Author: Shelly Jones

The Community Foundation of Grant County announced today that it is committed to building a bold new way to accelerate positive social outcomes through a local impact investing program as an extension of its community leadership efforts. The Foundation recognizes that its assets, over 90% of which are endowed, positions the organization to bring new tools, such as local impact investing, to address the needs and opportunities of Grant County. The purpose of the Impact Investing program is to make socially impactful loan investments that provide a financial return and measurably advance a prosperous Grant County via the social return on investment. The program will invest in people, projects, businesses, and nonprofit organizations that address economic prosperity, quality of life, and access to opportunity for residents of Grant County. “We believe that philanthropic capital can further the betterment of Grant County through grants as well as investments,” said Dawn Brown, President and CEO of the Community Foundation. “More than any nonprofit organization, community foundations have the ability to deploy a diverse set of tools to address community needs, including grantmaking, donor engagement, and loan investments. As community foundations seek innovative ways to build community wealth and health, more are adopting impact investing...

The Community Foundation of Grant County joins more than 1,000 other community foundations across America to mark Community Foundation Week, set this year for Nov. 12 to 18. Our goal in participating is to raise awareness about the role of philanthropy and to foster local collaborations and innovations to address persistent civic and economic challenges in our community. Launched Nov. 12, 1989, through a proclamation by former President George H.W. Bush, the first Community Foundation Week included a congressional briefing about the work of community foundations throughout the nation and their collaborative approach to working with the public, private and nonprofit sectors to address community challenges. The first community foundation was established in 1914 in Cleveland, Ohio. Community foundations in Indiana alone made more than $194 million in grants in 2020 and held more than $4.3 billion in assets. Your Community Foundation of Grant County manages more than $28.5 million in assets. Last year, it awarded $1.12 million in grants and scholarships. Former Indiana Secretary of State Connie Lawson once described the role of community foundations this way: “Community foundations in Indiana play a key role in identifying and solving problems across our state. Each foundation has an in-depth knowledge of local concerns,...

You know how on social media, they place a little blue checkmark by someone’s name who is famous, important, or noteworthy?  Well, in the world of philanthropy in Grant County, you’re a Verified Charitable Hero in our book! That’s why we need your help! (You deserve this icon by your name as a Verified Charitable Hero.) It’s time to make a thoughtful plan about your end-of-year charitable giving. With the holidays ahead, the end of the year will be here before you know it. So, it’s a good time to think about how to leverage the impact of your donation. In math, a square root is a number that multiplies itself to get another number. For example, 4 X 4 = 16; the square root of 16 = 4. That’s how donations work at the Community Foundation. Each donation given through us has a multiplied value—much more than the face value of the donation itself. As the community’s foundation, your gift is combined with the donations of other Verified Charitable Heroes to multiply impact! You give the donation, we grow your donation, and then a portion of that growth makes grants. GIVE-GROW-GRANT That’s why we need a Verified Charitable Hero like you. We're not asking you to do this...

A new alternative to payday lending in Grant County will provide financially vulnerable families with convenient, small-dollar, low-interest, flexible-term loans. This innovative hybrid loan program will provide families with immediate access to the cash they need to provide some much-needed financial stability while also helping them build a savings account for future financial security. The alternative payday lending program is made possible through a unique partnership between Afena Federal Credit Union and the Community Foundation of Grant County. The alternative payday lending program was designed to help financially under-resourced families in three ways: 1) By providing affordable financing to assist families in getting back on their feet once they return to work following the COVID-19 pandemic, 2) By helping financially under-resourced families build an emergency savings account, and 3) By helping income-vulnerable families improve their credit scores. We know that our professional lenders are working hard to serve the people of Grant County. And we know that there are times when they simply can’t approve a customer’s loan request due to credit issues, income limitations, and other challenges. For people who don’t qualify for traditional financing options, an unexpected expense can quickly spiral into a major problem. Which means if the refrigerator...

Pumpkin spice latte, pumpkin spice granola, pumpkin spice cheesecake, pumpkin spice muffins, pumpkin spice pancakes, etc. Tis the season, right? It’s officially fall and we love the taste of fall! The other thing I absolutely love about this time of year is the chill in the air. Even though you see your breath in the morning and wonder why you wore that turtleneck by 3:00 each afternoon, it’s simply beautiful in Indiana right now. And, while I haven’t experienced it yet this year—emphasis on yet—I really do get so excited about finding a random $10 bucks in a coat pocket from last year. Why does is seem like a year-old $20 bill found in the jeans I haven’t worn since last winter feels more valuable than a normal $20? Technically, I could buy a pumpkin spice latte at Starbys with a new $20 in my purse but buying one with an old $20 found in a pocket just feels more special--Like that specific $20 was verified on Twitter or something! Do you all know about verifications on Twitter and other social media platforms? A blue checkmark is used to verify high profile users as authentic. So, when you see a blue checkmark next...

