GIFT VIII Matching Grant

Help Us IGNITE Change in Southern Indiana!

Flexible. Strategic. Evergreen.

In 1991, a group of residents envisioned building a charitable resource that would benefit nonprofits and residents of Southern Indiana, forever. Through their support, and with the help of funds from the Indianapolis-based Lilly Endowment Inc., the Community Foundation of Southern Indiana (CFSI) was established to create a permanent philanthropic resource for local communities.

Since then, CFSI has played a pivotal role in shaping the present – and inspiring the future – of our community in tangible, meaningful ways. We’ve done this through our grantmaking: over the last 33 years, the nearly-300 charitable funds held at CFSI have awarded more than $63 MILLION in grants – primarily to local organizations and programs.

One endowment fund, however, is responsible for nearly $4.45 million of that total: the Community Impact Fund.

The sole purpose of the unrestricted Community Impact Fund is to make grants that address the highest needs and greatest priorities of our Clark and Floyd County service area. Just last year, the fund awarded nearly half-a-million dollars to organizations that are directly impacting people’s lives each day.

What’s unique about this particular endowment is that while our region’s future needs and objectives will almost definitely differ from those in place today, funding within the Community Impact Fund provides CFSI with important grant flexibility down the road, helping us address the ever-evolving needs of our community for generations to come.

To aid in identifying those needs and challenges, we rely on the local knowledge and expertise of our board of directors and staff, as well as the extensive research from our Community Needs Assessment, a resource produced in 2015 and updated in 2021 to explore the community’s aspirations for building on its assets to address the area’s highest priorities. (A supplement to the Community Needs Assessment articulating post-pandemic shifts in needs and priorities is expected in 2025.) With the Needs Assessment as our guide, we use the income generated annually by the invested principal of the Community Impact Fund to make grants that improve the lives of residents by addressing the area’s needs and priorities. Recently, this has meant nearly half-a-million dollars in grants each year.

Now, as a community, we have an opportunity to create even more of an impact for our region.

Thanks to a generous opportunity from the Lilly Endowment, CFSI has been awarded $3,750,000 in funding to match contributions to its unrestricted Community Impact Fund as part of the Endowment’s Giving Indiana Funds for Tomorrow, Phase viii (GIFT VIII) initiative. The match is a $2-for-$1 matching grant, meaning the Foundation will need to raise $1,250,000 in contributions from our community to earn the entire match. Meeting the match means that $5,000,000 will be added to the Community Impact Fund, which will generate approximately $200,000 in additional grant funding, EVERY YEAR, for the needs and priorities of our community.

Robynn Webb (and family) at their home’s ribbon-cutting ceremony with Habitat for Humanity.

So, what does that mean?

Simply put, this initiative presents an opportunity to award more grants annually – by a substantial margin. And as a donor, you can TRIPLE your charitable impact to any gift made to CFSI’s unrestricted Community Impact Fund – which supports the greatest needs of our community, now and forever.

Each year from the Community Impact Fund, we award over $400,000 to organizations, projects, and programs that directly benefit Southern Indiana residents. By meeting our $5 million matching grant goal, the increased amount available to spend from the Community Impact Fund would allow for an estimated additional $200,000 in local grant awards – a 50% annual increase – each year. Forever.

That means many more projects like the ones we’ve supported since 2016, which you can see by clicking here. With an estimated $600,000 to grant every single year from now on, the increased impact on our counties through our discretionary grants is multiplied exponentially. Just take a moment to consider the possibilities…

To achieve this match, we will need the help of our entire community to raise $1.25 MILLION by Dec. 31, 2025. This is an ambitious goal, but we believe in the ongoing vision and generosity of our residents to help us meet it, carrying on the purpose and foresight of those who first helped CFSI get its start in 1991.

No matter what size gift is made, the amount will be matched $2 for every $1 donated, TRIPLING the impact of each gift.

When you support your local Community Foundation, you’re not just giving to a single entity – you’re investing in the entirety of your community. Together, we have the power to address pressing challenges, unlock potential, and nurture the seeds of growth and prosperity for everyone in our community.

