Author: Shelly Jones

Please tell me that you also play the New York Times app games like Connections and Wordle! I love them. In fact, it’s the first thing I do each morning. Another fact, if I don’t ‘win’ it may impact my mood that day. Sure, they’re just silly little games, but I want to win! You don’t have to be athletic to be competitive! So, last week some friends and I navigated the rough terrain that is currently known as Upland construction and found a roundabout way to Ivanhoes. Something about ice cream and that strawberry shortcake that made us say ‘challenge accepted’ even with road closures everywhere. It wasn’t long before the topic of Wordle came up. So, I asked one friend what word she used to begin their Wordle game. You see the premise of Wordle is to guess a five-letter word in six tries. Sounds much easier than it really is, trust me! Your first try is a literal guess out of the clear, blue sky.  Some people use the same word to begin each day like it’s a religion. I go rogue and switch it up! But I learned something MAJOR about this game that night at Ivanhoe's.  You see, when...

Ensuring Lasting Impact: The Significance of Designated Endowments Are you really into supporting local students – or maybe you’re more into animal rescue? How about cemetery preservation? Many of us have a special interest and there’s a way to turn that special interest into something that leaves a mark in Grant County. Designated endowments are powerful financial instruments that serve as powerful catalysts for lasting change, fostering a legacy of support for our community’s vital organizations and initiatives. Designated charitable endowments are funds established to provide ongoing financial support to a specific charitable organization or cause. Unlike other types of endowments, which may support a variety of charitable purposes, designated endowments are earmarked for a single beneficiary. This ensures that the donor’s intentions are honored, and that the recipient organization receives reliable, sustained funding. Simplifying Investments & Charitable Giving Establishing a designated endowment is a straightforward process facilitated by the Community Foundation. Donors contribute assets—whether cash, securities, or other investments—with the explicit purpose of creating a perpetual stream of income for their chosen charitable beneficiary. Once established, these endowments are invested strategically to generate returns over time, maximizing their long-term impact. Endowments are often regarded as financial magic, allowing a donor’s contribution to have charitable...

  Planning ahead is the ultimate gift of love for your family. Join us for a Free Advance Planning Seminar on Thursday, April 18th. 11:30 AM - Storey Chapel: 400 E Main St, Gas City 5:30 PM - North Chapel: 1341 N Baldwin Ave, Marion Presented to you by Needham-Storey-Wampner Funeral & Cremation Service and the Community Foundation of Grant County. A light meal will be served during each session. Call for more information and to register: 📞 765-664-5030 Reserve your spot today!...

The Community Foundation of Grant County has received a matching fund grant totaling $1.5 million as part of the eighth phase of Lilly Endowment Inc.’s initiative, Giving Indiana Funds for Tomorrow (GIFT VIII). This $1.5 million grant includes two matching fund components that will significantly bolster the Foundation’s ability to build financial assets and support charitable activities. Specifically, $1,050,000 will be allocated to enhance the Foundation's unrestricted endowments, known as the Give to Grant funds. These funds provide crucial flexibility to address community needs through strategic grantmaking over time. During the matching period from October 1, 2023, to December 31, 2025, the Endowment will generously provide $2 for every $1 contributed to any new or existing Give to Grant unrestricted endowment. This remarkable matching ratio underscores Lilly Endowment's dedication to maximizing the impact of philanthropic investments in Grant County. In alignment with strategic priorities, the Foundation has also designated $450,000 of the matching fund grant to support initiatives targeting childhood poverty, a systemic issue in the county. The Endowment will provide $1 for every $1 raised by the Community Foundation for projects and programs related to Thriving Grant County, Thriving Mill Township during the matching period. Dawn Brown, President/CEO of the Community Foundation, expressed...

As you may have heard, this year marks the 40th Anniversary of the Community Foundation—so, we’ve been all-things-80’s around here! Ironically, that’s when "Total Eclipse of the Heart" the single by Welsh singer Bonnie Tyler debuted. We had no idea waaay back then that we’d be celebrating a “Total Eclipse of the Sun” in 2024—and apparently, it’s kind of a big deal, especially around these parts of Indiana. You see, Grant County is in the path of totality.  In the 80’s we would have said that was ‘totally tubular’! Can we bring that phrase back in vogue? Anyway, people much smarter than me tell us that being in the path of totality will allow you, and approximately 32 million friends, to experience the moon completely blocking out the sun’s disk. Boom!  In the middle of the day, it will be total darkness for nearly 4½ minutes. That’s almost two minutes longer than the Great American Eclipse of 2017. eclipse | noun | i-ˈklips  1: the total or partial obscuring of one celestial body by another 2: a falling into obscurity or decline As definition #1 from Merriam-Webster states, the moon will totally obstruct the sun, the sky will fall dark, and millions of people will be able to step outside their front doors...

