Funds & Foundations

Helping Enhance Your Legacy

In the early 1990s, the Carmel-Clay Community Foundation and Hamilton County Parks Foundation set out to determine how charitable opportunities could be provided to Hamilton County residents. At that time, the majority of large donations the two organizations received were in the form of bequests – donations given upon the time of an individual’s death. The idea of helping people create a “living legacy” started to take shape.

Several community leaders – Alan Burns, George Burrell, Bob Campbell, Teri Hansen, Doug McDonald, Jane Merrill and George Sweet – joined with the foundations to form a steering committee aimed at further exploring the topic. The committee members and other residents soon recognized the value of creating a community foundation that was focused on guiding individuals and their families through charitable planning, as well as providing a professionally managed means of funding projects that would benefit the broader community.

The steering committee recommended dissolving the existing two foundations and creating a single community foundation that would serve the needs of all Hamilton County communities. In 1991, Legacy Fund was established.

In 1997, Legacy Fund affiliated with The Indianapolis Foundation, the community foundation for Marion County, to create the Central Indiana Community Foundation (CICF). Leaders of both organizations viewed the collaborative effort as a way to provide a broader level of charitable giving services and support to the communities they served. While Legacy Fund and The Indianapolis Foundation continue to serve the needs of their local communities, they also enjoy the synergies, strategic partnerships and resources of the regionally focused CICF.

Connecting the Dots to Improve Communities

Our work within the community with donors, not-for-profits and civic, business and government leaders is the foundation of a broad network of relationships and deep knowledge of community needs.

It is also the foundation of our leadership role in Hamilton County, and allows us to identify challenging issues and priorities plus the opportunities we must seize in order to improve lives throughout the community. We depend on collaboration with community partners and donors to help us make that transformation possible.

Many of our community strategy and leadership projects surround efforts that make Hamilton County an attractive place to live, work and play.

  • FAMILY SUCCESS: supporting families to be successful by helping them increase their earnings and assets;
  • INSPIRING PLACES: making central Indiana a top 10 region of choice with neighborhoods that are attractive, vibrant and safe; and
  • COLLEGE READINESS: preparing 6-12 graders to access and be successful in post-secondary programs.

Read more about how Legacy Fund and CICF are transforming lives through community leadership projects.

Give to an existing fund or community leadership initiative.