News

Eighteen Monroe County nonprofits participating in matching campaign to grow endowments

The Community Foundation is pleased to announce that 18 local nonprofits are participating in its latest initiative to create or grow existing endowments through June 30, 2025.

Each participating nonprofit that reaches its fundraising goal will receive a dollar-for-dollar match to grow an existing endowment or establish a new endowed fund at the Community Foundation.

Nonprofits that meet their fundraising goals will receive matching funds from the Community Foundation to help ensure their work continues in perpetuity

The Community Foundation of Bloomington and Monroe County (CFBMC) is pleased to announce that 18 local nonprofits are participating in its latest initiative to create or grow existing endowments through June 30, 2025.

Each participating nonprofit that reaches its fundraising goal will receive a dollar-for-dollar match to grow an existing endowment or establish a new endowed fund at the Community Foundation.

Participating nonprofits include:

  • Beacon
  • BCT Management, Inc. (Buskirk Chumley Theater)
  • Boys & Girls Clubs of Bloomington
  • Cancer Support Community South Central Indiana
  • Community Kitchen
  • Conservation Law Center (new endowed fund)
  • Constellation Stage & Screen
  • Lake Monroe Water Fund (new endowed fund)
  • Meals on Wheels (new fund)
  • Monroe County Humane Association
  • Monroe County United Ministries
  • Mother Hubbard’s Cupboard “The Hub” (new endowed fund)
  • New Hope for Families
  • Sycamore Land Trust
  • United Way of South Central Indiana
  • USA International Harp Competition
  • WFHB Community Radio
  • WonderLab (additional endowed fund)

Donors can give gifts of cash, securities, or irrecoverable planned or estate gifts to support these local nonprofits in meeting their match goals. To help participating nonprofits meet their fundraising goals and secure their endowment match, visit www.cfbmc.org/agency-match to donate.

In addition to matching endowment funds, participating agencies will each receive a $10,000 capacity-building operational grant to address immediate needs or staff their endowment fundraising activities.

By leveraging the allocated capacity-building and matching funds, the anticipated impact of this initiative is expected to exceed more than $1.16 million for participating local nonprofits by the end of the campaign in July 2025.

The Community Foundation opened this matching fundraising opportunity to nonprofits serving Monroe County in December 2023. Applications to participate were received from 31 nonprofit organizations.

“It was incredible to see so many agencies thinking about how best to sustain and maximize their impact far into the future,” said President and CEO Tina Peterson.

“We would have preferred to accept all 31 nonprofits that applied into this matching campaign, added Peterson. “It was a difficult selection process for the committee and Board of Directors, but we are thrilled to be able to extend this opportunity to a total of 18 organizations. We would not have been able to accept all of these organizations into the program without the generosity of donor advised fundholders who have stepped in to co-fund the capacity-building grants.”

Today, more than 50 local nonprofits benefit from agency or designated funds at the Community Foundation. The Foundation is utilizing its unrestricted and selected field of interest funds to support the initiative. The Foundation’s Board of Directors initially anticipated supporting approximately 10-12 nonprofits to create or grow a designated agency fund through this matching program.

Peterson added, “At the heart of everything we do is a vision to create a vibrant Monroe County where every individual has the opportunity to thrive — now and in the future.” “The Foundation is proud to be able to deploy our flexible funding at this time to enable these nonprofits to grow their endowments and strengthen their future impact with a permanent source of revenue that will benefit their organizations and Monroe County residents for years to come.”

The Power of Endowment: An endowment fund can be a powerful tool that enables nonprofit organizations to have a long-lasting, sustained impact in our community. Endowment funds are also called permanent funds because they are intended to grow over time through investing. The principal is not spent but retained for the growth of the fund. Investment earnings are used for annual agency distributions that can be used immediately or re-invested into the fund for future use. Through the power of endowment, your gifts grow over time to do good in perpetuity! For more information, visit: https://cfbmc.org/powerful-giving/for-our-agencies/

The Community Foundation was established in 1990 to encourage and manage philanthropic support for the long-term benefit of the community and all those who call it home. Today, the Foundation has more than 270 funds – each defined by donors who provided the resources to create the funds. Distributions from these funds are returned to the community each year through charitable grants.

Some funds focus on specific nonprofit organizations, while others, such as our unrestricted and field of interest funds, are flexible and deliver powerful support that allow us to respond to our community in the most relevant and beneficial ways. The Community Foundation combines its deep understanding of the community and its compelling opportunities and pressing needs to deploy competitive grant rounds, proactive grants, education scholarships, and funding to support community leadership initiatives.

If you have questions about this opportunity, contact Program Director Marcus Whited at [email protected] or Development Director and COO Meagan Niese at [email protected].

About Community Foundation of Bloomington and Monroe County: Created by individuals, families, and businesses who share a passion for Monroe County and a vision for its future, the Community Foundation of Bloomington and Monroe County has granted $30 million to more than 400 local nonprofit organizations since its incorporation in 1990. With a growing $45 million endowment, the Foundation makes a difference by connecting caring people, important causes, and community resources.

Donor Spotlight: Andy and Kim Allard

Andy and Kim Allard believe strong, supported families are foundational to every community, and their donor advised fund enables them to positively impact families in Bloomington. The couple shares, “We love supporting families and children in our community. We want our giving to be a catalyst for their growth and success by creating opportunities.”

