Leslie Bluhm is a social entrepreneur who empowers people to tackle challenges through collaborative action.
She is the founder of Chicago Cares, Inc.,the city’s leading service organization, which connects people, communities and causes through volunteerism. Since 1991, Chicago Cares has mobilized more than 500,000 volunteers in meaningful service opportunities while building the capacity of social service agencies and non-profits throughout Chicago. With 250 monthly group service projects, customized corporate programs and annual events, the organization’s model nimbly supports the city’s most critical and emergent needs.
In addition to her work at Chicago Cares, Leslie and her husband, David Helfand, manage the Bluhm/Helfand Social Innovation Fellowship in partnership with Chicago Ideas Week. Leslie received a BA from The University of Michigan and a Juris Doctor from the University of Chicago Law School. She serves on the board of directors of Chicago Cares, The Chicago Community Trust, The Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, OneGoal and Shining Hope for Communities.