A groundbreaking project to strengthen local philanthropies has received national recognition for its impact on Illinois communities.
Communityworks, a collaboration between Grand Victoria Foundation and seventeen Illinois community foundations, including the Moline Community Foundation,was honored with the Critical Impact Award from the Council on Foundations at its annual meeting this week in Atlanta.
From 2003-08 Grand Victoria Foundation invested $12 million in Communityworks, which sought to strengthen Illinois community foundations by building endowments, supporting high-performing operations, and encouraging collaboration with local leaders around important local priorities. Over the past five years, the community foundations more than quadrupled their assets and created promising ventures in early childhood care and education, workforce development, and land use and protection. The effort is continuing, with up to $42 million in new grants along with new collaborative initiatives announced last September. The Moline Community Foundation is a partner is this second phase of initiatives as a leader in Rock Island County.
The initiative is one of four winners of this year's Critical Impact Award from the Council on Foundations based in the Washington, D.C. area.
"We believe community foundations can be the civic hubs of their communities, and through Communityworks, we supported them in taking that kind of leadership," said Grand Victoria Foundation Executive Director Nancy Fishman. "We're delighted that the work has received this recognition from the Council, but even more we're encouraged about the partnerships and collaborative ventures created as a result of Communityworks."
Joy Boruff, Executive Director, The Moline Community Foundation said "Communityworks helped strengthen our role as community leadership as well as organizing statewide collaboration among the foundations." Boruff noted that building relationships among other community foundations throughout Illinois has assisted in the development of the Alliance of Illinois Community Foundations.
Boruff is the current President of the Alliance of Illinois Community Foundations (http://site.allianceilcf.org)
Other participating Illinois community foundations in the Communityworks project include Community Foundation of Central Illinois (Peoria), the Community Foundation of Decatur/Macon County (Decatur), DeKalb County Community Foundation (Sycamore), Community Foundation of East Central Illinois (Champaign), Community Foundation of Grundy County (Morris), Community Foundation of the Quincy Area, the DuPage Community Foundation (Wheaton), Evanston Community Foundation, McHenry County Community Foundation (Woodstock), The Moline Foundation, Oak Park-River Forest Community Foundation, Southeastern Illinois Community Foundation (Effingham, formerly Effingham County Community Foundation and Mattoon Area Community Foundation), and Southern Illinois Community Foundation (Marion).
Founded in 1953, The Moline Foundation is a community-based, non-profit organization which provides grants to health, human services, education, community development, the arts, and other charitable organizations which benefit the citizens of the Quad City region. The Moline Foundation receives and administers charitable gifts and has a current endowment fund of approximately $13 million. For more information contact Executive Director Joy Boruff at (309) 736-3800 or visit The Moline Foundation Web site at www.molinefoundation.org.
Grand Victoria Foundation provides strategic funding to Illinois organizations working for long-lasting economic, educational and environmental change. Since it was established in 1996 by the Grand Victoria Casino in Elgin, Illinois, the Foundation has provided more than $100 million in grants to help communities in Illinois. More information about the Foundation and Communityworks is on Grand Victoria Foundation's website, www.grandvictoriafdn.org.