How many organizations provide an annual fundraising platform for over 100 charitable groups to generate over $200,000 in just 36 hours or $10.1 million in just 86 days AND have generated over $50 million in economic impact for the region in the past five years?
In its 29th year, On the Waterfront Festival is one of Illinois’ largest music festivals, encompassing 25 city blocks in the center of the city, with over 80 performers on 5 stages, 30 special events, and 40 food vendors.
The Festival is supported by the efforts of over 4,000 volunteers and has generated over $10.1M for more than 300 not for profit organizations in 28 years with an economic impact of $13.2M annually.
In the last four years, the total economic impact of the On the Waterfront Festival has been over $50,000,000.
As the competition for tax, foundation and charitable dollars continues to grow, community not-for-profit organizations must be increasingly creative in their funding sources. On the Waterfront’s mission “Community Advancement through Celebration” is the foundation of the corporation’s activities, including providing support for local not-for-profit entities, enhancing the image of the community, generating economic impact, and continuing to meet the challenge of providing nontraditional fundraising opportunities.
The tangible result of the annual not for profit fundraising and the impact it has on the community is relatively easy to document. However, what is not as easily measured is the anticipation, excitement and pride that On the Waterfront fosters in the city of Rockford. When children were asked by the Rockford Public Library to create a piece of art that signifies the best part of Rockford, On the Waterfront appeared in many of the paintings. In fact, it appeared in so many that one of the ten tile portraits on the outside of the Rockford Public Library wall is representative of On the Waterfront. The Rockford Area Economic Development Council, lists On the Waterfront In The Top Ten of “Rockford Area Quality of Life Assets.”
There can be no argument that it is the people who make our city great, and On the Waterfront has always believed in the importance of empowering people to succeed with extraordinary results. Over 4,000 people work tirelessly for months to create the best street festival in the Midwest. It is because of their efforts that Rockford is home not only to the largest music festival in the state of Illinois, but also to the most generous volunteers, corporate partners and businesses in the state as well.
Beyond the tangible contributions of support for the not for profit community is a community wide effort to achieve, excel and connect people from all walks of life, for one weekend, to celebrate together.
OTW has also produced many other events for the Rockford community such as Groove Walk, The Rockford City Market, Stars and Guitars, The Directors Challenge, The Perfect Party, Gourmet Alley and more!