We wanted to extend an invitation to you and your lending team to join us for Breakfast on Thursday, October 20th @ 8:00AM at 511 West Third Street, Marion, IN 46952 (the building next door to our main office) to learn more about our Bridge the Gap Loan Program, as an alternative to predatory payday lending. We believe that you most likely work with individuals who may greatly benefit from this resource, however, please feel free to forward this invitation to additional team member(s) that work with low-income families and “un-bankable” clients who may need help dealing with emergency expenses. We know that you are working hard to serve the people of Grant County. And we know that there are times when you simply can’t approve a customer’s loan request due to credit issues, income limitations, and other challenges. For people who don’t qualify for traditional financing options, an unexpected expense can quickly spiral into a major problem. which means if the refrigerator dies, the basement floods, the car gets a flat tire, or any unexpected situation pops up (and it will), paying for it could be a problem. No one wants to have to refer a customer to a predatory lender,...

On Friday, October 21st at 8AM, Professional Advisors are invited to join the Community Foundation of Grant County for a free breakfast and 3 hours of Continuing Education Credits with speaker, David Bennett, President Community Foundation Research and Training Institute. “Federal tax laws regarding charitable giving have changed dramatically in the last few years – and more changes are on the horizon," said David Bennett, President Community Foundation Research and Training Institute. “In this seminar, we will review recent changes in federal tax law, as well as tax-smart options for your clients. Topics to be covered include federal income and estate taxes, Qualified Charitable Distributions, tax implications of noncash gifts, gifts with income, and retained life estates.” “Philanthropy should be fun, it should be simple and flexible, it should offer tax benefits and professional management with public accountability and transparency," said Dawn Brown, President and CEO. “Which is what we offer to your clients. Some of the greatest opportunities to make charitable gifts arise when making major business, personal, and financial decisions. Let us help.” “Strong community foundations help build strong communities which is what we all want,” said Shelly Jones, Development Manager. “We know our Professional Advisors care about their clients and...

Our oldest son, Griffin, was studious from the womb. I recall him installing his own small software game from my lap at age 3. He has just always had a mind like that. The love of learning is just in his DNA. So, it was a huge hit to his ego when he got his first Report Card ‘B’ when he was in 3rd grade. Luckily, he recovered from that blip in the radar and ended his public school career as Valedictorian of his high school. It was a truly proud mom moment. But this story isn’t about Griffin, it’s about my friend Dave Huffman. I knew Dave since 6th grade. We spent several years of school together, and when I say together I mean we were in all the same classes. I worked hard for my grades, but Dave was naturally smart.  It just came easy to him. In fact, his mom was also a Valedictorian of our high school, so he came from good stock. Dave and I often talked about the last week of our high school careers when the Valedictorian spot was in a two-way tie. It was a dead heat between Dave and one of the twins...

The Community Foundation of Grant County is celebrating Thirty-Eight Years with a $1 for $1 Birthday Match. “We work with people that exemplify both passion and compassion,” said Dawn Brown, CEO & President. “We’ve met some of the most selfless people in all of Grant County. People who want to see healing take place, relationships grow, and a community thrive.” The Foundation is matching all donations that are given to a Give To Grant Unrestricted Fund from now through September 30, 2022. The goal is to raise $138,000. These funds are used to serve the citizens of Grant County by expanding their reach and ability to deliver vital services. “Clearly, the needs we are addressing in 2022 are far different than those we began addressing in 1984 when we were a brand-new organization,” said Dawn Brown. “And thirty-eight years from now, in the year 2060, the most pressing issues will reflect the needs of that generation. The people that choose to open a named Give To Grant Unrestricted Fund tell us that they love the community so much that they want to be a part of the systemic solutions of the time—no matter what time that may be.” Donors can start a new,...

(Marion, IN – August 26, 2022) The Community Foundation of Grant County is excited to announce both Habitat for Humanity of Grant County (Habitat) and City of Marion Parks and Recreation Department (the City of Marion) exceeded their crowdfunding campaign goals. The Community Foundation offers crowdfunding opportunities to Grant County organizations annually. Organizations apply for this opportunity during the annual Give to Grant Cycle in the spring. If a crowdfunding proposal is approved, organizations have 60 days to raise dollar-for-dollar what they requested in their proposal. Habitat exceeded its crowdfunding goal of $20,000 by raising $25,679 from community contributions. Combined with $20,000 in matching dollars from the Foundation this makes a total of $45,679 to support the construction of a new Habitat home in Grant County. The City of Marion exceeded its crowdfunding goal of $20,000 by raising $22,775 from community contributions. Combined with $20,000 in matching dollars from the Foundation this makes a total of $42,775 to fund the dredging and renovation of the Matter Park fishing pond. Together, in just two months, Grant County donors contributed $48,454 to these two crowdfunding campaigns. With matching dollars from the Foundation, this makes a total of $88,454 raised to support the betterment of Grant County...