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The Charities of Southwestern Illinois — helping to build a better community

Ortbals Headshot 1 1 16By ALAN J. ORTBALS
    The Illinois Business Journal is proud to present the fifth 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 30 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:

  • Corporate giving in 2016 increased to $18.55 billion – a 3.5 percent increase from 2015.
  • Americans donated $390 billion in 2016 —  4.2 percent increase from 2016
  • 91 percent of high net worth households give to charity.
  • In 2016, the majority of charitable dollars went to religion (32 percent), education (16 percent), human services (12 percent), grant-making foundations (11 percent) and health (9 percent).
  • Charitable giving accounted for 2.1 percent of gross domestic product in 2016.
  • In 2016, the largest source of charitable giving came from individuals at $281.86 billion, or 72 percent of total giving; followed by foundations ($58.28 billion/15 percent), bequests ($30.36 billion/8 percent), and corporations ($18.55 billion/5 percent).
  • On average, high net worth donors gave $25,509 to charity in 2015. By comparison, general population households gave $2,520 on average.

    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 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,

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