Community Foundation of East Central Illinois (CFECI) will join in a nationwide celebration, November 12-18, 2020, to recognize the increasingly important role these philanthropic organizations play in fostering local collaboration and innovation to address persistent civic and economic challenges.
For more than a century, Community Foundations have served as a trusted partner and resource whose effect can be seen in the lives of millions and in the vibrant neighborhoods that continue to thrive through their mission-driven work. During this time, community foundations come together to share and reflect on the stories of impact over the past year.
Throughout the week, CFECI will be sharing stories of impact. Local staff will also hold its annual trustee luncheon, virtually this year, with current and former trustees to share more about the ways the organization is helping those in its nine-county service area.
“The work of Community Foundations’ spans beyond the practice of giving. There is a tangible impact that can be seen in the lives of those these selfless organizations serve,” said Joan Dixon, CFECI President and CEO. “We are more determined than ever to bring our community partners together to find innovative and effective solutions for some of our most challenging social problems and advance the most promising of opportunities to benefit our residents.”
Community Foundations are independent, public entities that steward philanthropic resources from institutional and individual donors to local nonprofits and represent one of the fastest-growing forms of philanthropy. This year, through a collaboration with United Way of Champaign County, CFECI distributed $1.2 million in COVID relief funding to local nonprofits helping those most affected by the pandemic. CFECI will also distribute another $1 million this year through its annual grants and scholarships.
In addition to the monetary support, CFECI staff also provided nearly 300 hours of support to area nonprofit leaders through its Building Better Boards program, Executive Director Support Groups, our Community Solutions Incubator initiative and through direct contact with nonprofits to assess and address community needs. CFECI was also proud to serve as the fiscal agent for CU Sings, which lifted spirits and benefited Promise Healthcare and the Champaign County Health Care Consumers.
As Community Foundations find solutions for communities large and small, urban and rural – it is the collective work of these organizations that will have the most profound impact. This was most evident amid this year’s coronavirus pandemic where over $1 billion was distributed by Community Foundations in response to the crisis. Additionally, community foundations went beyond the money to help their communities adapt during this critical time—supporting charities, schools, nonprofits, and small businesses through partnerships with public institutions in cities, states, and in cooperation with the federal government.
Community Foundation Week was created in 1989 by former President George H.W. Bush to recognize the work of community foundations throughout America and their collaborative approach to working with the public, private, and nonprofit sectors to address community problems.