Partner with the Heart of Illinois United Way in leadership giving to significantly improve education, financial stability and health throughout central Illinois.

Leadership Giving

At the core of our community are leaders whose caring and generosity set the course for others. Charitable gifts from our leadership donors are leveraged to support the most effective, measurable outcomes so that the Heart of Illinois United Way can meet our community’s greatest needs. Since 1987, Pillars Society members have been the unwavering foundation to help United Way achieve long-lasting, positive change. Heart of Illinois United Way leadership giving levels include the Pillars Society and its Tocqueville Society level members.

Tocqueville Society

Tocqueville Society membership represents Pillars Society gifts of $10,000 or more from individuals and couples. Last year, 75 Tocqueville Society members donated $1,792,112. The Tocqueville Society is named in honor of 19th century French historian, Alexis de Tocqueville who observed how well Americans helped each other in times of need. He recognized, applauded and immortalized the voluntary spirit that lives in America’s heart and remains the foundation of the United Way. Our Tocqueville Society leadership giving levels are named in honor of Peoria’s early history and the explorers who discovered a place of abundance and a land of promise. Today, our Tocqueville Society members continue to build upon the vision of our founders by providing opportunities for a better tomorrow.

  • LaSociete Nationale, $100,000+
  • Pimiteoui Level , $75,000-$99,999
  • Kickapoo Level, $50,000-$74,999
  • LaSalle Level, $20,000-$49,999
  • Joliet Level, $15,000-$19,999
  • Marquette Level, $10,000-$14,999

Pillars Society

Pillars Society membership includes individuals and couples whose annual gifts total $1,000 or more. With 151 new members added last year, 1,199 Pillars Society members donated $3,746,525 – representing 36 percent of the total campaign dollars or $10,322,920 raised in 2018. Our Pillars Society leadership giving levels are named in honor of Peoria’s early settlers.

The du Sable leadership giving level is named for Jean Baptiste Pointe du Sable, Peoria’s most notable settler and leader of the first European settlement in Illinois in 1773.

  • du Sable Platinum Level – $7,500-$9,999
  • du Sable Gold Level – $5,000-$7,499

The Rouensa leadership giving level is named for Marie Rouensa, daughter of Chief Rouensa of the Kaskaskia Tribe, who laid the basis for founding the Franco-Indian settlement of Kaskaskia in 1703.

  • Rouensa Platinum Level – $3,500-$4,999
  • Rouensa Gold Level – $2,500-$3,499

The de Tonti Leadership Giving level is named for Henry de Tonti, who established a fort on Lake Pimiteoui (Peoria Lake in the Illinois River) in 1691, the first village in the State of Illinois.

  • de Tonti Platinum Level – $2,000-$2,499
  • de Tonti Gold Level – $1,500-$1,999
  • de Tonti Silver Level – $1,000-$1,499

McCord Philanthropists of the Year

Established in 2007, the Philanthropists of the Year award recognizes members of the United Way’s Tocqueville Society who are committed to the health and well-being of central Illinois. The award honors individuals or couples for their leadership, dedication, and inspiration – thereby creating a lasting impact on the quality of life in our community.

In honor of the McCord Family’s long-standing support of central Illinois, this annual United Way award was named the McCord Philanthropists of the Year in 2018 to recognize the legacy of Michel and Kay McCord. At the heart of their work, rooted in love, was a constant commitment to the community. Those honored with this award emulate the McCord’s values.

  • 2020 Sid Ruckriegel and Andrew Rand
  • 2019 Doug Stewart and Dr. Vicky R. Stewart
  • 2018 Katie McCord Jenkins and Tom Jenkins
  • 2017 Mark & Renée Spenny
  • 2016 Bernie & Teresa Koch
  • 2015 Jim & Deb Bowers
  • 2014 Steve & Bonnie Gosselin
  • 2013 Steve & Patti Bash
  • 2012 Leonard Sachs
  • 2011 Stu & Nancy Levenick
  • 2010 Bill & Margie Springer
  • 2009 Jim & Katie Owens
  • 2008 Michel & Kay McCord
  • 2007 Bielfeldt Foundation

Annual Pillars Society Registry

Each summer, the Heart of Illinois United Way publishes a registry of current leadership donors based on the previous year’s campaign. Download the most recently published registry…

2019 Pillars Society Sponsors

Thank you to our generous corporate sponsors who underwrite all costs associated with leadership giving:

  • Caterpillar
  • Cullinan Properties, Ltd.
  • Howard & Howard Attorneys, PLLC
  • Illinois Eye Center
  • PNC
  • Robert W. Baird & Co., Inc.

Benefits for Pillars Society Members

  • Impact: Leadership giving has a profound effect on our community.
  • Personal Satisfaction: Your contribution helps provide positive solutions to society’s most pressing needs.
  • Leadership: Provides a positive example of philanthropy for others to follow.
  • Networking: Connect with other individuals who care about positively changing the community.
  • Recognition:  Pillars Society Members are collectively recognized in a registry, online, and a variety of other ways.

Increase the Success of Your Organization’s United Way Campaign

Holding a Pillars Society Campaign is one of the best ways to increase the success of your organization’s overall United Way campaign. Leadership Giving allows your employees to make a significant difference in the lives of people throughout central Illinois. Please consider conducting a separate Pillars Society meeting prior to your regular workplace campaign and/or integrate leadership giving into all your United Way employee meetings. If you hold separate Pillars Society meetings, the Heart of Illinois United Way can provide speakers, ideas and personalized packets.