Andy and Kim Allard believe strong, supported families are foundational to every community, and their donor advised fund enables them to positively impact families in Bloomington. The couple shares, “We love supporting families and children in our community. We want our giving to be a catalyst for their growth and success by creating opportunities.”

Kim grew up in Ohio and moved throughout the Midwest during her childhood. She attended Ohio University to study elementary education, where she continued to cultivate her passion for teaching. “I have known since I was very young that I would be a teacher when I grew up. The moment my fate was solidified and my teaching ‘career’ began was when I received a double-sided easel-style chalkboard for my fifth birthday. I joyously began my teaching career that very day in my family’s living room. I have taught a variety of grade levels in elementary school, preschool, and within the church.” Kim currently works at Clear Creek Christian School as a 6th-grade teacher.

Andy grew up in Bargersville and studied finance at Indiana University Kelley School of Business. He has been in the banking industry for 32 years and currently serves as the Senior Vice President and Chief Operating Officer of the IU Credit Union for the last 16 years. 

Andy and Kim met while working at a Greenwood restaurant shortly before starting their careers. The couple married after college and recently celebrated 32 years of marriage with their two daughters, Madeleine and Lydia. 

Supporting families has always played an essential role for Andy and Kim, even before their daughters were born. “As a newly married couple, we were leading the youth group at our church and supporting causes for families and children at risk,” Kim shared. “The journey to start our family wasn’t easy, and we explored and considered adoption,” said Kim. “Giving back and serving others, especially children, was one way for us to cope with our fertility struggles.”

Andy also recalled discovering his passion for programs serving families and children. “I remember when I was working at the bank in Indianapolis; we were encouraged as leaders to network in our community and to give back. One day, there was a nonprofit fair, and I went from booth to booth, grabbing brochures and asking questions. When I returned to my office, all the brochures were about youth and family needs. There was one program, Champions for Children, that served new parents and taught them how to care for their children. I distinctly remember when we were new parents how difficult it was. I had an epiphany because I had my family nearby and was blessed with an education and financial security, but I was still at my wit’s end. So that’s when I realized how difficult it must be for families at risk or in need.” 

Over the years, Andy and Kim have become deeply connected throughout the community and feel inspired to give back wherever possible. The couple volunteers frequently through their church at Sherwood Oaks and with local charities while serving separately in roles through nonprofit boards, locally and globally. “It is part of our civic responsibility to be purposeful and give back, whether through volunteerism or financial contributions,” Andy said. In the couple’s view, Kim shares, “We feel it is important to give back to the community where we live, which is also the community that invested and helped raise our daughters. Building connections and relationships within our community is important because it provides a constant thread that ties us all back together.”

In 2020, Andy and Kim established the Allard Family Charitable Fund, a non-permanent donor advised fund (DAF) through the Community Foundation, to support programs and philanthropic passions that matter the most to them – children and families. 

“It is deeply rooted in our beliefs and a core tenant of our faith,” the couple shared. “We have been blessed with a means to bless others, and serving others is love in action. When you give back, you can see tangible needs met. Providing opportunities for individuals in our community to grow and prosper is important to us.” 

The Allards shared that establishing their donor advised fund was easy and efficient. “When I first heard about setting up a fund, it seemed daunting and complicated, but it was easy to set up,” Andy said. The Community Foundation is great about helping you understand how your charitable dollars can be used and deployed.” 

The Allard Family Charitable Fund also provides tax benefits for the Allards as they give back. “When the tax laws changed, a cap was placed on tax deductions for charitable giving, but we were exceeding it,” said Andy. “By setting up a DAF, we can easily bundle our giving for tax advantages and handle our grants or distribute whenever we want, almost like a charitable checkbook.”

Kim agreed, adding: “It really is a great way to be efficient with your charitable giving. It does feel like, in a sense, a charitable checkbook. It’s very user-friendly and has no downside – It’s a win-win situation. The ease at which everything is managed at the Community Foundation is amazing. The new fund portal is a game changer; we can put in our request, and it tracks our giving. So, really, the simplicity of having the fund is wonderful.” 

“We have seen the impact of our fund through the causes we support,” said Andy. “The vast majority of our giving is centered on kids and families. We are strong supporters of  New Hope for Families, and a significant portion of our grants went to their capital campaign, which resulted in two new buildings and provided additional capacity to serve their clients.”

“The Boys & Girls Club is another organization that we partner with,” Kim added. “They are excellent at focusing on the needs of children and providing quality resources for families and kids. Whether it is during the summer or after school, it is the continuity and high-quality experiences that matter to us. It’s putting love into action, and that’s what our fund looks like.” 

Partnering with the Community Foundation to establish a fund can turn your charitable dollars into a philanthropic powerhouse. Andy and Kim shared, “When we partnered with our local community foundation to start the donor advised fund, we essentially partnered with our neighbors. There is a level of care and connection here that makes our charitable giving more effective. If you have a cause where your heart lies, the Community Foundation partners with you to make connections and structure your charitable giving more effectively.”

Community Foundation announces new matching opportunity through Lilly Endowment’s GIFT VIII Initiative

The Community Foundation is pleased to announce its intent to participate in a matching grant opportunity through the eighth phase of Lilly Endowment Inc.’s Giving Indiana Funds for Tomorrow (GIFT VIII).

Triple your impact when you make a gift to an unrestricted endowment fund!

