815-801-3035 info@fornwil.org

As we move through the 2023 holiday and giving season, keep your local nonprofits in mind. Many need your monetary gifts, but many are also great sources for locally sourced holiday treasurers.

From a giving perspective, most nonprofit organizations—including The Foundation for Northwest Illinois—are in the waning days of their end-of-year campaigns. As you decide on your charitable gifts for this year, remember your local nonprofits—those organizations doing the heavy lifting on several of our region’s biggest challenges. Why not ease the load a little with a monetary donation to an organization whose mission is close to your heart. In doing so, your own heart will grow, trust me. Maybe even three sizes, that day.

Our regional arts and culture nonprofits also play a key role in our region’s quality of life. Fun events throughout the year, an array of artistic, family-oriented, and historical exhibitions, great trails and outdoor spaces to explore…our regionals arts and culture nonprofits offer up a variety of opportunities throughout the year that enrich everyone’s quality of life. Think about enriching your favorite organization’s bottom line with an end-of-year donation. I mean really, how many eggnog lattes should one really consume during December—why not give up a couple for a good cause.

Many of our regional nonprofits are also great places for Christmas shopping. Maybe a museum membership for that hard-to-shop-for relative. Is there a foodie in your life? Organizations like the Stephenson County Farm Bureau and Jo Daviess Local Foods have selections from regional farmers available for sale—honey, syrup, herbs and spices, popcorn and grains, teas, and more!

And speaking of locally sourced holiday gifts, please do not forget about our region’s many locally owned and operated small businesses. While not nonprofits, they are a key part of a healthy regional economy. Northwest Illinois is home to a wonderful collection of shops, boutiques, restaurants, wineries, breweries, and micro-distilleries, all with great gift ideas just waiting to be passed along to those you love.

Spread the love this holiday season, whether in the form of a monetary donation to your favorite nonprofit, some locally sourced shopping, or both. When we give local and shop local, it makes living local just a little bit merrier for everyone.

On behalf of the staff and Board of Directors for The Foundation for Northwest Illinois, the happiest of holiday seasons to one and all.

About Michelle DeHaven-Quast

Michelle DeHaven-Quast is an executive leader with nearly 30 years of experience in the nonprofit sector. As CEO, she leads the Foundation for Northwest Illinois in quest of fulfilling its mission, to empower nonprofits to develop solutions that help northwest Illinois communities thrive.

Email: michelle@fornwil.org