Development Associate & Grant Writer

As Grant Writer, Imran Makani is considered the CEO of helping to build Chicago Debates’ relationships with potential grantors, especially private charitable foundations and corporate funders.  He is responsible for researching private and public grant opportunities; collaborating with the program team to identify funding needs; preparing grant application materials and proposals; and managing reporting and follow-up for all grants received.  As Development Associate, Imran oversees Chicago Debates’ donor database and provides general support for the fundraising activities of the Development and Communications Manager and the Donor Relations Manager.

Imran is a proud alumnus of Chicago Debates and has worked with the program in various roles for over 14 years.  He joined debate as a junior at Whitney Young High School in 2002, and began volunteering as a community coach and judge while completing his B.A. in philosophy and economics at DePaul University.  Over the years, Imran has judged nearly 1,000 debates, helped to operate over 100 tournaments, coached nationally-ranked teams at Whitney Young and Walter Payton College Prep, and helped to grow debate programs at Senn and Von Steuben High School, where he currently coaches.

Having been inspired over the years by the ideas, moral conviction, and tenacity of countless debaters throughout the city, Imran believes passionately in the power of debate to produce the next generation of advocates and civic leaders.