Philanthropy & Collaboration Will Move Us Forward

The work of our local nonprofits doesn’t just happen. The work of feeding, sheltering, serving, caring, educating, informing and entertaining is all possible thanks to philanthropy and our generous community members who continue giving—even during difficult times. We are proud to say philanthropy is hard at work in our region.

Philanthropy is hard at work in our region.

COVID-19 can be described using many words—most that come to mind are probably negative—but the one word that continues to come to mind when I’m talking with our local nonprofits is the word inspiring.

Inspiring. Throughout COVID-19 I’ve been continually inspired by the people and nonprofits coming together to serve the people who call our communities home. Our local nonprofits are working together more than ever before. They’ve formed partnerships—both formal and informal. They’ve stepped up, reached out and served the front lines. And continue to do so. For some of our nonprofits they are serving more people than ever before and delivering their services in ways they never dreamed possible.

The work of our local nonprofits doesn’t just happen though. The work of feeding, sheltering, serving, caring, educating, informing and entertaining is all possible thanks to philanthropy and our generous community members who continue giving—even during difficult times. I am proud to say philanthropy is hard at work in our region.

I am so inspired by the continued power of philanthropy and what it sets into motion. With the onset of COVID-19, many of our nonprofits could have thrown in the towel. They could have seen the hurdles and impossible obstacles of the “new normal.” They could have complained and worried how they would accomplish anything.  And they easily could have given up, believing that there were no resources to support their mission—many surely felt their supporters would stop making contributions of time or treasure.

But this isn’t the case. Our nonprofits keep serving; they keep innovating; they keep forging new paths forward. And they are forging these paths together. They didn’t stop and take time to discuss boundaries or limitations or what they couldn’t do. Instead, they got together and made the good work happen. Look no further for proof than the United Way of Knox County or Jamieson Community Center for example.  It’s not simple making hundreds of meals each day and then delivering them across over 1,200 square miles. But it’s happening. And being done better than ever before. And as for the perception that donations of time or treasure would dry up? Our community keeps giving to make this incredible work possible. Inspiring for sure.

Our team at the Community Foundation is inspired to ensure we continue supporting the nonprofits that serve Knox and Warren Counties in the best ways possible. We’ve worked to be as responsive as we can no matter the time of day or the need. We’re inspired to connect people and resources and to deploy the generous donations given to us efficiently and effectively for the good of your community. We took a hard look at our grant programs, especially our Turnout Grant Cycle and evaluated the best ways to deploy these dollars making an incredible difference throughout Knox and Warren Counties. We saw our nonprofits getting their jobs done, getting them done well and serving with great care and compassion. As a board and staff, we decided the most effective and efficient route to deploy Turnout Grant dollars this year is without restrictions—in other words, aiding our nonprofits as they keep fulfilling their missions, doing what they need to do and serving the people who call our region home. We know many programs are cancelled, significantly delayed or pushed to the back burner so nonprofits can deliver the most critical of critical services—with programs restrictions lifted—they can make the most important work happen. While we’re disappointed that this year’s Turnout Grant Cycle won’t look as it has in the past and that we can’t be together to learn more about our local nonprofits, we are pleased to be able to deploy these resources as swiftly as possible.

Further, as we are so inspired by the work of our nonprofits and their ability to collaborate on important issues, our team is allocating time and resources allowing for further focus on creating collaborations that are effective and efficient for years to come. If COVID-19 has taught us anything, it’s that when the hard work needs to happen we don’t have time to be defensive; we don’t have time to think about our silos; we don’t have time to worry if we should or shouldn’t work together. COVID-19 has taught us that when the work needs to happen, when people need served, you make it happen. You bring people together, you get the work done and you provide the best services you can because the people who call our region home are counting on you. That’s what we’re going to do, at the Galesburg Community Foundation and together with all nonprofits serving your communities. And that’s inspiring.

Have a thought on how we can work better together? Give our office a call at 309.344.8898, email us at Info@YourGCF.org or send a Facebook message. Because together we are stronger and together we are working for the good of your community.

YOU MIGHT ALSO BE INTERESTED IN

The new site of the FISH of Galesburg food pantry at the corner of Henderson and Main Streents.

A new home: FISH of Galesburg gets a facility upgrade

FISH of Galesburg has moved to its new home on Main Street.

Ribbon-cutting of the new River Bend Food Bank, Galesburg Branch and FISH of Galesburg food pantry

Celebrating our largest Mission Impact Investment: River Bend Food Bank, Galesburg Branch and FISH of Galesburg food pantry

The region celebrated the new home of River Bend Food Bank, Galesburg Branch and FISH of Galesburg food pantry with a public open house and ribbon-cutting on November 15.

Exterior of River Bend Food Bank - Galesburg Branch

New River Bend Food Bank Regional Hub and FISH Food Pantry to open with public ribbon-cutting celebration

Galesburg Community Foundation Mission Impact Investment boasts more resources, increased food access for families in need in Knox County and surrounding areas

In the new cooler space ae, from left, Lions Club Teasurer Dave Pearson, River bend Food Bank Galesburg Branch Site Director Aaron Baron, Galesburg Community Foundation President & CEO Josh Gibb, FISH of Galesburg President Diane Copeland, Lions Club Past President Kim Norton, and FISH of Galesburg Executive Director Elizabeth Culbertson.

Coming together to combat hunger: Lions Club leverages international investment for regional impact

It was during COVID-19 that the extent of food insecurity in the region became clear to the Galesburg Lions Club.

L to R: Galesburg Community Foundation Board President John McClean, Galesburg Public Library Foundation Executive Director Heather Sipes, Galesburg Community Foundation President & CEO Josh Gibb, and Galesburg Library Director Noelle Thompson.

New Galesburg Public Library Receives More Than $1 Million Through Match Grant

In just nine months, more than $1 million was raised for Galesburg’s new library through a match grant challenge by the Galesburg Community Foundation to the Galesburg Public Library Foundation.

Jordan Holcomb

Meet the New Assistant Manager at Community Treasures

Jordan Holcomb brings a love for customer service to his role as the assistant manager at Community Treasures, a trendy, philanthropic thrift shop.