It was in 1990 that the tireless championing and unflagging persistence of a small group of community leaders resulted in the incorporation of what was then to be called the Bloomington Community Foundation. These founders had a vision of an organization designed to grow and evolve with this community forever. In April, 2015, that same Community Foundation will celebrate its 25th birthday.
In the early years, board members and staff reached out across the community to engage donors from all walks of life in building the beginnings of an endowment that would position the Community Foundation to respond to Monroe County’s most pressing needs and its most compelling opportunities, year after year.
Twenty-four years later, the Community Foundation of Bloomington and Monroe County holds 185 funds and $25 million in assets thanks to gifts from thousands of donors. More than $20 million has been returned to the community through strategic granting and investments in 379 unique charitable organizations in and around Bloomington, as a result.
In honor of Monroe County’s upcoming Bicentennial in 2018 and the Foundation’s 25th birthday, the Community Foundation’s Board of Directors has established the Bicentennial Fund. Proceeds from this fund will be used for impact granting across the community in areas as far reaching as the arts, education, healthcare, the environment, economic development and social services. Before the Bicentennial is celebrated in January, 2018, the Foundation is focused on growing the endowment substantially. A recent announcement from Lilly Endowment Inc. will help to make the goal attainable.
In July, Lilly Endowment Inc. announced GIFT Phase VI, an effort to promote sustainable and effective community foundations in Indiana. Through this initiative, the Endowment will make matching grants available to Indiana Community Foundations, with the amount based upon the county’s population. Monroe County is one of seventeen counties eligible for $1,000,000 in matching grant dollars to grow funds for strategic grantmaking across our community.
Community Foundation President and CEO, Tina Peterson, states, “The Lilly matching opportunity both incentivizes and challenges us to significantly grow our capacity to support this community, forever. By achieving our endowment goal and meeting the match requirements, we can increase our grantmaking in the community by almost $100,000 a year. This equates to a million dollars in a decade, $6 million in next fifty years. It’s a game changer!”
Board Chair, Judge Edward Najam, adds “The Community Foundation Board is enthusiastic to once again partner with the Lilly Endowment Inc, to maximize the impact of local gifts, to grow the Foundation’s Endowment, celebrate the Foundation’s 25th anniversary and Monroe County’s Bicentennial, all at the same time. The Community Foundation is on a roll and we continue to pursue that vision for the Foundation that our Founders passed down to us. We must continue to grow and evolve with our Community.”
Gifts to the Community Foundations Bicentennial Fund or to a new or existing unrestricted endowment fund will be matched dollar for dollar. Gifts qualifying for matching funds must consist of irrevocable contributions of cash or property which can include marketable securities, cash equivalents and real property including the present value of irrevocable deferred gifts. Multi-year pledges are also matchable as long as each gift is received by the Community Foundation before March 31, 2016. Specific incentives will be available for corporate giving.
Individuals wishing to learn more should contact the Community Foundation at 812.333.9016 or [email protected].
About Lilly Endowment Inc. Lilly Endowment Inc. launched the Giving Indiana Funds for Tomorrow (GIFT) initiative a quarter century ago to encourage the establishment and strengthening of community foundations as vehicles to improve the quality of life in Indiana communities. The success of Indiana’s community foundations over the intervening years has far exceeded the Endowment’s expectations when GIFT began. Now 94 community foundations and county affiliate funds throughout Indiana make grants to support local charitable organizations and programs in all of Indiana’s 92 counties. The number of community foundations in the state has grown that number from about a dozen in 1990. During the same period, the total value of the assets of Indiana Community Foundations that have regularly participated in GIFT has increased from an aggregate value of about $30 million to nearly $2 billion, and those community foundations have paid grants totaling more than $915 million. These results would not have been achieved without the imagination, generosity, commitment and leadership of thousands of donors, volunteers and foundation staff members throughout the state.
About The Community Foundation of Bloomington and Monroe County: The Community Foundation knows that vitality can come from all corners of our community. We make grants, offer expertise and lead in collaboration with others to meet our community’s most pressing needs and seize its most important opportunities. From early childhood development to aging, from basic needs to economic development, from the arts to the environment, our donors fuel innovative ideas and power lasting impact for our communities.