815-801-3035 info@fornwil.org

Recently staff from The Foundation for Northwest Illinois had the happy problem of needing to be in two places at once. Due to a scheduling fluke, the Greater Freeport Partnership and Northwest Illinois Economic Development hosted their annual dinners on the same evening. Foundation Community Relations Director, Sarah Flashing Clow, stayed in home community of Freeport, attending the Greater Freeport Partnership event, and I, paying heed to the old adage “Go West, young…”, well, you get the point: I went to the Northwest Illinois Economic Development event in East Dubuque.

I welcome any opportunity I can get to travel through the fertile fields and rolling hills that make up Northwest Illinois. I always have, even as a little girl, loved Sunday car rides with my parents and grandparents to Savanna then up along the river along the winding back roads to Galena or up through Winslow and Warren or down through Shannon, Lanark, and Mount Carroll. Everything always seemed so big and open, and, in many respects, it still does.

Some well-placed signage at the Northwest Illinois Economic Development event caught my attention. Boldly written across the banner was the simple, three-word phrase: Room To Grow. Northwest Illinois does indeed have “Room to Grow”, both literally and metaphorically. And, from our perspective at The Foundation for Northwest Illinois, we view that as room for a myriad of wonderful opportunities.

Nonprofit organizations play a vital role in the economy and, by extension, economic development. Nonprofits impact everyone’s life on a daily basis. Our schools, our healthcare systems and the human services organizations that support them, our arts and cultural community, our farm bureaus, parks, and conservations districts—all nonprofits play a key role in supporting economic development by addressing social issues, promoting community engagement, and driving positive change. Nonprofits do not just enhance quality of life; they are quality of life. Economic development on all fronts is essential for creating a sustainable, thriving economy.

By investing in nonprofit organizations and supporting their growth, we can strengthen the foundation of our economy and create a more inclusive, prosperous society. That is, in essence, our mission at The Foundation for Northwest Illinois: Empowering nonprofits to build a stronger Northwest Illinois. By supporting The Foundation, you are supporting all nonprofits serving Northwest Illinois in perpetuity. That support translates to growth and sustainability, a stronger economy, the opportunity to address important issues and affect change, and, create a prosperous, thriving home for all of us.

There is definitely room to grow in Northwest Illinois, and what a wonderful opportunity that is for everyone. Please visit www.fornwil.org to learn more about how you can get involved.