The Northern Indiana Community Foundation (NICF) has been invited by the Lilly Endowment Inc., to apply for funding under Phase VI of the Endowment’s Giving Indiana Funds for Tomorrow (GIFT) initiative. This allows the NICF and its fund affiliates to collectively apply for up to $1.5 million in matching incentive dollars now through March 2016.
Starke, Fulton and Miami Counties make up NICF, and each county has the opportunity to significantly increase their endowments by offering matching dollars designed to build endowment assets and increase grantmaking capabilities in the communities they serve.
“We are excited to bring this match to our donors and give them the opportunity to support the community now and for generations to come,” said Jay Albright, president of the NICF.
“Each of our counties are able to match $500,000 through this opportunity from the Lilly Endowment, and allows us to increase grantmaking dollars to better respond to needs within the community”.
Donations to unrestricted community funds will be matched $1 for $1. Donations to the Community Foundation’s other endowment will be matched $1 for every $2 given.
Recent grants awarded from unrestricted community funds include development of an Fulton County Animal Shelter; Kewanna Food Pantry; Starke County welding programs, Hoosier Valley Railroad Museum; computers for the Peru Public Library; and support to the Miami County Historical Society. Special incentives from unrestricted dollars created a preschool scholarship program and development of recreational trails in all counties.
In the counties of Starke and Miami, $250,000 of the match incentive will be directed to unrestricted community funds and other types of funds will be matched $1 for every $2 with matching dollars designated to each counties operating fund. “This gives us a real opportunity to increase our sustainability”, said Albright. Fulton County will use the entire $500,000 incentive to build unrestricted community funds.
On July 16, the Lilly Endowment announced this sixth phase of its GIFT initiative. In that announcement, Lilly Endowment’s vice president for community development Ace Yakey said, “The success of Indiana community foundations over the intervening years has far exceeded the Endowment’s expectations when GIFT began.”
Lilly Endowment launched the GIFT initiative in 1990 to help Indiana communities build endowments to become self-reliance and better able to support local projects and programs, which improve the life in each county and community in Indiana.
There are 94 community foundations throughout Indiana that make grants to support local charitable organizations in all of Indiana’s 92 counties. Since 1990, the aggregate value of the assets of Indiana community foundations that have regularly participated in GIFT has increased from about $30 million to nearly $2 billion, and those community foundations have paid grants totaling more than $915 million.
The total amount the Lilly Endowment has provided over this time period for asset building grants has been approximately $258 million. “These impressive results would not have been achieved without the imagination, generosity, commitment and leadership of thousands of donors, volunteers and foundation staff members throughout the state. We are amazed at the Hoosier philanthropic spirit,” Yakey said.