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GIFT Giving Indiana Funds for Tomorrow

A Major Philanthropic Program for Communities in Indiana

In reflecting on nearly 25 years of the Giving Indiana Funds for Tomorrow (GIFT) initiative, Lilly Endowment takes great pride in being associated with the thousands of people throughout Indiana's 92 counties who have in some way contributed to the successful launching and development of Indiana's community foundations. Today a community foundation or affiliate serves every Indiana county. Their combined assets are approximately $2 billion, up from an aggregate value of some $30 million in 1990 when GIFT began.

Perhaps as important as the financial development of the foundations during the past two decadeswas the emergence of community foundations as civic conveners and forces for the improvement of the quality of life in Indiana communities. The community foundation model clearly has been shown to be an effective vehicle for enhancing the prospects for brighter futures for Indiana communities.

The Endowment is grateful for the conscientious efforts Indiana community foundations exerted through the first five GIFT phases and three programs - Taking Stock, Sustaining Resource Development and Community Foundation Internships. Grants for asset building, operating support, special projects, fundraising and capacity building, and technical assistance have encouraged public support and engaged the interest of local citizens in improving the lives around them. Because of the participation and contributions of community-minded residents throughout the state, the efforts funded through the GIFT initiative have had considerable success. The responses in many ways affirmed one of the basic purposes of the GIFT initiative: to build the capacity of Indiana communities to be self-reliant and to be more able to shape their own destinies by having local control over the use of their community foundations' resources.

The Indiana Philanthropy Alliance Foundation (IPAF) provides technical assistance for the GIFT initiative, which includes an annual calendar of programs and on-site visits for community foundations. Technical assistance and training are available to all participants, including board members, staff and volunteers. IPAF works in partnership with the Indiana Philanthropy Alliance. Both can be reached at

The program director for this grant program is Ace Yakey, 317/924-5471.

For more information about the most current program, GIFT Phase VI, click to download PDF.