Author: Shelly Jones

The Community Foundation of Grant County, Indiana is seeking proposals from investment consultants to provide consulting services to the Community Foundation’s Finance Committee. The Community Foundation is not liable for any costs incurred in the preparation and presentation of proposals. The Community Foundation reserves the right to reject any or all proposals and to contract in the best interest of the Community Foundation. During the evaluation process, the Community Foundation may, at its discretion, request any one or all firms to make oral presentations. Not all firms may be asked to make such oral presentations. The Community Foundation reserves the right to request additional information from any or all firms to assist in its evaluation process. It is expected that no proposing firm will contact any Community Foundation board member, committee member, or team member during the proposal period, June 30 through November 30, 2020. Communications with current or past members of the Community Foundation’s board of directors, its committees, or team will be deemed as a conflict of interest, and may result in the disqualification of a proposal. All representations, including fees, made by the proposing firm shall be in effect for a minimum of 120 days after the Committee...

The Community Foundation of Grant County is excited to announce that Habitat for Humanity of Grant County has been approved for a Crowdfunding Grant to support the construction of a new Habitat for Humanity home in Grant County. Habitat has 60-days, ending August 11th, to crowdfund $20,000 for their project. Habitat is a non-profit housing ministry. They build simple, affordable homes for families in need, and sell them at no profit. Since established in 1993, Habitat has helped 54 Grant County families achieve the dream of homeownership. Habitat’s long-term goal is to build at least one Habitat home per year in Grant County. Habitat for Humanity of Grant County believes that all hard-working individuals and families should have a safe, affordable place to call home. “Habitat for Humanity is more than just building homes. Habitat helps build lives, self-esteem and confidence increases tremendously for homeowners once the home becomes theirs. They feel a sense of stability in their lives that had not been present before.” said Mia Erickson, Board Vice President. Habitat is building more than roofs and walls for partner homeowners. Instead, Habitat sees these homes as a foundation for a better, more stable future for homeowners and their families. The U.S. Department of...

To provide much-needed relief from the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, the President signed the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act into law. While the Act primarily provides economic stimulus for businesses, there are several temporary measures that impact planning and giving.   Easing the Financial Burden Several measures in the CARES Act are designed to help ease the financial burden on individuals. Required minimum distributions suspended. The required minimum distribution (RMD) rules are waived for 2020 for certain defined contribution plans and IRAs—both for 2020 RMDs and for 2019 RMDs that needed to be taken by April 1, 2020. Those who already took their RMD early in 2020 may be able to return that withdrawal to the IRA or other qualified retirement plan from which it was taken. IRA contribution deadline extended. The deadline for making an IRA contribution that counts for 2019 (usually April 15) has been extended to July 15, 2020, to match the extended tax filing deadline. Penalty on early retirement distributions removed. An individual who needs to take a distribution from a qualified retirement account for specified reasons related to COVID-19 may do so without paying the 10% early withdrawal penalty. This applies to distributions up to $100,000 made at any time...

(Marion, IN – May 18, 2020) Several local organizations launched a project – Gift Cards for Thanks – in late April to support Grant County’s frontline workers and to give the local economy a boost at the same time. Through the first three weeks of the project, 650+ Grant County healthcare workers have received gift cards to be used at local businesses and gift cards have been purchased from 25+ local Chamber businesses.  This represents $6,000+ spent in our local economy with more to be spent in the coming weeks. The project - spearheaded by the Marion-Grant County Chamber of Commerce, United Way of Grant County, Community Foundation of Grant County, Gas City Area Chamber of Commerce, Upland Chamber of Commerce, and recent addition Grant County Economic Growth Council –allows donors to make a donation of any amount.  As donations rise, gift cards are purchased from local chamber businesses then distributed to employees in frontline industries – healthcare, first responders, and essential employers. Get involved today by making a donation of any amount to the Gift Cards for Thanks project at www.unitedwayofgrantcounty.org/giftcardsofthanks....

I’ve always said if someone made a movie about my life that Jimmy Fallon would play my husband and Queen Latifa would play me. Why Queen Latifa? I don’t know really. She just always strikes me as a strong, independent woman, and I love her movies. Why Jimmy Fallon? Because I think he’s hilarious. And Jerry is one of the funniest people I know! If you haven’t watched any of Jimmy Fallon’s Tonight Show tapings from the comfort of his own home, with his wife representing the entire camera crew and his daughters, Winnie and Franny, stealing the whole show, you’re really missing out. When Winnie and Franny ‘Boo’ during his Tonight Show monologue, your ears could not hear more joyous little giggles. And for some reason, those tiny soprano ‘Boos’ reminded me of another Fallon skit that he did on SNL…back when SNL was still funny. Remember the “Move” skit? This skit took place in an office environment where they were having a bit of technology trouble—we’ve all been there, right? Instead of helping his officemates figure out how to fix their computers, he simply barks out a demanding “Mooooove!”  I’m sure we’ve all met this tech guy before....

