The Heart of Our Community
With a strong network of nonprofit groups and civic organizations, Greater Peoria rests on a solid foundation of community service and philanthropy. Nearly 32 percent of area residents volunteer for charitable causes, according to the Corporation for National and Community Service—well above the national average—while many others regularly open their pocketbooks to help those in need. We are a generous and giving community.
Tragedy can happen to anyone, regardless of race, ethnicity, education or economic status. Our local human service agencies are an insurance policy when bad things happen—an essential foundation for the common good, working for the well-being of everyone.
Other nonprofit organizations bring beauty to our lives through art, music and culture. They preserve local history, mentor young children and help our nation’s veterans. They keep neighborhoods clean and animals safe, bring us news and information, protect the environment, support critical research and help drive economic development. They are the heart of our community.
They also face growing needs, rising costs and shrinking dollars—a recipe for an uncertain future. Amidst this reality, nonprofits continue to become more strategic in their mission and operations. In this issue, we look at how business practices are helping some nonprofits do more with less in order to maximize their impact. We celebrate the enduring successes of several long-running organizations, while bringing attention to their smaller, less-established peers. We are truly proud of them all.
This year, we decided to package our Community Impact Guide as a separate publication bundled with the May issue. They are companion pieces, intended to complement one another. Take time to learn more about these extraordinary organizations and find new ways to help them out through your own passions, skills and interests. Spring is here, and there are more ways than ever for you to make a difference!
We are grateful for the continued support of our sponsors and advertisers, who enable us to bring these stories to you each month, and for our contributors and readers, who love this community as much as we do. By sharing stories and critical resources, we hope to make a difference as well. PM