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Giving Indiana Funds for Tomorrow (GIFT) is a series of statewide initiatives and programs that began in 1990 to help establish and strengthen community foundations in Indiana and build their capacity to support the needs of their local communities. GIFT has helped community foundations build unrestricted endowments and fund special projects and has inspired others to give through challenge grants. GIFT also has encouraged community foundations to develop their leadership capacity so they can better understand and address the needs and aspirations of all the residents of their counties.
When GIFT began there were fewer than 12 community foundations in Indiana and the total value of the assets of those foundations, excluding the assets of the longstanding Indianapolis Foundation, was $30 million. Today there are community foundations serving each of Indiana’s 92 counties. The total value of the assets of the Indiana community foundations that have regularly participated in GIFT was approximately $3.5 billion at the end of 2020.
In December 2020, Lilly Endowment awarded $126.5 million to community foundations across Indiana through the seventh phase of the initiative (GIFT VII). The Endowment looked to build upon the momentum and successes of GIFT’s earlier phases and further cement Indiana’s community foundations as trusted and valued institutions. GIFT VII funding is helping community foundations raise financial resources, enhance their leadership competencies and address high-priority challenges and opportunities in the towns, cities and counties they serve.
To help improve the effectiveness and impact of community foundations, we regularly fund the to provide technical assistance, professional development and other educational opportunities for community foundation staff and board members.
The Gift of Planning: Community Foundations Bolster Leadership by Listening, Learning, Planning
Giving Indiana Funds for Tomorrow Initiative Strengthens Leadership and Addresses Communities’ Most Pressing Needs
GIFT VII Funding Invites Leaders to Envision Stronger Communities