CFWC Receives a Large-Scale Community Leadership Grant

The Community Foundation of Whitley County, Inc. has received a Large-Scale Community Leadership Grant of $2.673 million through the seventh phase of Lilly Endowment Inc.’s Giving Indiana Funds for Tomorrow (GIFT VII) initiative. The grant will support a strategic community framework known as Next Level Whitley County. The goals of this work include reducing jail recidivism, supporting mental health needs and addressing workforce development demands in Whitley County.

The Community Foundation of Whitley County is one of 11 community foundations in Indiana to receive a Large-Scale Leadership Grant as part of a competitive component of the GIFT VII initiative. Through GIFT VII, Lilly Endowment encouraged Indiana’s community foundations to deepen their understanding of the most pressing challenges and opportunities facing their local communities, prioritize them and develop plans to address the challenges and opportunities. The Large-Scale Leadership Grants are in addition to non-competitive GIFT VII Community Leadership Grants that Lilly Endowment made earlier this year to 87 of Indiana’s community foundations. The Community Foundation of Whitley County received a $100,000 leadership grant in September.
Next Level Whitley County is an unprecedented partnership for the community, knitting together government, nonprofits, private business, education and the pubic, to create a vision that will bring large scale change to our area. Through significant investment in the Whitko Career Academy, Whitley County Community Corrections and Mission 25, Next Level Whitley County will offer new opportunities for enhancing the quality of life for local residents. 

“The collaborative work that has unfolded under Next Level Whitley County is a priority of our organization and it will remain so over the coming years. If the Community Foundation were to commit every unrestricted dollar we have to this work, it would have taken us ten years to fully fund the project; this grant allows the vision to find optimum success by unfolding swiftly. It also allows the Community Foundation to continue directing our unrestricted grant making dollars to other worthy, local endeavors,” said September McConnell, CEO of the Community Foundation. 

“The 11 grants Lilly Endowment is funding through the highly-competitive component of GIFT VII hold great promise of helping community foundations strengthen the leadership roles they play in improving the quality of life for their communities’ residents” said Ronni Kloth, Lilly Endowment’s vice president for community development. “We are truly impressed by the collaborative projects these community foundations have developed to address the compelling needs they have prioritized and look forward to seeing the impact of their efforts in the years to come.”

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