Lilly Endowment Inc. says the state's community foundations have raised more than 50 percent of a $66 million matching grant program. The effort is part of the organization's Giving Indiana Funds for Tomorrow initiative.

March 13, 2015

News Release

Indianapolis, Ind. — Indiana counties are a little richer today. In July 2014, Lilly Endowment Inc. announced a statewide Giving Indiana Funds for Tomorrow (GIFT) challenge grant to community foundations, totaling $66 million, with incentives that include a $1-for-$1 match.

Those incentives have worked. Today, the communities have already raised more than 50% toward the match.

“With this grant, and the different match opportunities, we are projecting more than $130 million will be raised for our communities. We still have a way to go but are thrilled with such a strong start,” says Rosemary Dorsa, vice president of the Indiana Philanthropy Alliance, a membership association that supports Indiana's community foundations.

The Endowment crafted GIFT to allow for flexibility in how the charitable funds can be used in each community, and to provide meaningful incentives that encourage community members to get involved.

In 1990, Indiana was home to only a dozen community foundations. Now, there are 94 community foundations and county affiliate funds in Indiana, serving the state's 92 counties. Local leaders and community volunteers make decisions that positively address their unique local needs.

“This grant is in line with a long-time vision of Indiana communities growing their capacity to make critical decisions for their own people now and in the future,” says Dorsa.

Funds are invested to grow over time, creating a greater impact year after year. This matching opportunity is the sixth phase of the Endowment's Giving Indiana Funds for Tomorrow (GIFT) initiative for Indiana community foundations. The GIFT initiative was designed to help local Indiana communities develop the philanthropic capacity to address their own needs and challenges. Since 1990, the value of Indiana's community foundations that regularly participated in GIFT has grown from $30 million to nearly $2 billion, and more than $915 million has gone back into the communities through local grants.

This latest matching challenge continues that growth and could add approximately $132 million in new dollars, which would generate $6 million or more in additional grants every year…forever! But, donors are needed. “This generous match opportunity is exciting because anyone can get involved in a big way,” says Dorsa. “Many gifts to community endowments will be matched $1-for-$1, which effectively doubles that donor's gift.”

The match includes a focus on building community endowments that are unrestricted and have the greatest flexibility to respond to local needs from year to year, decade to decade. The Endowment's match will be in amounts from $500,000 to $2 million, depending on the population of the county.

Each community foundation or affiliate fund has designed its own challenge within the parameters of the grant and should be contacted for local eligibility. Typically, gifts qualifying for matching funds must consist of contributions of cash or property which can include marketable securities, cash equivalents, and real property. Multi-year pledges are also matchable as long as each gift is received by the community foundation before March 31, 2016.

Source: Lilly Endowment Inc.

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