The Community Foundation is Celebrating 25 years!

09 Jan The Community Foundation is Celebrating 25 years!

The Fulton County Community Foundation (FCCF) is excited to celebrate its 25th anniversary in 2018. In honor of this milestone, the FCCF will be sharing monthly articles that celebrate the Community Foundation, its history, and all those who have made it possible. You can find the articles in The Rochester Sentinel the second Wednesday of each month and also at our website at nicf.org.

While the FCCF was established in 1993, the community foundation concept was born over one hundred years ago! Cleveland lawyer and banker Frederick H. Geoff established the very first community foundation in 1914, giving rise to a new philanthropy, a new way of participating in community, and a new vision for the future.

Today, there are more than 700 community foundations across the United States that invite everyday people with a vision and a passion for community to create something together: For good. Forever. Throughout the 50 states, one state encompasses 94 of those community foundations. About 13% of the nation’s community foundations reside right here in Indiana! Each Indiana county has a community foundation, and two counties even each have two! We are at the forefront of the community foundation movement thanks in part to Lilly Endowment Inc. and generous donors and supporters throughout Indiana.

In 1993, Lilly Endowment wanted to help community foundations across Indiana by launching the Giving Indiana Funds for Tomorrow (GIFT) initiative. The initiative sought to inspire the development of more community foundations by offering foundations the chance to apply for matching grants. If foundations could raise dollars from local donors to support causes that were important to their local communities, Lilly Endowment would offer matching funds.

Since then, through six phases of GIFT, the initiative has inspired communities to do just that. In Indiana the number of community foundations has grown from fewer than 12 in 1990 to 94 in 2016.

Although Lilly Endowment helped many community foundations get started, eventually each community foundation has the goal of being sustainable on its own. The FCCF alone has $15.6 million in assets and has awarded more than $12 million in grants and scholarships since inception.

So many exciting things are able to happen in Indiana communities because each Indiana county has a community foundation!