Business Engagement Opportunities
Friends offers many great ways for your workplace to contribute to the continued improvement and protection of the Chicago River. From joining colleagues and other river supporters as a sponsor of the Big Fish Ball, to renting out our McCormick Bridgehouse & Chicago River Museum for a special event, to getting muddy on a riverside Corporate River Action Day or taking a guided canoe trip on the river, there are opportunities to fit every business' needs.
Chicago River Business Alliance Membership
Your membership directly helps Friends to reach our goal of making the Chicago River one of the world’s greatest metropolitan rivers. Support the Chicago River at the level that's right for you. Join Friends or renew your business alliance membership or download more information.
See the roster of companies that supported Friends from July 1, 2018, to June 30, 2019.
Chicago River Day • May 13, 2023
Chicago River Day is our largest on-the-ground event that encompasses more than 2,000 volunteers for a day of hands-on environmental work throughout the Chicago River system at over 75 sites along the river. Volunteers can collect garbage, remove invasive vegetation, spruce up and maintain river-edge trails, plant native seedlings, and much more. Businesses are invited to sponsor a select site on the river’s banks and engage their employees and family members in a fun and meaningful morning of volunteering. For more information, please contact Becky Lyons at (312) 939-0490, ext. 23.
Big Fish Ball • May 31, 2023
Friends’ Big Fish Ball is one of the city’s most unique fundraising events. This summer evening along the main stem of the Chicago River, includes cocktails outdoors along the river, wild guests, a delicious dinner, river-centric spectacles and an after party river boat ride. For more information, please contact Annie Hanrahan, Development Director, at (312) 939-0490, ext. 19.
Summer Float Party • Summer 2023
The Summer Float Party is an unparalleled opportunity to experience the magic and pageantry of the Chicago River system while celebrating the river’s renaissance and filling the river corridor with laughter and joy. Businesses are invited to sponsor this one of a kind event for free tickets, incredible brand exposure, and to support the health of the 156-mile Chicago-Calumet River system. For more information, please contact Annie Hanrahan, Development Director, at (312) 939-0490, ext. 19.
Autumn River Cruise • Fall 2023
Friends of the Chicago River’s annual Autumn Cruise is a cocktail party on a boat that benefits Friends’ McCormick Bridgehouse & Chicago River Museum. This unique museum houses Friends’ broadest reaching public program and inspires tens of thousands of visitors to learn how they can help protect and improve the Chicago River. The museum is located in a landmark five story bridge tower on Michigan Avenue, is open May-October and welcomed its 200,000th visitor in 2018. For more information, please contact Josh Coles at (312) 939-0490, ext. 28.
Free Sunday Sponsorships at the McCormick Bridgehouse & Chicago River Museum • May-October
Sponsorships include banners featuring your company logo displayed all day at both entrances of the Bridgehouse Museum, visible to thousands crossing the bridge and on the riverwalk as well as museum visitors, and recognition on the museum website and Friends’ social media outlets. For more information, please contact Josh Coles at (312) 939-0490, ext. 28.
Bridgehouse Museum Rental
Unique venue rental in iconic Bridgehouse Museum • April - November
Host your next corporate or private function or celebration at Friends’ unique McCormick Bridgehouse & Chicago River Museum! Located in one of Chicago's iconic five-story landmark bridgehouses, with unforgettable cityscapes of Michigan Avenue and the Chicago River, the Bridgehouse Museum can be an amazing venue for your next exclusive event. Download the rental brochure. For more information, please contact Josh Coles at (312) 939-0490, ext. 28.
Employee Engagement and Volunteer Hours
River Action Days
Friends organizes and leads customized River Action Days for corporate groups, summer associates or organizations to contribute as a team through hands-on river restoration and stewardship. For more information, please contact Becky Lyons at (312) 939-0490, ext. 23.
Friends offers companies the chance to paddle together at many locations along the river by providing all equipment and trained, experienced canoe guides. For more information, please contact Annette Anderson at (312) 939-0490, ext. 14.
Chicago River 101
Engaging river experts lead your employees to a better understanding of river-related environmental issues and how they can help. This involves a lunch-and-learn at your office. For more information, please contact Becky Lyons at (312) 939-0490, ext. 23.