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 every community are leaders whose caring and generosity set the course for others. Contributions by our leadership donors are leveraged to support the most effective, measurable outcomes that meet our community’s greatest needs.

Our leadership givers truly exemplify a standard of commitment to our region. Their contributions are leveraged to support the most effective, measurable outcomes that meet our communities greatest needs. Heart of Illinois United Way Leadership Giving levels include:

  • TOCQUEVILLE SOCIETY – Gifts of $10,000 or more
  • PILLARS SOCIETY – Gifts total $1,000 or more


Pillars Society membership includes individuals and couples whose annual gifts total $1,000 or more. With 1,261 members, the Pillars Society raised a record $4,231,219 in 2017.


Tocqueville Society membership represents Pillars Society gifts of $10,000 or more from individuals and couples. In 2017, 95 member gifts contributed a record $2,227,597.


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.

2017 Mark & Reneé 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 Kay & Michel McCord
2007 Bielfeldt Foundation


Caterpillar, Inc.
Cullinan Properties, Ltd.
Heyl, Royster, Voelker & Allen, PC
Howard & Howard Attorneys, PLLC
Illinois Eye Center
Robert W. Baird & Co, Inc.

Become a Pillars Society Member

Pillars Society members are community champions who devote their time, talent and funds to create sustainable impact by tackling our area’s most serious issues. You are invited to join more than 1,200 Pillars Society members who are making a worthwhile difference in our community for generations to come.

Membership Levels

LaSociete Nationale, $100,000+
Pimiteoui Society, $75,000-$99,999
Kickapoo Society, $50,000-$74,999
LaSalle Society, $20,000-$49,999
Joliet Society, $15,000-$19,999
Marquette Society, $10,000-$14,999
duSable Levels, $5,00-$9,999
Rouensa Levels, $2,500-$4,999
deTonti Levels, $1,000-$2,499

Can our gift be combined to qualify for Pillars Society membership?

Yes! Couples may pledge at their workplaces, and if the combined pledges total $1,000 or more they are eligible. It is necessary to notify United Way of their pledges because if each individual gift does not total $1,000, the employer would not be aware of the eligibility.

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 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 and sets your organization apart as one which is Leading the Way for our community.

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. We encourage you to work with your United Way Campaign Ambassador to determine the best strategy for your organization.

How Do I Become a Pillars Society Member?

Simply complete the Pillars Society pledge card provided by your organization, contact your employee campaign chair, or call Colleen DiGiallonardo, Leadership Giving Manager at 309-674-5181, ext. 1225.

Our annual Leadership Giving Registry is published each June. Download the Registry here…