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The James R. Hardesty Leadership in Philanthropy Award
Celebrating those who give and those who care.

Download the Nomination Form

The Starke County Community Foundation is accepting nominations for the 2015 James R. Hardesty Leadership in Philanthropy Awards, celebrating outstanding achievement by individuals, and charitable organizations that serve Starke County, Indiana.

James R. Hardesty’s life of giving made a significant impact on the Starke County community in which he lived. He established endowment funds that benefit Starke County forever, and encouraged others to do the same. Jim’s philosophy of giving was stated simply and poignantly; "If you can't do a lot, do what you can.” Jim’s contributions to the Community Foundation make up the largest to date, from a single donor in any of the three counties that the Northern Indiana Community Foundation serves.

This will be the first year for the annual award that bears the name of this amazing local philanthropist that passed away on May 24, 2014 at 92 years of age. The award will alternate between highlighting the achievements of an outstanding individual philanthropist and an effective and worthwhile organization that makes an impact in the community.

James Hardesty Leadership in Philanthropy Award Categories and Nomination Process - Any individual or organization may nominate a philanthropist or organization to receive the award.

Complete the nomination form along with a biographical profile of the nominee, including a summary of the nominee’s achievements and contributions that meet the specific criteria for this award. This may take the form of a letter that addresses the key criteria described below.

Philanthropist Leadership Award:

Criteria: An individual with a proven record of exceptional generosity through direct financial support for the past year or several years. He or she should be an individual whose outstanding civic and charitable responsibility have encouraged, inspired and motivated others to take philanthropic leadership roles in the community.

Outstanding Organization Leadership Award:

Criteria: An outstanding charitable organization serving the citizens of Starke County. Organizations are judged on mission, impact, and success.

The Selection Process: The recipient of the award is selected by a service committee of the Starke County Community Foundation. The committee will review all nominations and choose one winner. For those not chosen, nominators are welcome to resubmit in subsequent years. The recipient will be expected to participate in the Community Foundation’s Grant and Fund Founder’s Celebration held in the fall of each year.

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.