Giving DuPage was founded in 2001 by two philanthropists who felt that the community was unaware of all the ways to share their time, treasure and talent with others. With the support of DuPage County government, and in collaboration with the Healthy DuPage initiative, Giving DuPage was initially called the DuPage Philanthropy Project, and was established with a mission to promote giving and volunteerism in DuPage County. While the name was changed to Giving DuPage, the mission and vision have remained consistent over the last twelve years. Committed to the belief that every individual can contribute positively to the community, Giving DuPage inspires and informs businesses, civic groups and individuals in DuPage County to share their resources of time, money, goods and services with non-profits, serving the needs of county residents. Conversely, we also assist non-profits in increasing their capacities to raise funds and utilize volunteers.
Throughout the years, Giving DuPage has been seen as a community resource on volunteerism and giving, serving on boards and committees of the United Way, the Academy for Non-Profit Excellence at the College of DuPage, the West Suburban Philanthropic Network, and the DuPage Association for Volunteer Administration. In 2010, Giving DuPage chaired the Non-Profit Network of the Naperville Area Chamber of Commerce, and from 2010 until 2013, Giving DuPage chaired the Volunteer Centers of Illinois.
DuPage Remembers and Gives…A Day of Volunteerism
Shortly after the founding of Giving DuPage, the tragedy of 9/11 occurred. We fielded hundreds of calls from members of the community who wanted to find ways to serve. Working with a steering committee, Giving DuPage, which has only had one paid staff member since its founding, coordinated a day of remembrance and service on September 11, 2002. This event brought together religious groups, students, corporate employees, and non-profits in a solemn service at the Morton Arboretum, and then groups dispersed to participate in service projects at non-profits across the nation. The community volunteerism aspect of this event, DuPage Remembers and Gives…A Day of Volunteerism, has had ten annual recurrences.
President Obama named September 11th a day of remembrance and service as part of the Serve America Act, so our community day of service is now a national service day.
In honor of the tenth anniversary of 9/11, our Day of Service and Remembrance began with a rally at the Morton Arboretum’s Thornhill Education Center and included bagpipers, Anima Young Singers and inspirational speakers before the community took part in service activities. As we began the second decade, the day evolved. In 2012, representatives from area non-profits met with business members from four area Chambers of Commerce on 9/11 to align talents with needs.
In 2009 and 2010, Giving DuPage hosted Volunteer Fairs at Cantigny Park in Wheaton. In January of 2011, Naper Settlement and Giving DuPage partnered to offer the Find Your Cause Volunteer Fair. At each of these events dozens of agencies were present to share their opportunities with members of the community who want to serve.
Annual Giving Guide
Giving DuPage identified that the holiday season brought out many in the community who wanted to share their blessings, so in 2003, the Holiday Giving was created. The printed guide included holiday giving opportunities at a wide range of agencies and was widely distributed from 2003-2007. Growing into the Annual Giving Guide in 2008, this publication is currently printed annually through the generosity of sponsorship, and distributed through libraries, stores, schools and banks throughout the county. The 2011-2012 and 2012-2013 Giving Guides were created in partnership with the Daily Herald and were distributed to more than 20,000 DuPage County subscribers annually. An overrun of 5,000-6,000 are distributed throughout the community annually.
Joining hands with DuPage Community Foundation and Community Memorial Foundation, Giving DuPage hosted Volapalooza: A Celebration of Volunteerism at the MAC at the College of DuPage on May 10, 2011. The event which included an outstanding performance by West Towns Chorus and emcee and Mrs. America Illinois Amy Gregorio also included speakers, Dick and Florence Nogaj who authored “Don’t Retire, Get Inspired” and founder of the James R. Jordan Foundation, Mrs. Deloris Jordan. Sponsor DeVry University announced the winners of the Giving DuPage high school video competition (see NEWS) and Sponsor Harris Bank announced the winners of the Spirit of Volunteerism Awards. This year, DuPage Senior Citizens Council received $30,000, People’s Resource Center received $20,000 and CASA of DuPage received $10,000. The photo exhibit, The Face of Volunteerism, by Sean M. Schmidt was premiered at Volapalooza (see News).
On May 8, 2013, Volapalooza was held at Wentz Concert Hall at North Central College. The event featured Chef Jeff from the Food Network who spoke about his transformational life experience from jail to famous restaurant as master chef. Volapalooza music was provided by the Hinsdale Chorale. And $60, 000 was distributed to three area non-profits. DuPage PADS received $30,000, Loaves & Fishes Community Pantry received $20,000 and The Re:New Project received $10,000.
Our inaugural Human Race 5K/2 Mile Fitness Walk took place on on April 21, 2012 at Danada Forest Preserve and raised $48K for area nonprofits. The second annual Human Race held on April 27, 2013 at the Esplanade at Locust Point raised more than $61K for area non-profits. For more information, visit www.dupagehumanrace.org