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.