COVID-19 STINKS. That’s something we can all agree on. It’s impacting our health. It’s impacting our economy. It’s even impacting our morale. We know ‘WE’RE ALL IN THIS TOGETHER’, but you might be feeling a bit helpless from your quarantined couch. You really wish you could do something to help, but what? Wow, do we have Grant County-caring, COVID-crushing idea for you: GIFT CARDS OF THANKS! Our healthcare workers, first responders, and essential employees are working long, hard hours trying to keep us healthy, safe, and solvent. At the same time, our local small businesses are suffering, too. Sales are down and jobs are at risk. So, gift cards are perfect! With a gift card purchase, you can help the front line and the back office. A partnership of the Marion-Grant County, Gas City Area, and Upland Chambers of Commerce along with the United Way of Grant County and the Community Foundation of Grant County, has collaborated to make this easy for anyone to participate. First, any donation amount is acceptable, since we’ll be pooling all donations together to purchase the gift cards from multiple local small businesses to help bolster their bottom lines. Then, we’ll be delivering these gift cards to our front...

Indiana residents who need help feeding their families during the COVID-19 pandemic will have greater access to assistance from food banks and pantries through a Disaster Household Distribution program approved by the USDA Food and Nutrition Service (FNS). The disaster distribution program uses commodity foods from The Emergency Food Assistance Program (TEFAP), which is administered by the Indiana State Department of Health (ISDH), and is effective from today through May 14, 2020. The goal is to increase access to food assistance to those in need. Priority will be given to Hoosiers who are suffering significant economic losses. During the COVID-19 response, food banks and partner agencies have largely shifted to drive-through distributions. Through the DHD program, current TEFAP food banks will use the network of new and existing mobile pantries to distribute food packages to families in need. It is anticipated a total of 250 sites, including mobile pantries, will assist with food distribution throughout the state, primarily in rural areas. Each household receiving food through this program can receive one prepackaged 25-pound box that includes a variety of foods, including, but not limited to, canned and packaged fruits, vegetables, soups, sauces, noodles, beans, nuts, juices and meats. If frozen and/or refrigerated storage...

The Community Foundation of Grant County has believed in its mission to connect people, resources, and causes to promote sustainable impact towards the betterment of Grant County for 35 years. And while local healthcare workers, first responders, and essential workers are doing a terrific job of handling the pandemic in Grant County, the Foundation has been busy making Rapid Response Grants to many nonprofits to help keep them sustained, as well. “As we undergo a Governor-ordered stay-at-home quarantine mandate to flatten the curve, our nonprofit social service organizations are working tirelessly to assist communities that are disproportionately affected by the coronavirus outbreak,” said Development Manager Shelly Jones. The Foundation is also concerned about the community’s morale right now; especially since Grant County has yet to hit the COVID-19 peak. This is why the Foundation decided to launch an encouragement campaign. We had 9’ X 4’ banners made that are placed throughout the community to encourage anyone who might see them as they drive by or go to the store—to remind them that we really are all in this together. Because it’s true. We are. “We believe it’s a small gesture that brings big smiles instantly to the community,” Jones added. The Foundation’s banners were hung...

More details on the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act: On March 27, the President signed into law the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act. Details are still a bit unclear, but here is what we know up to now. 1.  Generally, taxpayers who claim the standard deduction do not get a tax benefit related to any charitable contributions they make during the tax year. But that will change slightly beginning in 2020. The phrase “above the line” means that taxpayers can deduct charitable gifts up to $300 even if you don’t itemize your charitable deductions. The $300 charitable deduction is available only for cash gifts (as opposed to donations of stock, real estate, or any other non-cash items) to public charities like the Community Foundation of Grant County. Unfortunately, gifts to donor-advised funds do not qualify. Note: This is important, because after the passage of tax reform in 2019, only about 10% of Americans itemized their taxes. The new law would allow you to deduct up to $300 from your taxable income. Importantly, what we have read so far indicates that those who itemize won’t get the $300 above the line charitable deduction. 2.  In addition, for 2020,...

The Community Foundation of Grant County has believed in our mission to connect people, resources, and causes to promote sustainable impact towards the betterment of Grant County for 35 years. This uneasy time facing a global pandemic is no different. As we undergo a Governor-ordered stay-at-home quarantine mandate to flatten the curve, our social service organizations are working tirelessly to assist communities that are disproportionately affected by the coronavirus outbreak. The Give To Grant Community Impact Fund: It’s because of uncertain times like this that we created our GIVE TO GRANT COMMUNITY IMPACT FUND many years ago. This Fund provides flexible financial support to trusted nonprofit partners across Grant County who are responding to critical needs. The Fund also allows the Community Foundation Board to be nimble in their response to addressing our community’s most pressing and emerging needs, specifically with organizations working with our most vulnerable citizens. We need to recognize that our social service organizations have direct knowledge of these everchanging critical issues, while also maintaining strong relationships with the citizens they serve. Therefore, with respect to this on-the-ground understanding of the ramifications of COVID-19, we will rely on our trusted nonprofit partners to communicate to us the best...