The Indianapolis-based Lilly Endowment has announced a $125 million initiative in support of community foundations across Indiana.
The seventh phase of the foundation’s Giving Indiana Funds for Tomorrow (GIFT) initiative will provide both Matching Fund Grants ($66.9 million) and Community Leadership Grants ($48.9 million) in support of community foundations in the state working to strengthen the towns, cities, and counties they serve. Through the initiative, eligible community foundations will be able to apply for matching grants of between $500,000 and $4 million (based on the population of the counties they serve), at least two-thirds of which must be dedicated to increasing their unrestricted endowments. To encourage the engagement of board members, the endowment also will award unrestricted grants of $100,000 each to community foundations that achieve financial support from 100 percent of their board members.
Community Leadership Grants ranging between $50,000 and $200,000 (also based on county population) will be awarded to help community foundations in the state deepen their understanding of key challenges and opportunities in their communities and prioritize those they are best positioned to address. In a second round of grantmaking, the endowment will award grants of between $100,000 and $500,000 to help implement the plans developed by individual foundations to address those priorities. In addition, select foundations with especially compelling ideas may be invited to apply in 2020 for grants of up to $5 million to scale their projects.
"In the twenty-eight years since GIFT began, community foundations have demonstrated their ability to inspire imagination, generosity, and commitment among local residents, donors, and volunteers," said Rob Smith, the endowment’s vice president for community development. "Changing economic and cultural dynamics are presenting both significant challenges and important opportunities for Indiana communities. With GIFT VII, we seek to help community foundations raise resources and further enhance their ability to lead collaborative efforts that improve the quality of life for their residents."