The Community Foundation of Bloomington and Monroe County (CFBMC) is pleased to announce its intent to participate in a matching grant opportunity through the eighth phase of Lilly Endowment Inc.’s Giving Indiana Funds for Tomorrow (GIFT VIII). Lilly Endowment will provide $2 for every $1 contributed to CFBMC’s unrestricted endowment funds during the GIFT VIII matching period, October 1, 2023, through December 31, 2025. CFBMC will be able to use the Matching Fund Grant to grow its endowed, unrestricted assets, which provide financial resources that enable CFBMC to respond to both present and future community needs.

“We are grateful to the Lilly Endowment for this incredible opportunity to meet the ever-changing needs of our community through endowments that allow the Community Foundation and its donors to meet the needs of today and prepare for those of tomorrow,” said President and CEO Tina Peterson. “As we gear up for the new year, we are excited to share this opportunity for donors to triple the impact of their gifts to new or existing unrestricted endowments.

“The long-term success of this county is rooted in our willingness to protect what is important to us, honor our past, strive for a better future, and give back by paying it forward. It is realized every year when the Foundation distributes grants from its endowed funds to support local programming. Thanks to the generosity of the Lilly Endowment and donors, our unrestricted funds ensure that we will always have flexible resources to address our community’s most pressing needs and compelling opportunities.”

GIFT is a series of statewide initiatives and programs that began in 1990 as part of Lilly Endowment’s efforts to help establish and strengthen community foundations in Indiana and build their capacity to address the needs of their local communities. The primary aim of GIFT is to help Indiana community foundations in all 92 of Indiana’s counties develop the philanthropic capacity to identify, prioritize, and address local opportunities and challenges.

To learn more about GIFT VIII, please visit Lilly Endowment’s website.

Lilly Endowment Inc. is an Indianapolis-based, philanthropic foundation created in 1937 by J.K. Lilly Sr. and sons J.K. Jr. and Eli through gifts of stock in their pharmaceutical business, Eli Lilly and Company. While those gifts remain the financial bedrock of the Endowment, the Endowment is a separate entity from the company, with a distinct governing board, staff, and location. Although the Endowment funds programs throughout the United States, especially in the field of religion, it maintains a special commitment to its hometown, Indianapolis, and home state, Indiana.

The Community Foundation of Bloomington and Monroe County was created by individuals, families, and businesses who share a passion for Monroe County and a vision for its future. The Foundation has granted $30 million to more than 400 local nonprofit organizations since its incorporation in 1990. With a growing $44 million endowment, the Foundation makes a difference by connecting caring people, important causes, and community resources.

Happy Holidays from the Community Foundation

During this holiday season of festive lights and the shimmer of joy, we are reminded of those that illuminate our paths toward a stronger, thriving, and more connected community.

During this holiday season of festive lights and the shimmer of joy, we are reminded of those that illuminate our paths toward a stronger, thriving, and more connected community.

Your generosity and commitment make our community shine brightly throughout the year.

May your holidays be filled with the same warmth and brightness you’ve shared. Here’s to a season of joy, gratitude, and the promise of an even brighter future together.

Our offices will be closed on December 22-26 and January 1st. If you need to reach out us, drop us a line at [email protected] or leave us a message at (812) 333-9016.

Dominic D’Onofrio and Anson Reynolds awarded Monroe County’s 2024 Lilly Endowment Community Scholarships

The Community Foundation of Bloomington & Monroe County is proud to announce the recipients of the 2024 Lilly Endowment Community Scholarships for Monroe County – Dominic D’Onofrio and Anson Reynolds.

The Community Foundation of Bloomington & Monroe County is proud to announce the recipients of the 2024 Lilly Endowment Community Scholarships for Monroe County – Dominic D’Onofrio and Anson Reynolds.

Including Monroe County’s two scholarship recipients, the Lilly Endowment Community Scholarship Program (LECSP) will provide 147 scholarships statewide. Lilly Endowment Community Scholars are known for their community involvement, academic achievement, character, and leadership.

LECSP scholarships may be used for otherwise unreimbursed full tuition, required fees, and a special allocation of up to $900 per year. The special allocation may cover the costs for required books and equipment for four years of undergraduate study on a full-time basis leading to a baccalaureate degree at any eligible Indiana public or private nonprofit college or university. The program is administered statewide by Independent Colleges of Indiana (ICI) and locally through the Community Foundation of Bloomington and Monroe County.

“Dominic and Anson are wonderful examples of the talented, engaged, and generous young people that call Monroe County and the Indiana Uplands region home,” said President and CEO Tina Peterson. “We are proud to recognize their accomplishments and look forward to following their academic journeys as they join an incredible network of Lilly Endowment Community Scholars.”

Domonic D’Onofrio is a Bloomington High School North (BHSN) senior and the son of Brian and Danica D’Onofrio. D’Onofrio is the president of the BHSN Habitat for Humanity Club and a member of the Cougar Community Kitchen Club, Student Athletic Board, National Honor Society, National Art Honor Society, Art Club, and Young Life. He also competes on the Varsity Cross Country and Track and Field teams.

Among his community service activities, D’Onofrio has prepared summer lunches for school-aged children with Monroe Community Kitchen and served as a youth mentor for St. Charles School middle school basketball players.

D’Onofrio hopes to study architecture in college. As part of his career exploration, D’Onofrio interned in 2022 with Monroe County Habitat for Humanity, where he researched accessory dwelling units and net-zero construction to help Habitat and future homeowners explore sustainable housing options.

