What is an endowment?

A gift to the Wabash Valley Community Foundation is unlike any other gift. When you give to the Community Foundation, you invest in the future of your community. Your contribution is never spent; rather, it is invested as an endowment for generations to come.

An endowment is a unique way for individuals to leave a lasting legacy in the community they cherish. Whether created in the present or through careful estate planning, an endowment ensures that future generations will continue to benefit from the generosity and foresight of those who came before them. For good. For ever.®

An unrestricted endowment, commonly referred to as a community grant fund, plays an important role in our ability to make an impact in the Wabash Valley. When individuals give to a community grant fund, the possibilities are endless. Whether it’s supporting innovative projects, addressing urgent issues or providing a lifeline to nonprofits facing unforeseen challenges, the power of unrestricted endowments lies in their adaptability. Since our formation, our local volunteers have allocated over $30 million from the earnings on unrestricted endowments that are reinvested in Clay, Sullivan and Vigo counties into grants or projects. Unrestricted endowments ensure that the funds entrusted to us can be strategically granted to make a difference in our communities.

Now, we have the opportunity to dramatically increase the amount of unrestricted dollars available each year. The Community Foundation has a challenge grant opportunity to raise matching unrestricted community grant dollars under Lilly Endowment Inc.’s GIFT VIII initiative. Through this match, Lilly Endowment will provide $2 for every $1 donated to any new or existing unrestricted community grant fund. Each resident has the opportunity to contribute to their community! A gift of $100 will automatically become $300; $1,000 instantly becomes $3,000; and a gift of $10,000 instantly becomes $30,000! During this match, you can create a named family fund for only $1,700! Your gift will be matched, resulting in a $5,000 fund in your or your family’s name. Your gift will never be spent, and the earnings from this fund will be pooled with other unrestricted endowments to be granted for projects, programs and opportunities to make the Wabash Valley a better place to live, work and play.

To receive the full unrestricted match, the Community Foundation must raise $1,062,500 in Vigo County, $300,000 in Clay County and $262,500 in Sullivan County. While the matching period ends on December 31, 2025, matching dollars are limited! If you are interested in taking advantage of the Lilly Endowment Inc. matching gift opportunity for your county, please contact the Community Foundation at 812-232-2234.