Foundations for Our Future
By proclamation of Governor Mitch Daniels, July 25th, 2011 will serve as the state’s Community Foundation Day. Governor Daniels’ acknowledgement is an important – and timely – one: Community foundations are longstanding and invaluable conduits connecting donors to the causes they care about, a service that improves countless lives, supports many meaningful organizations and makes life better for us all.
But increasingly, foundations including Central Indiana Community Foundation (CICF) are assuming larger and more prominent roles, creating (and securing funding for) programs and initiatives designed to overcome critical long-term needs and providing a guiding vision that makes meaningful change possible.
Created in 1999, Central Indiana Community Foundation brought together The Indianapolis Foundation, serving Marion County since 1916 and Legacy Fund, serving Hamilton County since 1991. Since its inception, hundreds of central Indiana families have relied on CICF to realize their goals of helping their neighbors and building a better central Indiana.
Community foundations throughout Indiana – many made possible through Lilly Endowment Inc.’s GIFT (Giving Indiana Funds For Tomorrow) initiative – serve as cost-effective philanthropic partners for individuals, families and businesses and enable informed, constituent-based grantmaking to happen. Having an expert grantmaking organization that understands local needs and opportunities, as well as donor interests, increases the effectiveness of charitable giving in practical and emotional ways.
Through its long history and service in central Indiana, CICF has accumulated the knowledge and expertise necessary to develop integrated community leadership initiatives that reflect systematic approaches to addressing our region’s long-standing challenges. The Family Success Initiative is focused on helping central Indiana’s many low-income families build the assets and financial literacy they need to become self-sufficient. The College Readiness and Success Initiative was created to help more of our communities’ children enter postsecondary education – and succeed once they get there. And the Inspiring Places Initiative was created to ensure our region has a sustainable and connected approach to unique neighborhoods and community amenities that add value to living here while they attract visitors, new businesses and those hoping to live, work and play in a vibrant, successful community.
Examples of CICF’s leadership are everywhere, and include the Indianapolis Cultural Trail: A Legacy of Gene and Marilyn Glick, a world-class urban bike and pedestrian path connecting neighborhoods, Cultural Districts and entertainment amenities. Made possible by CICF, 37 Place in Martindale Brightwood is becoming a vital community center. Grameen Bank, a world-renowned micro-lender with an impressive record of helping impoverished families climb to self-sufficiency will open soon in Indianapolis due to CICF’s help. These are only a few of the programs and outcomes underscoring Central Indiana Community Foundation’s role as the foundation for our community’s future.
Together we believe these initiatives will build the intellectual capacity of the region in order to attract, develop and retain the 21st Century talent we need to strengthen our economy – and community – for years to come. They will also improve the quality of life for everyone who chooses to visit Central Indiana – or call it home.
These are only a few local examples; undoubtedly communities in every county throughout Indiana can proudly share their own. Governor Daniel’s proclamation of July 25, 2011 as Community Foundation Day in Indiana is well-deserved recognition, and on behalf of the Central Indiana Community Foundation and community foundations around the state, it is greatly appreciated.
Central Indiana Community Foundation