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Ortbals Headshot 1 1 16Orbals    The Illinois Business Journal is proud to present the fourth annual Southwestern Illinois Giving Guide.
    Southwestern Illinois is served by a plethora of charities ranging from tiny, local agencies to those that are national or even international in scope. We’ve included more than 60 in our Guide this year and we’re sorry we didn’t have room for more.
    Americans are a generous people. The National Philanthropic Trust offers some interesting statistics on charitable giving in the United States. For example, did you know:
        •  95.4 percent of households give to charity.
        • Corporate giving in 2015 increased to $18.46 billion - a 3.9% increase from 2014.
        • Americans donated $373 billion in 2015.
        • 91 percent of high net worth households give to charity.
        • Two-thirds of them cite “giving back to the community” as a chief reason.
        • There were 269,180 donor-advised fund accounts in 2015.
        • Approximately 62.8 million Americans — 25 percent of the adult population — volunteer their time, talents, and energy to making a difference.
    It occurred to us a few years ago that business owners are frequently asked to give and that there was no easy way for them to access information about all the different charities and what they do. So, we began the Giving Guide to help link donors and donees.
    In the following pages you’ll be able to read the words of board chairs, CEOs and executive directors from six different local charities. They range from those that support the development of our young people to those that serve clients with special needs to those that support people in crisis situations.
    The Southwestern Illinois Charitable Giving Guide can be pulled out of this issue of the Illinois Business Journal to refer to throughout the year. It will also be available on our website, www.ibjonline.com.
    Please take time to read these messages and review the index of charities, which gives you important contact information and a brief description of their missions. Together, they’re helping to build a better community.