“During my work with Habitat, my reason for being an architect shifted to focusing on social impact and serving the community,” said D’Onofrio. “I learned up close that being an architect means listening to and actively serving the needs of real people to create a more equitable, just, and accessible community.”

“I am extremely honored and grateful to be awarded this scholarship by the Community Foundation of Bloomington and Monroe County and Lilly Endowment,” said D’Onofrio. “While I truly cannot express the whirlwind of emotions I have, I want to thank my supportive family, friends, teachers, coaches, and mentors who have been incredibly influential in my life. Becoming a Lilly Scholar has been an incredible experience that will change my life.”

Anson Reynolds is a Bloomington High School South (BHSS) senior and the daughter of Josh and Laura Reynolds. Reynolds is president of DECA, the Bring Your Own Book Club, and the Write On! Creative Writing Club. She is also a member of the Student Council, Academic Super Bowl, Indiana Mathematics League, BHSS Varsity Volleyball Team, and Bloomington Volleyball Club.

Among her community service activities, Reynolds has served on the Monroe County Juvenile Probation Youth and Family Work Group and has tutored with the Monroe County Public Library VITAL program.

In 2021, Reynolds co-founded Boost Volleyball Camps, which provides multi-day skills and training for middle school girls. “For the past three summers, I have helped middle schoolers enhance their volleyball and life skills,” said Reynolds. “With college on the horizon, there is even more responsibility and wisdom to acquire. I am grateful for the experience of running Boost Volleyball because it has allowed me a glimpse of my potential to impact others. My journey as a role model is only beginning.”

“I’m so grateful to the Community Foundation and the Lilly Endowment for this incredible opportunity,” said Reynolds. “I hope to use my time in college to pursue my dream of making education accessible to all so I can give others moments like this.”

The Community Foundation has also announced that Monroe County’s eight other 2024 Lilly Endowment Community Scholarship finalists will each receive $1,000 scholarships to use at a college or university of their choosing:

  • Kyle Davis, Bloomington High School South
  • William Foley, Bloomington High School North
  • Teagan Hanna, Bloomington High School North
  • Ingrid Pendergast, Bloomington High School North
  • Dylan Stringer, Bloomington High School South
  • Lucy Tait, Bloomington High School South
  • Joshua Tait, Bloomington High School South
  • Layla Vamos, Bloomington High School North

“This year’s finalists have demonstrated excellence in academics, leadership, and service to our community,” added Peterson. “We are proud to award each of them a Community Foundation scholarship to support their continued academic endeavors. After completing their post-secondary educations, we hope they seek out one of the many amazing job opportunities available in the Indiana Uplands to begin their careers.”

Chair of Monroe County’s Lilly Endowment Community Scholarship Committee, Jessika Hane, added her admiration for this year’s finalists. “The scholarship selection process is never easy, but these high school seniors inspire us. They represent so much hope for our community, and we are confident that the future is bright for Monroe County, our region, and the state of Indiana.”

Monroe County’s Lilly Endowment Community Scholarship Application Process

Monroe County’s Lilly Endowment Community Scholarship recipients were selected from among 143 applications submitted by students from seven of the ten high schools that serve Monroe County students. Eligible schools include The Academy of Science and Entrepreneurship, Covenant Christian School, Bloomington Graduation School, Bloomington High School North, Bloomington High School South, Edgewood High School, Harmony School, Indiana Academy for Science, Mathematics & Humanities, Lighthouse Christian Academy, and Seven Oaks Classical School.

Applications were blindly reviewed and independently scored by members of a Lilly Scholarship committee at each Monroe County high school to identify 21 semifinalists. The number of semifinalists identified is determined by each school’s senior class size.

Each semifinalist was invited to submit an updated application, which included additional content and references from schools and other community members. The Community Foundation Scholarship Selection Committee then evaluated the semifinalist applications. This committee, comprised of community members and a former Monroe County Lilly Scholar, blindly reviewed and scored applications from the semifinalists to select ten finalists. In selecting recipients for the Monroe County Lilly Endowment Community Scholarship, consideration is given to student activities and achievements, community and civic service, academic performance, and leadership potential.

Each finalist was interviewed in October, and their interview scores were combined with scoring from the written applications. The finalists’ rankings, along with the committee’s recommendations for scholarship nominees, were then submitted to Independent Colleges of Indiana, Inc. for final selection of scholarship recipients for Monroe County.

Lilly Endowment created the Lilly Endowment Community Scholarship Program for the 1998-99 school year and has supported the program every year since with grants totaling in excess of $505 million. More than 5,200 Indiana students have received the Lilly Endowment Community Scholarship since the program’s inception.

The primary purposes of LECSP are: 1) to help raise the level of educational attainment in Indiana; 2) to increase awareness of the beneficial roles Indiana community foundations can play in their communities; and 3) to encourage and support the efforts of current and past Lilly Endowment Community Scholars to engage with each other and with Indiana business, governmental, educational, nonprofit and civic leaders to improve the quality of life in Indiana generally and in local communities throughout the state.

About the Community Foundation: Created by individuals, families, and businesses who share a passion for Monroe County and a vision for its future, the Community Foundation of Bloomington and Monroe County has granted $30 million to more than 400 local nonprofit organizations since its incorporation in 1990. With a growing $44 million endowment, the Foundation makes a difference by connecting caring people, important causes, and community resources.

