Community Foundation of Southern Indiana Awarded $50K Planning Grant

The Community Foundation of Southern Indiana (CFSI) has received a $50,000 planning grant as part of the eighth phase of Lilly Endowment Inc.’s initiative, Giving Indiana Funds for Tomorrow (GIFT VIII). With the grant, CFSI will partner with local organizations to form a Community Advisory Board for a local Housing Study, as well as host community “listening sessions” to hear from our residents about important needs and priorities.

The Community Foundation of Southern Indiana is one of 92 community foundations and affiliate funds in Indiana receiving planning grants through GIFT VIII. These grants are designed to help community foundations collaborate with local partners to engage broad and diverse stakeholders in their communities and deepen their understanding of their communities’ highest-priority challenges and opportunities. Later in 2024, CFSI will have the opportunity to request funding to implement strategic initiatives and activities developed during the planning period that address especially compelling needs in Clark and Floyd counties.

“The GIFT VIII Planning Grant is an exciting opportunity to bring significant funding into our community to support what our community identifies as the greatest needs and highest priorities,” said Linda Speed, CFSI President and CEO. “Based on the research we gathered in our 2020 Assessment of Needs and Priorities in Clark and Floyd Counties report, homelessness and affordable housing options ranked among the top issues of greatest concern locally. We’re looking forward to working collaboratively with regional partners to best meet the needs of our communities.

The Housing Study, which is a collaborative project between CFSI, the Homeless Coalition of Southern Indiana, and the Applied Research and Education Center at Indiana University Southeast, aims to assess the current and future needs for affordable housing in Clark and Floyd counties. It will identify the strengths and gaps in the existing housing programs and services, as well as develop recommendations for cross-sector strategies to address challenges throughout the region.

The listening sessions, which will take place this spring at various locations throughout the two counties, will also be conducted by the Applied Research and Education Center at IUS. Residents will have an opportunity to express their opinions and engage in community conversations on current and future needs of the region.

Lilly Endowment created the GIFT initiative in 1990 to help local communities in Indiana develop the philanthropic capacity to identify local needs and challenges and work with other organizations to help their communities thrive. Through GIFT VIII, Lilly Endowment has allocated up to $210 million to support Indiana’s community foundations in growing their financial resources and further strengthening their ability to address their community’s highest-priority challenges and opportunities.

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IT'S OFFICIAL: The Community Foundation of Southern Indiana has been awarded a $3.75 MILLION Matching Grant from the Lilly Endowment! Learn how you can help us award an estimated additional $200,000 in local grants - a 50% annual increase - each year. Forever.

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