The greater Peoria area is known to be a very generous community. Over the years, the generous contributions given by corporations and individuals to assist others are one of the many reasons why someone should live here.
Recently, it seems to many the number of active capital campaigns has increased. The visibility of the Peoria Zoo’s $25 million capital campaign, with tremendous donations from Caterpillar and The Bielfeldt Foundation, and the upcoming Lakeview Regional Museum campaign certainly makes it feel there are more campaigns. I’m sure most in the business community are getting requests daily for sponsorships for capital campaigns or other donations to support a worthy cause. Up until now it’s been very difficult to get a handle on all of the capital campaigns underway in the greater Peoria area at any one time.
Michael Stephan, executive director of the Heart of Illinois United Way, and Jim Sullivan, executive director of the Community Foundation of Central Illinois, heard from the business community about some frustration in addressing this issue. Together, they decided as a first step to create a link on the Heart of Illinois United Way Web site entitled, “Your Guide to Peoria Area Capital Campaigns.”
The purpose is to provide everyone with a current list of capital campaigns that have been announced and are active. You can check the current list of Peoria area capital campaigns by visiting the Web site at www.hoiunitedway.org. After accessing the Web site, click on “Your Guide to Peoria Area Capital Campaigns,” and you can review a list of capital campaign summaries available to date.
Another aspect of this Web site has been to incorporate a checklist of 14 questions for all companies contemplating a capital campaign to review. These questions—such as the purpose and mission statement of the organization, a three-year history of the organization’s operating budget, and reasons for the capital campaign—should be helpful and provide information to organizations, especially smaller ones, that may need assistance. Every capital campaign should have answers to these questions to enhance their chances of a successful capital campaign.
Most companies, when approached to donate to a capital campaign, are likely to ask these questions prior to committing. We in the Peoria area are fortunate to have forward thinkers in fundraising organizations who anticipated the need for information and proactively provided the leadership and data to help us help our community. IBI