Local Giving First – A look at Springfield, Illinois charities

The Case Foundation,a leading national foundation working to expand giving, promote everyday philanthropy, deepen civic engagement, and broaden the use of new technologies to make giving more informed, efficient, and effective, recently published their “Nonprofit partners that should make your giving list this year“. While the Case Foundation focuses upon their organizations national partners, I thought I would provide a list of local organizations working to make a difference in my hometown, Springfield, IL. Although there are dozens of local, nonprofit organizations operating within our community, I tried to provide a list of established charitable organizations covering a wide-range of issues.

With fewer than 48 hours left in 2012, today is the ideal time to push charitable giving and volunteering to the top of your list of New Year resolutions and if you act quickly, the ideal time to earn a valuable tax deduction for 2012.

  1. The Hope Institute for Children and Families – Since 1957, The Hope Institute for Children and Families has been creating hopeful futures for children with disabilities. Today, Hope provides the finest residential, educational and medical services for thousands of children and families battling autism and developmental disabilities. (Just a disclaimer, I am the Director of Online Interactions for Hope)
  2. American Cancer Society – Relay for Life  – The journey to end cancer starts with a single step. The American Cancer Society invites you to take that step with us by joining the global Relay For Life movement. When you walk to end cancer at a Relay event, it’s your opportunity to not only honor cancer survivors and remember loved ones lost, but also to raise awareness about what we can do to stay well from cancer and raise money to help fuel the world’s largest walk to end cancer.
  3. Animal Protective League – For over 50 years, the Animal Protective League has been an advocate for animals in both Springfield and Sangamon County. APL operates a shelter for sick, injured, abused and abandoned dogs and cats as well as a low cost spay/neuter clinic.
  4. Central Illinois FoodBank – Established in 1982 by a coalition of churches, distributes over 8 million pounds of food annually to over 150 food pantries, soup kitchens, residential programs and after-school programs in a 21 county region. Central Illinois Foodbank is a member of Feeding America, the nation’s largest domestic hunger relief organization, and is a United Way certified agency.
  5. Girls on the Run – Girls on the Run is a program that helps girls (3rd-8th grade) take charge of their lives and define the future on their terms; teaching girls that there are no limits and no constraints to whom and what they can be – and that there are so many opportunities to be remarkable. GotR incorporates running into their curriculum to inspire and motivate girls throughout the 10-week program, encourage lifelong health and fitness, and build confidence through accomplishment. To date, GotR has reached over 2,000 central Illinois girls.
  6. Habitat for Humanity of Sangamon County – Habitat for Humanity develops working partnerships with local businesses, churches, community organizations and other individuals to build simple, decent and affordable housing for all people in need. Since its founding in 1989, Habitat for Humanity of Sangamon County has built over 85 houses in the local community (including builds in Pawnee, Glenarm, and Grandview as well as in Springfield) while providing shelter for more than 300 individuals.
  7. Hospital Sisters Mission Outreach – Mission Outreach works with hospitals, clinics and medical manufacturers throughout the midwest to address the serious unmet medical needs of people in developing countries. The organization works to secure surplus medical equipment and supplies that are then shipped around to nations around the world.
  8. AFSP Out of the Darkness (Springfield Outreach) – The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention has been at the forefront of a wide range of suicide prevention initiatives — each designed to reduce loss of life from suicide. AFSP are investing in groundbreaking research, new educational campaigns, innovative demonstration projects and critical policy work. And expanding its assistance to people whose lives have been affected by suicide, reaching out to offer support and offering opportunities to become involved in prevention.
  9. St. Johns Children’s Hospital – Since 1985, St. John’s Children’s Hospital, in partnership with SIU School of Medicine, has been affiliated with Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals. St. John’s Children’s Hospital is a special place for children and their families, providing expert care, in a healing environment, designed to meet the unique needs of your child and family.
  10. St. Patrick Catholic School – St. Patrick is a nonprofit mission school providing a learning environment open to children and families of all races and creeds within the community. We seek to give our students a variety of faith based learning experiences.
  11. Springfield Art Association (SAA) – SAA promotes and supports the visual arts, provides art education opportunities for the greater Springfield area and preserves and interprets historic Edwards Place and the collections of the SAA. SAA provides the best experience for students of all ages to discover their creative side and develop an understanding of art.
  12. United Way of Central Illinois – United Way of Central Illinois is the largest private funder of social service programs in Sangamon County. We provide funding for local programs aligned around education, food, shelter, healthcare and victim services. Our goal is to create long-lasting positive change in the lives of individuals and families by addressing their short and long term needs.
Jarid Brown is the owner of HCM Brown, a digital marketing firm, and the Director of Online Interactions for The Hope Institute in Springfield, IL. Connect with Jarid Brown on LinkedIn, Twitter or Google+.


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