CHICAGO, Oct. 9, 2018 /PRNewswire/ -- Illinois Partners for Human Service announced today the release of a new report on the roles of philanthropy and government support in human services, particularly the essential part government plays on a large scale in building community well-being and helping individuals and families thrive. Government is the Foundation of Well-Being: Why Philanthropy Cannot Replace Government in Helping Illinois Communities Reach Their Potential, takes a deeper look at how these institutions have evolved and demonstrates why state government must fully fund human services because no other entity can do so at that capacity. Moreover, the study shows that if foundations take the lead on funding human services, areas such as downstate Illinois, would be dramatically underfunded because most of the individual income and wealth from which to solicit donations lies in the northern part of the state.
The report, which analyzes government funding, individual income data, charitable contributions, local foundations, and tax policy, among others, was prepared and written by James Lewis of the University of Illinois at Chicago, Great Cities Institute. The project is funded by the Chicago Community Trust.
"One of the original purposes of government is to provide an infrastructure of wellness for all members of society, which in turn benefits and strengthens our nation," said Jamal Malone, Illinois Partners for Human Service Board Chair. "Our report supports a collaborative approach between government and foundations, but the data clearly shows that government must fulfill its historical obligation—assistance on a large scale—to support people in fully realizing their contributions to society."
"The philanthropic community supports innovative, out-of-the-box thinking and strategies that aim to prevent or eliminate issues negatively impacting residents, so we believe that it is important for people to understand why private funding cannot match or fill in all the gaps created by lack of government support at both the local and federal levels," said Anna Lee, Program Officer of Basic Human Needs & Social Services at the Chicago Community Trust. "Our collective goal is to lift our communities up whenever possible, yet we also recognize our limitations in the state from a geographic and legal perspective, as identified in the Illinois Partners' research."
Among the key findings of the report:
- While individual giving cannot substitute for government funding, providers in Chicago and the collar counties have more potential income to draw upon from donors than the balance of the state.
- Private, community and corporate foundations lack the resources to offset government spending because of their current giving strategies, of which human services is already one of many, as well as the geographic location of some foundations.
- Changing tax policy will not change these conditions.
- It is unlikely that donors will direct their contributions to human service providers in the proportions that government currently does.
The report includes the following research:
- Study of the financial records of more than 230 randomly selected human service providers by location, size and service function representative of the sector throughout Illinois
- Analysis of individual income by level of income and geography to understand charitable capacity in Illinois
- Extensive research on statewide foundation and individual giving
- Review of national research on the relationship of tax rates and giving
"As the largest voice of human service providers in Illinois we recognize that there is no quick fix to Illinois' financial situation and we are grateful to philanthropy for its support of government-funded human services, as well as government's irreplaceable role in addressing the scale of common human needs in our state," said Judith Gethner, Illinois Partners for Human Service Executive Director. "By design, government provides significant resources and funding in most fields of service, especially in the rural areas of Illinois. That is why it is important for our policymakers to recognize their obligation to secure the financial future and stability of our state knowing that foundations are doing their part to help Illinoisans reach their potential."
For more information or to download Government is the Foundation of Well-Being: Why Philanthropy Cannot Replace Government in Helping Illinois Communities Reach Their Potential, visit illinoispartners.org.
About Illinois Partners for Human Service
Illinois Partners is the largest shared voice of human service organizations across the state with coalition partners in every county and legislative district. Illinois Partners focuses on collective advocacy to protect funding and fair policies for human services so that all Illinois residents can reach their potential and fully engage in our communities.
SOURCE Illinois Partners for Human Service