The Vanderburgh Community Foundation Receives $200,000 Grant Through Lilly Endowment Inc.’s Gift VII Community Leadership Grant

(Vanderburgh County, Indiana)  The Vanderburgh Community Foundation, an affiliate of the Community Foundation Alliance, has received a Community Leadership Grant of $200,000 as part of the seventh phase of Lilly Endowment Inc.’s Giving Indiana Funds for Tomorrow (GIFT VII) initiative.  With this grant, the Community Foundation will support a pilot program utilizing neighborhood-based, wrap-around case management services focused on helping families to achieve financial self-sufficiency.

The Vanderburgh Community Foundation is one of 84 foundations in Indiana receiving grants through this round of GIFT VII grantmaking. Lilly Endowment created GIFT in 1990 to help local communities in Indiana develop the philanthropic capacity to identify local needs and challenges. It launched GIFT VII in 2018 and made available a total of $125 million to help foundations strengthen their leadership capacities in the towns, cities and counties they serve. Lilly Endowment expects to make additional GIFT VII grants in the coming months.

“Lilly Endowment’s GIFT VII initiative has allowed community foundations to enhance our partnerships with local organizations to achieve a greater impact in our communities through this phased grant opportunity,” says Jill Carpenter, president and CEO of the Community Foundation Alliance. “These implementation grants allow us to continue that work, alongside our community partners, and directly impact key development indicators – leading change for generations to come.”

As part of GIFT VII, The Vanderburgh Community Foundation was awarded a planning grant of $100,000 in 2019 to convene local stakeholders to identify, prioritize and assess opportunities and challenges in Vanderburgh. In March 2020, the Foundation was invited to apply for a GIFT VII Community Leadership Grant to implement strategies and activities identified during the planning period.

“The Vanderburgh Community Foundation undertook an extensive process to assess community needs prior to developing our implementation grant proposal. Through numerous conversations with community nonprofit leaders and other stakeholders, I was reminded of the vibrancy and diversity of our community. I am extremely grateful for the countless individuals whose daily mission is to help all residents of Vanderburgh County thrive.” says Sidney Hardgrave, Regional Director of Community Engagement and Impact.

The Vanderburgh Community Foundation will be partnering with three neighborhood-based social service providers to design and initiate wrap-around case management services, focused on helping individuals and families become more financially self-sufficient. Services will be structured as a pilot project, which is intended to align with other community efforts addressing poverty. The Vanderburgh Community Foundation is partnering with the Dream Center, Potter’s Wheel, and the Memorial Community Development Corporation to successfully implement this pilot project.

“The Lilly Endowment is a strong supporter of community foundations throughout Indiana and we are grateful for their recognition and unique role of supporting our foundation, so we can continue to serve as community leaders imagining and inspiring a brighter future for Vanderburgh County.” says Kim Schultz, the Vanderburgh Community Foundation advisory board president.   To learn more about the research conducted during the planning grant, or to download the detailed Community Indicator Report for your community, please visit