About Lilly Endowment Inc.: Lilly Endowment Inc. is an Indianapolis-based, private philanthropic foundation created in 1937 by J.K. Lilly Sr. and his sons Eli and J.K. Jr. through gifts of stock in their pharmaceutical business, Eli Lilly and Company. Although the gifts of stock remain a financial bedrock of the Endowment, it is a separate entity from the company, with a distinct governing board, staff, and location. In keeping with the founders’ wishes, the Endowment supports the causes of community development, education, and religion. The Endowment funds significant programs throughout the United States, especially in the field of religion. However, it maintains a special commitment to its founders’ hometown, Indianapolis, and home state, Indiana.

About Independent Colleges of Indiana: Since 1997, Independent Colleges of Indiana has administered the Lilly Endowment Community Scholarship Program statewide with funding provided by Lilly Endowment Inc. Founded in 1948, ICI serves as the collective voice for the state’s 29 private, nonprofit colleges and universities. ICI institutions employ over 22,000 Hoosiers and generate a total local economic impact of over $5 billion annually. Students at ICI colleges have Indiana’s highest four-year, on-time graduation rates, and ICI institutions produce 30 percent of Indiana’s bachelor’s degrees while enrolling 20 percent of its undergraduates. 

Congratulations to Monroe County’s 2024 Lilly Endowment Community Scholarship recipients 

We made surprise visits today to share the big news with Dominic D’Onofrio and Anson Reynolds and invited their families to join the celebrations. Dominic and Anson will each receive a full-tuition scholarship for four years of undergraduate study on a full-time basis leading to a baccalaureate degree at any eligible Indiana public or private college or university. 

The Lilly Endowment Community Scholarship program is administered statewide by Independent Colleges of Indiana (ICI) and locally through the Community Foundation of Bloomington and Monroe County.

For more information on scholarships, visit https://cfbmc.org/lasting-impact/apply-for-a-scholarship/

Community Foundation launches endowment building and capacity building grants for Monroe County nonprofits

The Community Foundation of Bloomington and Monroe County (CFBMC) is pleased to announce a matching and capacity building grant opportunity for local nonprofits interested in starting a new endowed fund at the Community Foundation or growing an existing one.

Applications due January 12.

The Community Foundation of Bloomington and Monroe County (CFBMC) is pleased to announce a matching and capacity building grant opportunity for local nonprofits interested in starting a new endowed fund at the Community Foundation or growing an existing one. These grants are designed to support Monroe County nonprofits by growing endowment funds to ensure their essential work continues today and in the future. This grant initiative will also allow agencies to invest in their sustainability while benefiting from an outright capacity building grant.

“Over the last few years, our nonprofit sector has shown incredible resilience and an unwavering commitment to creating a better place for individuals and families to thrive,” said President and CEO Tina Peterson. “On behalf of the Community Foundation’s Board of Directors, we are proud to launch this grant initiative to support our dedicated local nonprofit organizations with capacity building grants to address immediate needs while also providing them with matching endowment funds to maximize their impact for the future.”

Program Details:

  • Agencies may apply to receive between $20,000 and $50,000 in matching funds (fundraising goals between $20,000 and $50,000).
  • Agencies that achieve their endowment fundraising goals will receive $1 in endowment match funding for each $1 raised.
  • Agencies will have until June 30, 2025, to meet fundraising goals.
  • As part of the matching grant program, accepted agencies will also receive a $10,000 capacity building grant.
  • Monroe County nonprofits must apply by January 12, 2024. Accepted agencies will be notified by January 31.
  • An informational Zoom meeting will be held on Monday, December 11, at 10 a.m.

To view grant guidelines, FAQs, and application, visit https://cfbmc.org/agency-matching-grants-2023/

To register for the December 11 Zoom meeting, visit: https://us02web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZIud-2rqTMuE9H-aSAtyKNMfm5p5KPwm0l7#/registration

Have questions? Contact Marcus Whited, Program Director, at (812) 333-9016 or [email protected] to discuss details and eligibility.

About Community Foundation of Bloomington and Monroe County: Created by individuals, families, and businesses who share a passion for Monroe County and a vision for its future, the Community Foundation of Bloomington and Monroe County has granted $30 million to more than 400 local nonprofit organizations since its incorporation in 1990. With a growing $44 million endowment, the Foundation makes a difference by connecting caring people, important causes, and community resources.

Ten high school seniors recognized as finalists for Monroe County’s Lilly Endowment Community Scholarships

Ten high school seniors have been selected as finalists for the 2023 Monroe County Lilly Endowment Community Scholarship Program.

Monroe County’s two scholarship recipients to be announced in December

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. – The Community Foundation of Bloomington and Monroe County (CFBMC) has announced that ten high school seniors have been selected as finalists for the 2023 Monroe County Lilly Endowment Community Scholarship Program. Congratulations to these exceptional students:

  • Kyle Davis, Bloomington High School South
  • Dominic D’Onofrio, Bloomington High School North
  • William Foley, Bloomington High School North
  • Teagan Hanna, Bloomington High School North
  • Ingrid Pendergast, Bloomington High School North
  • Anson Reynolds, Bloomington High School South
  • Dylan Stringer, Bloomington High School South
  • Lucy Tait, Bloomington High School South
  • Joshua Tait, Bloomington High School South
  • Layla Vamos, Bloomington High School North

Among their many accomplishments, this year’s Monroe County Lilly Scholarship finalists have participated and held leadership roles in more than 30 school clubs and organizations, including Student Councils, Academic Super Bowl, Athletic Boards, National Honor Society, Science Olympiad, Model UN, Investment Club, Women Empowerment Club, Environmental Club, Diversity Club, and many more.

