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Starke County Community Foundation Launches Campaign to Match $500,000 Lilly Endowment Incentive
Will lead to an additional $20,000 annually in community grantmaking dollars.

The Starke County Community Foundation (SCCF) is pleased to announce a new matching opportunity. The match is being made possible by the Lilly Endowment Inc., of Indianapolis, Ind., which recently offered the SCCF the opportunity to match up to half a million dollars. This matching program is a part of Phase VI of the Endowment’s Giving Indiana Funds for Tomorrow (GIFT) Initiative.

The matching campaign has two goals: The first is to increase the community granting capacity of the SCCF by matching gifts to Starke County’s community funds $1 for $1, up to $250,000. The second goal is to make the SCCF sustainable by making a donation of $1 to the SCCF operational fund for every $2 given to any of the SCCF’s other endowment funds, up to $250,000.

A generous Starke County donor has already made a gift that meets the second goal and fulfills that half of the matching opportunity.

Over the next 18 months, Starke County must raise $250,000 in gifts to existing or new community funds. “This is a rare opportunity to double a gift of any amount to a community fund,” said SCCF President Jennifer Gappa. “We are so pleased and honored to be selected by the Lilly Endowment to participate and build a bright future for Starke County.” The matching opportunity ends March 31, 2016 or sooner if funds are raised earlier.

Community funds are what allow the SCCF to award grants to Starke County’s most deserving projects and programs each fall. “We currently are able to award around $25,000 every fall. If this campaign is successful, we’ll be able to nearly double that number each year forever,” said Sarah Origer, SCCF Director of Development.

Previous grants awarded from community funds include grants to the SCILL Center’s Welding Program, Hoosier Valley Railroad Museum, Starke County Youth Club, and support to Starke County library systems, to name just a few. In 2013, dollars from community funds were also used to create the Starke County Preschool Scholarship Program, which provides preschool scholarship to needy children in the county.

Since 1996, more than $1.7 million dollars have been granted to local organization projects through Starke County community funds.

If the campaign is successful, the dollars raised and matched in endowed community funds over the next 18 months of the campaign will translate into grants of nearly $1 million over the next 25 years and grants of more than $2 million over the next 50 years. “This really illustrates the power of building endowments for our community,” said Gappa.

On July 16, the Lilly Endowment announced this sixth phase of its Giving Indiana Funds for Tomorrow (GIFT) Initiative for Indiana Community Foundations. 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.

Hardesty Memorial Endowment Fund Supporting New Fire Station

Photo courtesy of Jayme Goetz

The Starke County Community Foundation (SCCF) is pleased to announce a grant from the Hardesty Memorial Endowment Fund, a fund of the SCCF, of $25,000 in support of the new Hamlet-Davis Township Volunteer Fire Station.

Furthermore, it is the intent of the Hardesty Memorial Endowment Fund advisor to recommend a gift of $25,000 for the next seven years following this initial gift, for a total of $200,000.

The Hardesty Memorial Endowment Fund was established by James ‘Jim’ Hardesty at the Starke County Community Foundation in 2005 to support charitable endeavors in Starke County. Jim was dedicated to the Town of Hamlet and the surrounding community all of his life, and the SCCF and his family feel that he would have been pleased to support this building project.