bezos Family Foundation (2015); Wes Moore, Education Advocate & Best Selling Author (2012); The Honorable Arne Duncan (2011); Bill Gates, Sr., Co-Chairman of Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation (2007); Barack Obama, then-Illinois Senator (2006).