In late 2018, the Lilly Endowment, Inc. invited eligible community foundations in Indiana to participate in the seventh phase of its Giving Indiana Funds for Tomorrow (GIFT VII) initiative. This opportunity allowed the Putnam County Community Foundation to focus on growing its unrestricted funds through a matching opportunity, encouraged board giving, and created an environment where the Community Foundation could explore community leadership opportunities.
MATCHING FUNDS GRANT
The Putnam County Community Foundation received $500,000 to grow unrestricted endowments through the matching portion of GIFT VII. This opportunity provided donors the limited-time opportunity to have their donations matched.
We are happy to announce that our generous donors empowered us to meet the match. The funds raised will allow the Community Foundation to award even more grants to charitable initiatives throughout Putnam County and support our county’s evolving needs. Thank you to our generous donors who contributed to the GIFT VII initiative.
Since 1985, the Community Foundation has awarded nearly $3.2 million from the Community Grants Endowment to charitable initiatives serving Putnam County.
BOARD ENGAGEMENT GRANT
Through this component of GIFT VII, the Lilly Endowment encouraged the personal engagement and philanthropy of board members. The Endowment encouraged board giving by providing a $100,000 grant to any community foundation, which had 100% board giving of $500 or more during the specified time period.
We are proud to announce that each of our board members made a financial contribution allowing us to reach the board match. Thank you to our board members for their generousity and their continued dedication to Putnam County.
COMMUNITY LEADERSHIP GRANT
Additionally, the Endowment made grants to help each community foundation explore how they can effectively play a leadership role in their local community. The Community Foundation utilized the grant to build internal capacity, facilitate focus group discussions, and develop initiatives to address high-priority community challenges and opportunities.
During our focus groups, we had an opportunity to speak with community members, businesses, local officials, and nonprofits organizations to discuss the current needs of Putnam County and the role we could play in building a more prosperous Putnam County. After listening to the feedback from these sessions, we determined one of our top barriers to the upward mobility of Putnam County citizens is education and workforce development.
We have partnered with EDGE 21, a Putnam County-based 501c3, to increase the enrollment of students eligible for Indiana’s 21st Century Scholarship Program. We will work closely with EDGE 21 on increasing post-secondary educational pathways for our students.