Illinois Joining Forces

Illinois Joining Forces Logo


Illinois Joining Forces (IJF) is a statewide, public-private network of veteran and military serving organizations. We collaborate in person and online to help service members, veterans, and their families identify and marshal resources and services available to them throughout the state.


Collaboration among our member organizations is critical to successful execution of the IJF mission. However, if we are to truly provide value and impact to Illinois Veteran and Military families we must excel in areas where there are gaps today. In particular, IJF focuses on identifying the specific needs of our constituents (service members, veterans, and families; SMVF) through and online and personal communications process. This is critical in truly understanding the FULL need which sometimes is much more than initially thought.

IJF also serves as a clearinghouse for the data collected so that multiple forms and intakes from our member organizations can be managed in one single place. Most important, we provide referral follow-up and feedback to both the veteran service organization and the veteran so that we can be confident that we fulfilled the stated and agreed upon need and also collect feedback on our performance so that we are continuously improving our services.

For our member organizations, Illinois Joining Forces continuously assesses our member organizations for quality control and efficiency. Our reputation lies in the organizations within IJF that provide the needed services so we ensure that they are the best available for our clients' needs.

IJF also encourages and fosters community-based collaboration so that organizations with complimentary services can share both information and best practices to help fulfill the need. Within IJF, our nine issue-focused working groups channel requests to the appropriate service provider based on their expertise and capacity.

About IJF Membership

IJF works because we are member-driven.

Member organizations commit to:

  • Update their services and submit events on the IJF website
  • Use the IJF website to connect their clients to the right resource
  • Participate in an IJF Working Group

IJF has multiple working groups' from education, to homelessness, to families and children? through which member organizations meet, learn, and act together. At IJF Working Groups, all the experts are at the table?and together, they?re taking on the challenges that service members, veterans and their families still face.

All public and not-for-profit organizations are invited to join Illinois Joining Forces as members. Joining IJF involves a few simple steps, culminating in signing a membership memorandum and thereby committing to and benefiting from active collaboration with other IJF members.


Active members of IJF benefit from the following:

Recognition for going above and beyond your organizational profile by participating in a state-wide cause that demonstrates your commitment to the overall mission of improving the quality of life of all service members, veterans, and their families;

Direct engagement with public (from federal to local) and private entities that are aligned with your interests, thus creating synergies and opportunities for partnered effort;

Access to a real-time forum designed to allow collaboration, while reducing friction and closing gaps, in order to advance projects/efforts/programs of mutual interest;

A steady presence on the IJF proactive web-based platform, with an active profile and network that will allow your organization to increase outreach efforts to a larger community and broader population through active referrals and searches for services and support from military members, veterans, and their families;

Participation in a multi-layered state-wide network which provides an opportunity to share and broaden each other's network and support system(s); and

When desired, active participation in the policy process that affects the Illinois military and veteran community via Working Group discussions and resultant policy recommendations for possible inclusion in the annual Illinois Discharged Service Member Task Force report.

New Member Information

Step 1

Download and Begin Filling Out the New Member Form (click to download)

As you are exploring IJF membership and completing the New Member Form, you will need to complete each of the following tasks:

Step 2

Download and Sign the IJF Memorandum of Understanding

While all members commit to basic IJF guiding principles, organizational commitments vary depending on organization type. IJF membership memoranda of understanding (MOU) are tailored for three different types of organizations that have dedicated programs for members of the military, veterans and families:

Signed New Member Forms and membership MOU?s can be emailed together to or mailed to:

Illinois Joining Forces, 567 W. Lake Street, Suite 1150, Chicago IL 60661-1405 or
Create an Online Profile on the IJF Website (

Once we have received your completed New Member Form and Signed MOU, we will publish your Online Profile and you will be an active member of the IJF network.