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Thriving Mill Township – a new supporting organization of the Community Foundation of Grant County – is launching its work this fall to build a prototype community in the Gas City and Jonesboro area that tests, implements and evaluates systems change and solutions to alleviate child poverty. Earlier this year, the Community Foundation Board of Directors, as part of an ongoing effort to grow the Foundation’s community leadership footprint, approved transitioning Thriving Grant County into a supporting organization under the leadership of the Foundation. With that transition, Thriving will address needs identified during a planning grant phase of Lilly Endowment Inc.’s Giving Indiana Funds for Tomorrow (GIFT VII) initiative. In September, Lilly Endowment Inc. awarded the Community Foundation a Community Leadership GIFT VII implementation grant of $150,000 to support Thriving Mill Township. In crafting its grant proposal, the Foundation built on a Thriving Grant County movement that uses a nationally recognized Collective Impact Framework driven by local residents imagining a brighter future.  Thriving was born out of a need to address the critical need of child poverty in Grant County, which currently has the highest child poverty rate in the state of Indiana The goal of collective impact is for community members...

The Community Foundation of Grant County has received a Community Leadership Grant of $150,000 as part of the seventh phase of Lilly Endowment Inc.’s Giving Indiana Funds for Tomorrow (GIFT VII) initiative. With the grant, the Community Foundation will grow its community leadership footprint by launching Thriving Mill Township – an initiative designed to drive systems change and solutions to alleviate child poverty. “Every day, 4,469 Mill Township residents living in poverty – or just beyond it – face a resource desert for needs such as food, childcare, and transportation,” Community Foundation President and CEO Dawn Brown said about the Grant County township, which encompasses Gas City, Jonesboro and parts of rural Marion. “This grant will allow the Community Foundation to launch Thriving Mill Township in a community well suited for scaling impact and promoting sustainable solutions.” The Community Foundation of Grant County is one of 84 foundations in Indiana receiving grants through this round of GIFT VII grantmaking. Lilly Endowment created GIFT in 1990 to help local communities in Indiana develop the philanthropic capacity to identify local needs and challenges. It launched GIFT VII in 2018 and made available a total of $125 million to help foundations strengthen their leadership capacities...

Launching soon, 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—especially due to COVID-related financial strains—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. Using an impact investment strategy, the Community Foundation has agreed to invest $1,000,000 in the alternative payday lending program for the next  five-years. The Foundation’s commitment will be used as collateral for the loans, allowing Afena to provide payday alternative loans for as many individuals as possible until the five-year program timeline is completed in September 2025. Dawn Brown, President/CEO...

Indiana Wesleyan University and the Community Foundation of Grant County have partnered to establish the CAPE II Career Exploration Grant. The purpose of this grant is to financially support Grant County, Indiana organizations that offer career exploration experiences, provide career guidance and counseling, and encourage workplace internships and job shadows. Indiana Wesleyan University and the Community Foundation of Grant County will partner to determine distribution of funds. “It’s so wonderful to be able to talk to the community about how IWU and the Community Foundation are working together in this meaningful way,” said Dawn Brown, President and CEO of the Community Foundation. “Especially, since our next grant cycle will focus on building stronger relationships with community partners, just like this!” The Chair of the CAPE II Career Exploration Grant Committee will be the Associate Dean of Life Calling and Career at Indiana Wesleyan University (a non-voting position), two additional members appointed by Indiana Wesleyan University, and two additional members appointed by the Community Foundation of Grant County. Funding will be administered by the CAPE II Career Exploration Grant Committee with these applicant priorities: • A preference will be given to existing organizations that serve Grant County students. • Provide career assessments and/or career resources to...

First of all, we miss you! We miss nouns! We long to see people, go places, and do things. But, until these unprecedented times return to precedented times, this eNewsletter will have to suffice. We’re writing today to remind you how important the Community Foundation’s Board of Directors and Team believe it is to communicate with you as to how the recent economic trends have impacted our organization. For instance, instead of diamonds, many are choosing to invest in commemorative jewelry such as these stunning earrings to always remember the year 2020—like we’d ever be able to forget 2020! ALL KIDDING ASIDE, the Community Foundation prudently follows nationally accredited policies that govern our investment practices in good times and in bad. Our funds are managed by Capital Cities LLC, a team that is knowledgeable regarding the long-term investment philosophy shared by community foundations across the country. We are also fortunate to have a dedicated group of local volunteers serving on our Finance Committee. This Committee meets quarterly to review investment performance, and, when necessary, adjusts our asset allocation to align with the policies that are in place. These individuals serve with a strong sense of fiduciary responsibility and love for Grant...

The Community Foundation of Grant County is excited to announce that Habitat for Humanity of Grant County not only met but exceeded their $20,000 Crowdfunding Campaign goal to support the construction of a new Habitat for Humanity home in Grant County. Because Habitat for Humanity of Grant County met their fundraising goal, the Foundation will award the organization a dollar-for-dollar matching grant up to $20,000, plus any donations they received over the $20,000 goal. In 60 days, they raised $27,681! Add that to the Foundation’s $20,000 grant and a whopping $47,681 raised through the campaign, will be awarded to Habitat for Humanity. “The Community Foundation is proud to continue our mission of connecting people, resources and causes to promote sustainable impact for the betterment of Grant County,” Community Foundation Community Investment Manager Meagan Mathias said. “The Foundation has been doing this kind of work since 1984, and we enjoy helping quality organizations, like Habitat for Humanity, in making a positive impact in our community.” To the donors and partners of the Crowdfunding Campaign, Brittany Howey, executive director of Habitat for Humanity of Grant County, said, “We are so incredibly thankful and humbled by your support and generosity. Funds donated allow Habitat to give...

Have you ever seen that movie where the slacker boyfriend arrives to pick up the beautiful daughter for a date with his credo tattoo, ‘NO RAGRETS’, emblazoned boldly across his chest like a Happy Birthday banner? The dad takes one look at his daughter’s poor decision-making and says, “No regrets, huh? Not even a single letter?” It’s funny—if it’s not your daughter. Ironically, I thought of this movie scene recently as I read about a more serious concept—the difference between victors and victims. Two letters. In the book, Victors & Victims, author Ken Harrison posits that those who find success and joy in life are those who know who they are and give it versus those who know what they want and take it. Wow. Let that knowledge nugget sink in for a minute. That’s a powerful thought—made even more powerful by a jovial discussion that happened in the CoFo office this past week. You see, there are a couple of teammates in the office who have actually said OUT LOUD, in front of people—as in not secretly—that they’re beginning to like 2020. <<insert GASP here>> For now, these two colleagues shall remain nameless, although I don’t think they’d even mind if I...

(Marion, IN – July 17, 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. The project - spearheaded by a partnership between 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 the Grant County Economic Growth Council –allowed donors to make a donation of any amount to support local Chamber businesses and then distributed those gift cards to employees in frontline industries – healthcare, first responders, and essential employers. Because of the abundant generosity of so many donors, the partnership purchased more than $10,000 in Gift Cards of Thanks to support local, small businesses. The partnership then turned those gift cards into ’plastic, rectangular social distancing hugs of encouragement’ and gave them to over 1,000 employees serving in COVID-support roles at the amazing frontline facilities. It was an encouragement campaign on steroids! The partners would like to say to donors, “Thank you for supporting our essential workers and providing critical cash support to our local businesses during the COVID-19 pandemic and...

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...