Community Foundation Board Meets Lilly Endowment Inc. Challenge

November 25, 2020 / 5 mins read

Contact: Melissa Ford

For Immediate Release

Date: 11/25/2020

Community Foundation Board Meets Lilly Endowment Inc., Challenge


Back Row: Rusty Coulter-Kern, Lew Curless, Todd Lybarger, John Philippsen, Jim Chinworth, Mark Ford,

Jim Widner Front Row: Dave Mann, Josh Petruniw, Susan Manwaring, Brian Howenstine (President), Brian Peas, Jim Smith

The Community Foundation of Wabash County has received a $100,000 grant as part of the seventh phase of Lilly Endowment Inc.’s Giving Indiana Funds for Tomorrow (GIFT VII) community foundation initiative. This unrestricted grant can be used for any charitable purposes the community foundation chooses.

As part of this GIFT VII grant opportunity, each community foundation that achieved 100 percent board member giving during the period from January 1, 2019, through June 30, 2020, was eligible to receive an unrestricted grant of $100,000 per county served. This grant is in recognition of the important role that the community foundation’s board of directors plays both in leading the foundation and serving communities across Wabash County.

Dave Mann, a current Community Foundation board member reflected upon receiving this award and his many years of serving on the Foundation’s board.

In 2001, I was asked to be part of the Community Foundation’s Development Committee that had recently been challenged with Lilly Endowment GIFT, Phase V, which offered all Indiana Community Foundations up to $2 million in unrestricted endowment on a matching basis. I had some experience in fundraising, and I had made some contributions to the Community Foundation in the past, so it seemed like it would be a good fit. I was excited for what the Endowment’s matching opportunity could mean to our community. After successfully meeting GIFT V, I became an even stronger champion of “unrestricted giving” to our Community Foundation. By serving on the board, I see that decisions are made on the behalf of Wabash County’s needs, and I trust future boards to make appropriate community-centered decisions. Serving many years on the Community Foundation Board and its Development Committee has allowed me to become more familiar with the work of the Foundation and its role in the community. My wife and I were also inspired to make deferred gift designations to the Foundation. Again, I appreciate more than words can express the challenges and opportunities that Lilly Endowment Inc, provides to Indiana community foundations and especially the Community Foundation of Wabash County to meet current and future needs of our community.

“On behalf of the Wabash County community, I express appreciation to the Community Foundation Board for their dedication in serving Wabash County and the Community Foundation. It is a privilege to work with such talented and thoughtful individuals who give so generously.” said Patty Grant, Executive Director of the Community Foundation. “Were it not for their deep and abiding sense of citizenship, this award would not be possible; the county is blessed by their leadership and contributions.”

The Community Foundation serves Wabash County through grant-making to county nonprofits, services to donors, and stewardship of over $55 million in charitable assets. The Foundation with Grow Wabash County and the County’s incorporated city and towns is leading Imagine One 85, an initiative to develop a countywide comprehensive plan to improve the quality of life in Wabash County, bring prosperity to each of the county’s communities, and grow population. The Foundation’s Board over the last decade has prioritized talent development and educational attainment as its strategic imperative, which is addressed through grant-making related to workforce development and leadership in early childhood learning and the Early Award Scholarship Program.

“I am proud to support the excellent work of the CFWC and the organization’s tireless efforts to raise the educational level of all students in the county,” says CFWC board member, Rusty Coutler-Kern. “Their work will have lasting benefits for us all, and we are fortunate to have such dedicated staff who are doing groundbreaking work on behalf of the entire community! I would like to thank Lilly Endowment for their generous and continual support of the Community Foundation of Wabash County.”

Lilly Endowment Inc. is an Indianapolis-based private philanthropic foundation created in 1937 by J.K. Lilly, Sr. and his sons Eli and J.K. Jr. through gifts of stock in their pharmaceutical business, Eli Lilly and Company. Although the gifts of stock remain a financial bedrock of the Endowment, it is a separate entity from the company, with a distinct governing board, staff and location. In keeping with the founders’ wishes, the Endowment supports the causes of community development, education and religion. The Endowment funds significant programs throughout the United States, especially in the field of religion. However, it maintains a special commitment to its founders’ hometown, Indianapolis, and home state, Indiana.