This is a powerful reminder that collective efforts, grounded in local needs and aspirations, can yield meaningful change. We never underestimate the power that comes from all of us working together to improve our community. Won’t you join us in meeting this generous match?

Why Should I Give to CFSI’s Community Impact Fund?

As residents of this remarkable community, we all have a stake in its future. And one of the most powerful ways to make a difference is a gift through the Foundation’s Community Impact Fund.

BAYA founded Tanisha Frederick stands in front of her nonprofit’s empowerment board.

The Community Impact Fund is an unrestricted fund that supports the greatest needs of our community, now and forever. While our region’s future needs and objectives may differ from those in place today, a gift to the Community Impact Fund will provide future flexibility for the evolving needs of our community.

Here is why giving to the Community Impact Fund is an investment in the vitality and resiliency of our community:

Flexibility and Responsiveness: Unrestricted funds provide CFSI with the flexibility to respond quickly to emerging needs and opportunities within the community. Whether it’s addressing a sudden crisis – like the COVID-19 pandemic – or supporting ongoing programs that benefit residents, unrestricted funding allows us to allocate resources where they are needed the most, when they are needed the most.

Maximizing Impact: By giving to the Community Impact Fund, donors empower CFSI to strategically allocate resources to areas of greatest need and potential impact. Our deep understanding of local needs and priorities, along with our network of nonprofit partners, allows us to leverage donor contributions for maximum effectiveness, amplifying the impact of each donation.

Strengthening the Nonprofit Sector: Community foundations play a critical role in supporting the organizations that are the backbone of our communities. By contributing to our unrestricted fund, donors help sustain the Foundation’s capacity-building efforts to provide essential resources to nonprofit partners, and foster collaboration and innovation within the sector, ultimately strengthening the entire community ecosystem.

Creating a Legacy of Generosity: Giving to CFSI’s unrestricted fund allows donors to leave a legacy of generosity that will benefit Southern Indiana for years to come. Whether through a one-time gift, a recurring donation, or a planned gift, donors can make a meaningful and lasting impact on the lives of their fellow residents, leaving behind a legacy that reflects their values and commitment to community.

CFSI board and staff members at a Build Day for the Habitat for Humanity’s cul-de-sac project in Jeff.

How Has the Community Impact Fund Helped Locally?

None of us can predict the future. As a community, that’s why we are fortunate to have the Community Impact Fund.

This fund is a permanent, yet flexible resource to meet the current and pressing needs of our community – whatever those needs are today, and however they may evolve tomorrow. With our knowledge of the local community, guided by our committed board of local leaders, the Community Foundation can address what matters most to all of us as community members – now and for generations to come.

The Community Impact Fund is also a powerful way to support the health, vibrancy, and resilience of our community. By giving generously and trusting in the foundation’s expertise and leadership, donors can make a tangible difference in the lives of those who call Southern Indiana home.

Since 2016, we have awarded nearly $2.75 MILLION in unrestricted funding from the Community Impact Fund to support the growth, capacity, and sustainability of local organizations. To see the complete list of grants made from the Community Impact Fund since 2016, including how they address the most pressing needs of our area, please click here.

Shara Wiesenauer, a licensed mental health counselor and founder of Opening Gates, poses with her equine-therapy horse.

How Can I Help?

For nearly 35 years, you have trusted the Community Foundation of Southern Indiana to be your partner, resource, and steward for philanthropy in the region. We have helped our donors fulfill their charitable wishes, while supporting the critical work of our area’s nonprofit organizations with strategic grants.

By making a gift to the Community Impact Fund, you are supporting the long-term sustainability and viability of our community. From now until December 31, 2025, every $1 donated to our unrestricted Community Impact Fund will be matched with a $2 donation.

Your gift today will have THREE TIMES the impact on the lives of those in our community. This is a rare opportunity to maximize the power of your generosity while adding to the strength and resiliency of our community.

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IT'S OFFICIAL: The Community Foundation of Southern Indiana has been awarded a $5 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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