Monday, November 15, 2010

Community Foundation of Central Illinois Recognizing the Impact of Community Foundation

Community Foundation of Central Illinois (CFCI) Participates in a National Effort to Highlight Collaboration, Innovation in Philanthropy

During the week of November 12-18, 2010, The Community Foundation of Central Illinois will join more than 700 community foundations across America celebrating Community Foundation Week. For more than 20 years, the effort has raised awareness about the increasingly important role of these philanthropic organizations in fostering local collaboration and innovation to address persistent civic and economic challenges.
Community foundations are independent, public charities that steward philanthropic resources from institutional and individual donors to community-based organizations. Community foundations strengthen communities by enabling people to create charitable funds that address a wide range of interests. Through visionary, diverse, and inclusive philanthropy, community foundations have become catalysts for significant community change.
During the week, Community Foundation of Central Illinois will release to the community a list of the organizations receiving grants from the September Community Granting process. 

“In a down economy, with limited resources, and a growing need for services to help families in need, we are more determined than ever to bring our community partners together to find innovative and effective solutions to some of our most challenging social problems,” said CFCI CEO Mark Roberts. The greater central Illinois area is stepping up and getting more creative in how we provide support that people need during tough times.”

In the wake of the recent announcement that more than 40 of America’s billionaires will donate a majority of their fortunes to charity, the role and impact of philanthropy and community foundations is being redefined. Community foundations, independent, public charities that steward philanthropic resources from institutional and individual donors to community-based organizations, are at the heart of this change.  

In the Spring of 2010 The Community Foundation of Central Illinois board and staff participated in a strategic planning initiative.  As a result, five main goals were identified to move CFCI in a forward thinking direction. Those goals are:

              I.    Create, Strengthen and Diversify Relationships
             II.    Promote Organizational Sustainability 
            III.    Enhance Organizational Visibility
           IV.    Identify, Focus and Strategically Deploy Community Investments
            V.    Measure Organizational Effectiveness

“The Community Foundation of Central Illinois is confident that the successful implementation of these strategic goals, when combined with the ongoing support of our loyal fund holders, will strengthen the Foundation’s capacity to meet current and emerging community needs”, said Roberts.  “In the last fiscal year, the Foundation granted over $5.1 Million dollars in charitable support to our community, and beyond.  Although we are proud to play a small role in distributing this critical support, we know that it’s not enough.  In order to become an even stronger partner in improving the quality of life in our community, we must continue to sharpen our focus”.   

Community foundations represent one of the fastest-growing forms of philanthropy in the United States and hold nearly $50 billion in assets, according to Foundation Center. Every state in the U.S. is home to at least one community foundation—large and small, urban, and rural—that is advancing solutions to a wide range of social issues. Although community foundations make up only one percent of all U.S. grantmaking foundations, they account for more than 10 percent of all foundation giving. These organizations are growing globally. The Worldwide Initiatives for Grantmaker Support estimates that nearly 1,500 community foundations operate in more than 50 countries.

“America’s community foundations are on the frontlines of a tremendous shift in philanthropy and how we do business differently in a high-tech, rapidly changing world,” said Steve Gunderson, president and CEO of the Council on Foundations. “These organizations are leading the charge by bringing communities together, galvanizing resources, and maximizing their impact to advance the public good.”
Launched in 1989 through a proclamation by former President George H.W. Bush, the first Community Foundation Week included a congressional briefing about the work of community foundations throughout America and their collaborative approach to working with the public, private, and nonprofit sectors to address community problems.

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Editor’s Note: The Community Foundation of Central Illinois (CFCI) has served Central Illinois for over 22 years. Formed in 1988 as the Peoria Area Community Foundation, CFCI supports positive initiatives and innovative approaches to addressing the changing needs of our region.   

The Community Foundation of Central Illinois’ Mission:
To serve as a philanthropic resource committed to Connecting People Who Care with Causes That Matter.
http://www.communityfoundationci.org/

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