They have all been active in a variety of sports, including volleyball, softball, cross country, track and field, tennis, swimming, intramural basketball, rock climbing, taekwondo, and ultimate frisbee. In the fine arts, they have collectively pursued writing, drawing, painting, stained glass, ceramics, band, orchestra, choir, and theater.

As engaged community members, this year’s finalists have demonstrated service to the community as mentors, tutors, camp counselors, caregivers, volunteers, activists, advocates, and fundraisers. Among the many local nonprofits that their service has impacted are local churches, retirement centers, Habitat for Humanity, Monroe County Public Library, Community Kitchen, Bloomington Animal Shelter, WonderLab, Beacon, Hoosier Hills Food Bank, Monroe County United Ministries, YMCA, Hilltop Garden, Down Syndrome Family Connection, My Sisters Closet, and others.

“Every year, we are inspired by all the young people that pursue scholarships through the Foundation, and this year is no exception,” said Tina Peterson, Community Foundation’s president and CEO. “This year’s ten Lilly Endowment Community Scholarship finalists are a case in point. Each has shown remarkable achievement while also demonstrating a commitment to community and service to others.

“While only two of these impressive high school seniors will ultimately receive the Lilly Scholarship, we are proud to recognize each of their accomplishments,” added Peterson. “Ultimately, we hope all of this year’s applicants will elect to not only stay in Indiana for post-secondary education but will also choose to begin their careers and make the Indiana Uplands region their home.”

The Lilly Endowment Community Scholarship Program (LECSP) will provide 147 scholarships statewide and two scholarships in Monroe County. LECSP scholarships may be used for otherwise unreimbursed full tuition, required fees, and a special allocation of up to $900 per year. The special allocation may cover the costs for required books and equipment for four years of undergraduate study on a full-time basis leading to a baccalaureate degree at any eligible Indiana public or private nonprofit college or university.

The program is administered statewide by Independent Colleges of Indiana (ICI) and locally in Monroe County through the Community Foundation of Bloomington and Monroe County.

Monroe County’s finalists were selected from among 21 semifinalists and 143 applications submitted by students from seven of the ten high schools that serve Monroe County students. Eligible schools include The Academy of Science and Entrepreneurship, Covenant Christian School, Bloomington Graduation School, Bloomington High School North, Bloomington High School South, Edgewood High School, Harmony School, Indiana Academy for Science, Mathematics & Humanities, Lighthouse Christian Academy, and Seven Oaks Classical School.

Evaluation Process for Monroe County Lilly Endowment Community Scholarships:

Applications are blindly reviewed and independently scored by members of a Lilly Scholarship committee at each Monroe County high school to identify semifinalists. The number of semifinalists identified is determined by each school’s senior class size.

Each semifinalist was invited to submit an updated application, which included additional content and references from schools and other community members. The Community Foundation Scholarship Selection Committee then evaluated the semifinalist applications. This committee, comprised of community members and a former Monroe County Lilly Scholar, blindly reviewed and scored applications from the semifinalists to select ten finalists. In selecting recipients for the Monroe County Lilly Endowment Community Scholarship, consideration is given to student activities and achievements, community and civic service, academic performance, and leadership potential.

During the week of October 23, each finalist is interviewed, and their interview scores are combined with scoring from the written applications. The finalists’ rankings, along with the committee’s recommendations for scholarship nominees, are then submitted to Independent Colleges of Indiana, Inc. for final selection of scholarship recipients for Monroe County prior to the formal announcement in December.

Lilly Endowment created LECSP for the 1997-98 school year and has supported the program every year since with tuition grants totaling more than $486 million. More than 5,000 Indiana students have received Lilly Endowment Community Scholarships since the program’s inception.

The primary purposes of LECSP are: 1) to help raise the level of educational attainment in Indiana; 2) to increase awareness of the beneficial roles Indiana community foundations can play in their communities; and 3) to encourage and support the efforts of current and past Lilly Endowment Community Scholars to engage with each other and with Indiana business, governmental, educational, nonprofit and civic leaders to improve the quality of life in Indiana generally and in local communities throughout the state.

For more information on the Lilly Endowment Community Scholarship Program or other scholarships administered by CFBMC, visit https://www.cfbmc.org/lasting-impact/apply-for-a-scholarship/ or contact Marcus Whited, Program Director, at 812-333-9016 or [email protected].

Created by individuals, families, and businesses who share a passion for Monroe County and a vision for its future, the Community Foundation of Bloomington and Monroe County has granted $30 million to more than 400 local nonprofit organizations since its incorporation in 1990. With a growing $44 million endowment, the Foundation makes a difference by connecting caring people, important causes, and community resources.

Lilly Endowment Inc. is an Indianapolis-based, private philanthropic foundation created in 1937 by J.K. Lilly Sr. and his sons Eli and J.K. Jr. through gifts of stock in their pharmaceutical business, Eli Lilly and Company. Although the gifts of stock remain a financial bedrock of the Endowment, it is a separate entity from the company, with a distinct governing board, staff, and location. In keeping with the founders’ wishes, the Endowment supports the causes of community development, education, and religion. The Endowment funds significant programs throughout the United States, especially in the field of religion. However, it maintains a special commitment to its founders’ hometown, Indianapolis, and home state, Indiana.

