Community Strengthening

Our Policy Statement

Much like roads, hospitals and schools, community services are part of our state’s vital public infrastructure that must be maintained and strengthened. In order to continue advancing the common good, we must make sure the state has a well-managed and highly coordinated network of community services.

To ensure Illinois has the essential services that protect public health and safety, revitalize local economies and enhance learning, United Way will:

Sector-Related Research

Urban Institute

Nonprofit organizations in Illinois continue to struggle as government funders fail to cover the full cost of services and linger with promised payments. Illinois, in fact, is one of the worst states for both. Almost 50% of nonprofits surveyed said late payments and underfunding were "big problems." Another 27% reported they were "small problems."

The data come from an Institute report, National Study of Nonprofit-Government Contracts 2013: State Profiles. It found that 1 in 3 Illinois nonprofits said its experience with governments had not improved since the Great Recession, when funding plummeted and services were cut. The average across the nation was 1 in 5.

According to the report, "The recession had dire effects on nonprofits’ funding from government and private sources, in a time when the demand for services was higher than normal." The report examining the state of nonprofits in 2013 builds on the Institute’s initial review in 2010, which focused exclusively on human services providers.

Human Services Commission

The Commission’s final report before becoming a standing commission of the state offers several recommendations to ensure the sustainability of high-quality human service delivery, as well as efficiency and effectiveness in the delivery system. The report, Recommendations on Budgeting for Results, Rationalizing Service Delivery and Rebalancing Long Term Care, includes the following recommendations for each focus area:

Budgeting for Results (BFR):

Rationalizing Service Delivery:

Rebalancing Long-term Care:

More Information