Our donors often have specific interests like education, historical preservation, or community beautification, which we refer to as "fields of interest." Donating to a fund supporting a specific field of interest is a great way to make a lasting impact aligned with your values. However, community needs can change unexpectedly, and we must adapt to these shifts in Grant County. Unrestricted endowments, known as Give To Grant funds, are essential for our ability to respond effectively to evolving challenges and opportunities. These endowments provide flexibility, allowing us to address emerging needs, support innovative projects, and help nonprofits facing unforeseen challenges. By donating to our unrestricted endowment, you contribute to a larger pool of funds that grow and support the community's needs over time. Our Board is excited to announce a special opportunity for you: for a limited time, thanks to a generous gift, we're offering a 2-to-1 matching opportunity. This means that when you donate $1 to any new or existing Give To Grant Unrestricted Fund, we will match it with $2! Not only does your donation TRIPLE in impact, but it also contributes to improving Grant County's overall quality of life and place in areas such as arts and culture, community development,...

Wheels, wheels, wheels, wheels, wings. Most of us know this feeling well—"the moment of lift" is what Melinda French Gates calls it. You’ve waited on the runway for your turn to take off. Finally, the plane picks up speed—wheels, wheels, wheels, wheels. Sometimes it seems like it takes forever until the wheels finally come off the ground and the wings take over—lift. Other times it’s quicker than you’d ever imagine. But the process is always the same—wheels, wheels, wheels, wheels, wings. Every time I fly, I say those words in my head. And each time I lead a new initiative, I say it, too. Sometimes the lift is quick; most of the time, it’s not. That must be why patience is a virtue. Perhaps I’m not virtuous; patience has never been my strong suit. But in my many years of leadership in Grant County, I’ve learned how to build some lift into those runway moments. And today’s a great day to tell you all about that! Happy International Day of Happiness, Friends! Who knew there was actually a single day in the calendar dedicated to being intentional about celebrating all things happy? I wish I’d thought of it! The truth is, we look...

In a landmark collaboration, the Community Foundation of Grant County and United Way of Grant County have announced a strategic partnership to amplify funding opportunities for local non-profit organizations. For the first time, the Community Foundation will channel a portion of their Give to Grant Cycle funds into United Way's Community Investment funding process. This innovative approach will expand the pool of resources available to agencies, enhancing the impact on the community's health, education, and financial stability. The Community Foundation of Grant County will now integrate these funds with United Way's Community Investment process. This integration is designed to streamline and enhance the support system for local non-profits by leveraging United Way's meticulous investment process, where a diverse committee of community members reviews, interviews, and evaluates agency funding applications. Dawn Brown, President/Chief Executive Officer of the Community Foundation of Grant County, shared her excitement about the partnership: "We are delighted to join forces with United Way of Grant County, uniting our resources to foster greater impact in the community. This collaboration not only enlarges the funding available to local agencies but also utilizes United Way's comprehensive investment process to ensure these funds are allocated where they can be most effective." LeeAnna Smith, Executive...

I was at a CEO Retreat recently for CoFo leaders. They do this every year because of the stress that comes with the job of being a CoFo CEO. Being around others who do the same job is a good reminder that we’re not alone! There was a time at the end of the Retreat where they did High Fives—where anyone could share a great idea with the group for 5-minutes. What surprised me about that section of the day was how varied the ideas were. You see, when you’ve met one community foundation, you’ve met one community foundation. They’re all so different even though the missions are the same. I wondered about this on the drive home. How is it that we can all be in our communities leading, grantmaking, and fundraising yet still be so remarkably different? And I think the answer all lies in where we choose to say YES. There are so many good ideas! If we say YES to every good idea—even if the idea aligns with our mission—we’d be exhausted and burn out quickly. It was a good reminder that we must do LESS but do it WELL. Yet, it’s hard to say NO; especially if the idea is a good one! I...

The Community Foundation of Grant County announces an extension of the deadline for the 2024 scholarship application due to unforeseen delays with the processing of the Department of Education’s Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). The first step of the universal scholarship application submission process has been extended to March 31, 2024, to accommodate this delay. Hannah Yopp, Scholarship Solutions Manager at the Community Foundation, emphasized the impact on local students, stating, "First and foremost, these changes impact local students. While the FAFSA process is out of our control, we are always prioritizing students and their needs. We want to ensure that students will be considered for as many Community Foundation scholarships as possible. We appreciate the patience of everyone involved in our scholarship program as we adapt to the changes this year." The Foundation uses information from the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FASFA) and college choice to paint an applicant’s full financial picture. Yopp further explained, "The Foundation uses information from FAFSA and college choice to determine an applicant’s financial need, ensuring students are not being over-scholared. This allows our limited scholarship funds to go even further in assisting more students in their pursuit of higher education." Due to the...