Challenge Grant Met in Clay County!

The Wabash Valley Community Foundation’s Clay County affiliate, the Clay County Community Foundation, has successfully met the $500,000 challenge grant. This challenge grant was provided by Lilly Endowment Inc.’s GIFT (Giving Indiana Funds for Tomorrow) VII initiative.

In October 2018, the Community Foundation was challenged to raise $2 million in new unrestricted endowment gifts: $500,000 in Clay County, $500,000 in Sullivan County and $1,000,000 in Vigo County. With ten months left until the end of the challenge grant period, the Community Foundation has successfully completed the challenge in Clay and Vigo counties. The Community Foundation’s Sullivan County affiliate, Sullivan County Community Foundation, has raised more than 75% of its goal.

“The funding from this challenge grant will allow us to significantly increase our capacity to transform our communities,” said Brian Deakins, President of the Clay County Community Foundation. “Grants awarded through our unrestricted community endowment funds meet current and unexpected needs, as well as support the essential work of nonprofit organizations throughout Clay County. We are grateful to our communities for taking on this challenge and creating permanent legacies for Clay County.”

Examples of how the Community Foundation has used its unrestricted endowment funds in Clay County include $25,000 to the Town of Carbon for the upgrade and replacement of playground equipment and ground cover at the town’s park, $20,000 to the Clay County Historical Society towards repair of the building’s foundation, $10,000 towards heating and cooling system and electrical upgrades at Launch Academy, $5,000 to Child-Adult Resource Services (CARS) for the purchase of an ADA accessible minivan and more.

“Completion of the GIFT VII challenge grant will provide, once fully invested, an additional $30,000 annually in funding for grants for worthwhile programs, projects and community initiatives within Clay County,” explained Beth Tevlin, Executive Director of the Wabash Valley Community Foundation. “Within the next two fiscal years, the full amount of the unrestricted gifts and Lilly Endowment challenge grants will be providing additional and recurring community capital to fund worthwhile programs, projects and community initiatives.”

Lilly Endowment announced the statewide challenge grant totaling $66.9 million to community foundations in October 2018. The $2-for-$1 match included a focus on building community endowments that are unrestricted and have the greatest flexibility to respond to local opportunities within the communities. The Endowment’s match ranged in amounts from $500,000 to $4 million, depending on the population of the county. In addition to this allocation, the Endowment allocated up to $48.9 million as a separate component of GIFT VII to support community foundations’ leadership efforts to address local challenges and opportunities.

This matching opportunity is the seventh phase of the Endowment’s GIFT initiative for Indiana community foundations. The GIFT initiative was designed to help local Indiana communities develop the philanthropic capacity to address their own challenges and opportunities. In 1990, there were fewer than 12 community foundations in the state. Today, a community foundation serves every county in Indiana, and combined community foundation assets have grown from $100 million in 1990 to nearly $3.6 billion at the end of 2017. In this time, community foundations have made considerable progress in developing operational and programmatic competencies, organizational sustainability and substantive relationships with community stakeholders.

Limited GIFT VII matching funds remain available in Sullivan County through the Community Foundation’s Sullivan County affiliate, Sullivan County Community Foundation.

For more information on GIFT VII, please contact Beth Tevlin at 812.232.2234.