Since 1997, Independent Colleges of Indiana has administered the Lilly Endowment Community Scholarship Program statewide with funding provided by Lilly Endowment Inc. Founded in 1948, ICI serves as the collective voice for the state’s 29 private, nonprofit colleges and universities. ICI institutions employ over 22,000 Hoosiers and generate a total local economic impact of over $5 billion annually. Students at ICI colleges have Indiana’s highest four-year, on-time graduation rates, and ICI institutions produce 30 percent of Indiana’s bachelor’s degrees while enrolling 20 percent of its undergraduates. 

Oct 16-22: National Estate Planning Week

It’s National Estate Planning Week, and we’re here to help you get started on your own plan. We’ve got tools, calculators, videos, and more.

It’s National Estate Planning Week, and we’re here to help you get started on your own plan. Read below to get started.

Already have a will? Experts recommend that you update your will at least every five years. We’ve got tools, calculators, videos, and more on our planned giving website at https://cfbmclegacy.org/.

So, what exactly is an estate plan?

The purpose of estate planning is to develop a strategy to maintain your financial security throughout your lifetime and ensure the intended transfer of property and assets at death. Often, this involves the consideration of the unique circumstances of your family, your charitable passions and interests, and the potential costs of different methods. With the right tools and advisors, you can create an estate plan that leaves a legacy and maximizes your philanthropic goals.

Did you know that simple procrastination is the number one reason why Americans say they don’t have a will or estate plan? It’s never too early (or too late) to think about creating or updating your will. No matter your age, having an updated estate plan can give you peace of mind while creating a legacy for those you love and the causes you care about most.

Many of us may have heard these words: inheritances, wills, bequests, or trusts, but we don’t always know what these words mean. On the Community Foundation planned giving website, we have a series of short, helpful videos to help you start thinking about your estate plan and how to create your own charitable legacy in Monroe County.

Free estate planning guide

Not sure how to get started. Check out our easy-to-use, fill-in-the-blank booklet that can help you organize all the information you’ll need to plan your legacy!

Join our Legacy Society

For Mark and Katy Bradford, giving back to the community is more than a hobby, it’s a passion, and they worked with us to plan their unique legacy.

The Bradfords are members of the Legacy Society, which recognizes the generosity of donors who have made a commitment to our community through a planned gift to the Community Foundation. Becoming a member of the Legacy Society is easy. By completing a statement of intent and notifying us of your gift through a bequest, a charitable trust, life insurance, or other planned gift, you can begin to receive the benefits of legacy society membership and the satisfaction of knowing that you are making a gift of a lifetime.

Maximize your charitable impact

When you include the Community Foundation in your estate or will, you ensure our work continues for many years to come. You can structure your planned gift in many ways, such as charitable gift annuities, retirement assets & insurance gifts, real estate, stocks, and much more. Giving can be done directly or through a gift model that can provide tax benefits and income.

We hope you will bookmark our planned giving website & check out our tools, calculators, and videos to learn more about how you can create a charitable impact.

Additionally, you can call our office to discuss estate planning options. Reach out to CFO and Development Director Meagan Niese at [email protected] or call 812-3339016.

A Good News Update: Ellettsville – Energized for a growing future

With a growing population of 6,600, the town of Ellettsville is known for its hometown atmosphere, limestone history, and beautiful outdoor spaces. It’s also a community actively engaged in planning for growth and executing a vision for a prosperous future. This Good News Update focuses on Ellettsville and the wonderful ways this town is thriving.

By Mary Anne Sterling
Special Contributor and Community Foundation Stewardship Committee Member

With a growing population of 6,600, the town of Ellettsville is known for its hometown atmosphere, limestone history, and beautiful outdoor spaces. It’s also a community actively engaged in planning for growth and executing a vision for a prosperous future. This Good News Update focuses on Ellettsville and the wonderful ways this town is thriving.

“Imagining the future of Ellettsville” started as a town hall meeting in 2019, where residents and business owners gathered to share their thoughts. Sparked by several catalystsóthe widening of State Route 46, demand for affordable housing, growing opportunity for business, and a desire for community members to define its future – it was seen as a time to act. 

Ellettsville resident Christa Curtis, Vice President Of Global Marketing and Communications with Cook Medical and a Greater Ellettsville Area Chamber of Commerce board member, explains that “the initial scope of the effort was to create a community-wide shared vision. We welcomed participation from local government, businesses, homeowners, nonprofits, and school leadership.” 

A partnership between the Town of Ellettsville, the Ellettsville Chamber of Commerce, and Ellettsville Main Street was established, and a volunteer committee was formed to identify a path forward. Later that year, the committee applied for and received a grant from the Community Foundation to help with the effort. 

As co-chair of the Envision Ellettsville project, Christa acknowledged that the town has very few paid resources. “The grant was a significant gift,” she said. “It enabled us to hire a professional consultant to guide the strategic planning process, do the research, and deliver recommendations.” For nearly a year, focus groups and in-depth research helped to identify clear, concise, and fiscally responsible steps that Ellettsville should implement. 

Animated conversations focused on the features that contribute to a growing community’s quality of life – like safe neighborhoods, quality schools, a vibrant downtown, more housing options, parks, and outdoor spaces that the entire community could enjoy. 

