Since 2007, the annual Heart of Illinois United Way campaign has increased 19 percent and provided upwards of $112 million to address critical health and human care needs in central Illinois. Looking back 15 years, the 2017 campaign results of more than $11.108 million represent an 83-percent increase in local United Way fundraising.

This continuous growth in generosity and support demonstrates the unwavering caring and compassion we have for one another in central Illinois. Each year, more than 300 local companies and organizations participate in the annual campaign. In 2017, there were 14 new corporate gifts and 20 new employee campaigns—while 59 companies and organizations increased their contributions by 10 percent or more.

With nearly 1,800 United Way organizations worldwide, the Heart of Illinois United Way is ranked 15th nationwide by United Way Worldwide for performance and campaign growth. Our United Way operates in one of the smallest metropolitan populations in the nation to raise more than $11 million annually.

Providing a reliable and steady source of income for our partner agencies, the annual campaign is vital to the support of local health and human care programs. As the largest non-governmental funder of these programs in central Illinois, the Heart of Illinois United Way's Community Impact Fund supports programs and initiatives addressing critical needs in our community while providing donors with tangible results relative to their charitable investment.

Last year, the Heart of Illinois United Way collaborated with Bradley University and Peoria Magazines to conduct an assessment of the Peoria region. Published every three years, the Peoria Area Community Assessment identifies education, financial stability and health issues that need to be addressed in order to improve the lives of local residents and the overall quality of life in our community. Every program funded by the Heart of Illinois United Way’s Community Impact Fund—a competitive, multi-year grant process—is scored on benchmarks set by the Peoria Area Community Assessment.

In addition to funding programs at partner agencies, the Community Impact Fund also supports local schools and area nonprofit organizations through three special initiatives that make a positive impact on lives in central Illinois: Success By 6 supports early childhood education in the areas of math, reading and social emotional skills; S3, or Supporting Student Success, provides in-school counseling to support social emotional health; and the Heart of Illinois 2-1-1 Information and Referral Service connects people in need with critical health and human care programs.

Contributions to the Heart of Illinois United Way stay in central Illinois supporting vital health and human care programs throughout Peoria, Tazewell, Woodford, Stark, Marshall and Putnam counties. With 46 partner agencies, these programs help more than 100,000 people each year.

We believe everyone in central Illinois has a role to play in United Way efforts because a community of connected individuals, working together to support one another, is critical to making lasting, sustainable change. By bringing people, businesses and organizations together around innovative solutions, we positively impact thousands of lives every year. iBi