An Essential Campaign for the Upcoming Year

Michael Stephan - Heart of Illinois United Way

Each year, more than 300 local companies and organizations participate in Heart of Illinois United Way campaign. Over the last six years, the annual campaign has increased more than 22 percent and has collectively raised more than $64.3 million to support vital health and human care programs in central Illinois.

The people of central Illinois are among the most generous in the nation. Compared to the largest United Way organizations across the United States, we are one of the smallest metropolitan populations to raise more than $10 million annually.

Across the country, there are approximately 1,800 local and autonomous United Way organizations. Recently, United Way Worldwide conducted a 15-year campaign performance evaluation of the United Ways that raise the most money for their respective communities. Criteria included campaign size, campaign growth, community per capita, and community participation. Heart of Illinois United Way is ranked 15th nationally in the study.

A significant reason for the Heart of Illinois United Way's campaign success is credited to the ongoing commitment and support of Caterpillar Inc. In addition, each year we have been fortunate to increase the number of organizations and individuals investing in our community through the United Way.

As the largest non-governmental funder of local health and human care agencies, supporting the Heart of Illinois United Way is vital to helping people in need because United Way funding is a reliable and steady source of income for critical education, income and health programs in central Illinois. With the Illinois state budget crisis and demand for United Way-funded programs continuing to increase, a successful United Way campaign in 2017 was essential for the upcoming year.

Through the Community Impact Fund, our United Way supports 83 local programs at 46 partner agencies and three initiatives, including Success By 6, S3 (Supporting Student Success) and the Heart of Illinois 2-1-1 information and referral service. Utilizing a competitive, outcome-based, multi-year grant process, United Way funding positively impacts the lives of more than 100,000 people each year throughout Peoria, Tazewell, Woodford, Marshall, Stark and Putnam counties.

The Heart of Illinois United Way appreciates the generosity, compassion and support of the people of central Illinois. The contributions we receive are invested in local programs that, in collaboration with our partner agencies, address the most critical health and human care needs identified by our community assessment. The results of our 2017 campaign will be announced on February 1, 2018.

On behalf of the United Way, our partner agencies, and the thousands of people helped by United Way-funded programs, we are incredibly thankful for the generous individuals, businesses and organizations who continue to participate in our annual campaign. iBi

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