“We unveiled our vision in May of 2022, and it has served as the context for the town leadership and community advisory council to evaluate future development, prioritize investment, and craft long-range plans,” she added. 

The Envision Ellettsville Vision Plan includes big ideas for placemaking and improvements that leverage the town’s current assets and aspirations for the future. Examples include new gathering spaces, community gateways, wayfinding signage, and artwork installations.

The Community Foundation increased its Ellettsville representation to its board of directors in recent years with the additions of Dr. Jerry Sanders, Superintendent of Richland-Bean Blossom Community School Corporation, in 2021 and Christa Curtis in July 2022.

The community’s visioning efforts were even recognized in May 2023 by the Indiana Chapter of the American Planning Association. The Outstanding Comprehensive Plan Award was given to the Envision Ellettsville board and the Town of Ellettsville based on its originality and innovative approach to address needs, state-of-the-art presentation and methodology, strong effort to solicit community input, and effectiveness in identifying steps for implementation.

From Ideas to Implementation

Ellettsville’s momentum hasnít slowed down with the completed Vision Plan. In fact, it’s only increased. The town is updating its comprehensive plan, pursuing additional grants, and beginning to put the big ideas into action.

One of these big ideas identified in the vision is to establish new parks and expand trails. In addition to gathering feedback from various people and businesses, Christa said the committee invited a third-grade class to brainstorm the kinds of projects they would like to see. She said the kids had two requests: “We want a dog park, and we want to be able to continue to play in the creek.” She said that even the town manager, Michael Farmer, grew up in Ellettsville and played in the creek as a kid. 

Christa said she is confident that Jack’s Defeat Creek will remain a permanent fixture in the town’s future. Plans are in place for a new park on the former Stewart Family farmland located along Jack’s Defeat Creek, which flows into Beanblossom Creek. 

Stewart Park will ultimately connect the Heritage Trail with Monroe County’s Karst Farm Park. The town hopes to have an outdoor amphitheater there for entertainment, along with food trucks that will attract both locals and visitors. Ellettsville also hired its first parks and recreation employee, Rick Plunkett, who serves part-time as its Sports Director. 

The Town of Ellettsville was also awarded a Regional Economic Acceleration and Development Initiative (READI) grant to transform a historic barn into the Ellettsville Heritage Center at Stewart Park. 

The Center will be for the use of the community as a gathering space, music venue, and for artistic and educational enrichment. The anticipated completion date for the Ellettsville Heritage Center project is December 2024. For project updates, check out www.envisionellettsville.org.

New Home for Historic Cabin

In 2022, the Community Foundation awarded the Town of Ellettsville an Impact Grant to relocate and preserve a 558-square-foot log cabin. This grant was made possible thanks to unrestricted funds and distributions from the Hoosier Hills Credit Union Better for our Communities Endowment. The Hoosier Hills Credit Union fund is a field of interest endowment created to support programs and organizations that improve the quality of life in the Ellettsville community.

Denise Line, Planning Director for the town of Ellettsville, gave us a quick update on the big move of the “Log Cabin Museum.”

Originally constructed in Greene County in the 1880s, it was donated to the town a few years earlier by Richland Senior Citizens, Inc. The problem, she said, “is that the town had no way of dismantling or moving it. Until it fell into disrepair, the cabin was a prominent feature of the Fall Festival as a quasi-museum with displays and a back porch where people could gather.” For many years, she said, “the cabin hosted elementary school field trips so children could get a sense of how folks lived in pioneer times.”

Thanks to the grant from the Community Foundation, the new site for the log cabin was prepared this summer, the footers were poured, and the move was coordinated with local utilities. 

Denise reports that “the log cabin was permanently moved to the Heritage Trail site near the Ellettsville Town Hall just in time for this year’s Fall Festival.” She says that eventually, the restored log cabin will serve as an educational resource for the community and be more interactive, with photos, signage, and narration to share with the general public. 

Other Recent Ellettsville Community Foundation Grants 

For decades, the town of Ellettsville has been the recipient of donors’ generosity and support. Grants from the Community Foundation have contributed to its charm as a place to visit or call home. 

For example, the Edgewood Early Childhood Center received a Community Foundation Creating Community grant to construct a new outdoor shelter adjacent to the playground for classes and community events. This grant was also made possible thanks to unrestricted funds and distributions from the Hoosier Hills Credit Union Better for our Communities Endowment. 

Heather Kensek, Early Childhood Center Director, says that the outdoor shelter and picnic area was completed in November 2022 and has been very well received by the school and the community. 

“We celebrated the space earlier this spring by inviting families to a play date at the center,” she said. “We are so grateful for the support from the Community Foundation. We didn’t have the money in our budget to provide such a space, and it was sorely needed.” Heather says the space offers shade and protection from the rain. The picnic tables provide seating for 25 for outdoor group activities. Community members are welcome to use the area anytime school isn’t in session. 

Other Ellettsville grants include:

  • Safe and enhanced parking options at Heritage Trail, a half-mail multipurpose trail located in the heart of downtown Ellettsville.
  • Dollars for Scholars to support educational scholarships for Edgewood High School seniors.
  • Richland Bean Blossom Community Schools Trust-Based Relational Intervention (TBRI) training. TBRI training focuses on building trust and safety as foundational components to address students’ social and emotional needs and behavioral and learning challenges.
  • Richland Bean Blossom Schools parent liaisons to facilitate learning through family engagement activities such as events, resource development, and home visits.