Under the Dome in Springfield: Nonprofits and Government Come Together

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

30791_CapitalwithRays On April 14, nonprofits and representatives from state government came together for Under the Dome: A Legislative and Policy Update for Illinois Nonprofits in Springfield to identify challenges facing Illinois communities and develop collaborative solutions. 

At a time when our state’s economy is still floundering and families are trying to stay afloat, it is important to remember the role nonprofits play in supporting our communities and how critical it is to maintain a mutually beneficial relationship with government.

Lt. Governor Sheila Simon kicked off the day with a rousing speech on the importance of the sector, a message underlined by the release of Donors Forum’s latest research on the vitality of nonprofits in Illinois and their economic contribution to the state.  Ron Baiman shared the Center for Tax and Budget Accountability’s latest analysis of the Illinois’ budgetand what cuts would mean for the nonprofit sector.  Finally, Malcolm Weems from the Governor’s Office of Management and Budget shared the state’s new path for improving Illinois’ fiscal health including Budgeting for Results and his department’s focus on doing good on outstanding debts to service providers. Charlie Wheeler, Associate Professor and Director of the Public Affairs Reporting at the University of Illinois at Springfield moderated the discussion.

But, it’s not enough to come together for 90 minutes and engage in dialogue.  As Laurel said in her presentation, in order to make change, we all must take action and speak with one collective voice.  Here are just a few ways you can get involved to improve the lives of those you serve by forging a stronger relationship with government:

  • Meet with your local legislators (find them here);
  • Read up on the latest reform efforts in the state and let us know your thoughts or if would like to be involved;
  • Keep an eye out for more events from Donors Forum in the coming months!  You can do this by subscribing to Policy Update by sending an email to advocacy@donorsforum.org.

~Hannah White, Public Policy Associate