Giving Indiana for Tomorrow (GIFT)

You may not know this but Indiana is the only state in the country that has a community foundation representing every single county. In 1990, Lilly Endowment Inc. launched its first Giving Indiana for Tomorrow initiative (better known as GIFT). This initiative launched nearly all of the Indiana community foundations while a handful of us were created in earlier years as trusts – for us it was June 1922.

Over the years, Lilly Endowment Inc. (LEI) has continued to support the growth and relevance of community foundations in Indiana through this GIFT initiative. In October of 2023, LEI announced their eighth phase of GIFT along with $210 million of support community foundations in their efforts to:

1) grow their financial resources to promote long-term viability and sustainability

2) further strengthen their leadership capabilities; and

3) develop and implement strategic programs, projects and initiatives that enhance their communities’ quality of life.

For the Community Foundation of Greater Fort Wayne, we are eligible for up to $16.2 million (!) from LEI through 4 program opportunities. As you can imagine, there are all sorts of requirements, matches, convening, planning, and collaboration along the way and all of us across the state are just learning how all of this is going to work. Nonetheless, this is another huge opportunity for us to further our work in Allen County! As we provide updates in these newsletters, we will refer to this as GIFT VIII. Stay tuned!