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The Journal Gazette

Thursday, March 14, 2019 1:00 am

Community Foundation gets gift

$2 million grant part of Lilly Endowment initiative

Journal Gazette

The Community Foundation of Greater Fort Wayne has received a $2 million grant from Lilly Endowment Inc.'s seventh phase of its Giving Indiana Funds for Tomorrow initiative.

With GIFT VII, the endowment is making up to $125 million available to help Indiana community foundations strengthen their area communities.

The foundation is using the matching fund grant to build financial assets and support to charitable activities, according to a news release Wednesday.

“The matching fund grant is designated to support the growth of the Community Foundation's unrestricted endowments, which over time will provide flexibility to help the Community Foundation meet community needs,” the news release said.

Lilly Endowment will provide $2 for every $1 contributed to the unrestricted endowments such as the Community Impact Fund during the matching period – Oct. 1, 2018, through Dec. 31, 2020.

“We are so appreciative and fortunate to have such a wonderful partner in Lilly Endowment,” Brad Little, president and CEO at the Community Foundation, said in a statement. “Our goal is to use this 2:1 match to both engage and encourage our existing donors and to reach out to prospective donors. This is the perfect opportunity to leverage a gift that will strengthen our ability to invest in some pretty amazing non-profits.”

The GIFT initiative is part of Lilly Endowment's grant-making to strengthen Indiana communities and has been a priority of the endowment since the first phase of GIFT in 1990.

Starting this year, the Community Foundation will be able to apply for more funds through GIFT VII's community leadership grants.

This component includes both planning and implementation grants, which are available to help the foundation better understand the challenges and opportunities facing the community and convene local stakeholders and explore how it can effectively play a leadership role in implementing initiatives and strategies that improve the quality of life.

Lilly Endowment Inc. is a private philanthropic foundation in Indianapolis that was created in 1937 by three members of the Lilly family through gifts of stock in their pharmaceutical business, Eli Lilly & Co. 

The Community Foundation had assets of about $141.7 million as of Dec. 31 and awarded more than $6 million in charitable grants and scholarships last year.