LAWRENCEBURG, Ind., January 29, 2016 – The Dearborn Community Foundation (DCF), Inc. challenged the community to help meet an endowment fundraising goal and Dearborn County came through, meeting the goal well in advance of a March 31, 2016, deadline.
DCF offered the Community Challenge matching campaign in the summer of 2014 thanks to a grant from Lilly Endowment, Inc.’s Giving Indiana Funds for Tomorrow (GIFT) initiative. The Foundation received approval from Lilly Endowment to participate in the GIFT VI initiative, which provided DCF with $500,000 in matching funds for contributions to endowment and operations at the Foundation.
Contributors met the challenge by donating $750,000 allowing DCF to match the $500,000. Thanks to donors and Lilly Endowment, DCF’s overall endowment for the community grew by nearly $1.25 million in less than a year and a half.
“It’s just incredible how folks in our community and beyond came through to meet this challenge,” said Fred McCarter, DCF Executive Director. “It is gratifying to know contributors value endowment and what it means to our county’s future. We encouraged and challenged more individuals, organizations and businesses in our community to participate in philanthropy through endowment at the Foundation and, as usual, they came through.
McCarter also said DCF and the community is thankful to Lilly Endowment for once again providing such a great opportunity to further develop the Dearborn County community’s perpetual legacy of self-reliance.
Half of the $500,000 provided by Lilly Endowment was set aside for $1-for-$1 matches to contributions to any new or existing Community Funds (also known as unrestricted endowments) at DCF. The other $250,000 was set aside for matches of 50-cents on the dollar for donations to any other type of new or existing endowments at the Foundation. Additionally, contributions to DCF operations received the 50-cent match.
Since there were two different types of matches, it took a total of $750,000 in community contributions to achieve the goal of the $500,000 match from Lilly Endowment. Since the challenge was met, DCF is now able to put $1.25 million to work in Dearborn County.
The GIFT VI guidelines required DCF to utilize at least $250,000 of the challenge grant to match contributions to unrestricted endowment funds, which are commonly referred to as Community Funds. Donors contribute to Community Funds because they realize the needs of the community change over time. Contributions to these types of endowment funds help the Foundation board of directors and staff to address those changing needs in the community. Community Funds provide grants to programs that support victims of abuse or violence, feed and shelter people in need, impact environment, build trails and recreational projects, encourage educational as well as arts and cultural experiences and much more – here in Dearborn County.
Lilly Endowment’s GIFT initiative, which began in 1990, was designed to help local Indiana communities develop the philanthropic capacity to address their own needs and challenges. Now, 94 Community Foundations and county affiliate funds throughout Indiana make grants to support local charitable organizations in all of Indiana’s 92 counties. Thanks to Lilly Endowment’s GIFT initiative and thousands of donors, volunteers and foundation staff throughout the state, the aggregate value of assets of Indiana Community Foundations has increased from $30 million to nearly $2 billion, and those foundations have paid grants totaling more than $915 million.
Established in December 1997 during the early phases of the GIFT initiative, DCF has provided a way for members of the community to realize their philanthropic goals for nearly 18 years. DCF, a 501 (c) (3) tax-exempt public charity, helps donors’ dreams come true by safeguarding endowments for the community through contributions large and small. Grants awarded by the Dearborn Community Foundation support the needs and interests in Dearborn County in the fields of Art, Culture and Humanities, Community and Public Benefit, Education, Environment and Animal Protection, Human Services, Public Safety and Youth Programs.
In January 2009, DCF received the nation’s highest philanthropic standards for operational quality, integrity and accountability: the seal of approval from the National Standards for U.S. Community Foundations Program operated by the Council on Foundations (COF), a national professional association based in Washington, D.C. DCF was reconfirmed for the National Standards by the COF in 2014.
To learn more about DCF, call 812-539-4115, stop by the office at 322 Walnut Street in Lawrenceburg, or visit the Foundation website at www.dearborncf.org.