President/CEO Jen Pendleton

OK, so the last thing you probably need in your life is another blog.  But I promise, this one we are kicking off right here and now at the Community Foundation of Boone County – well, let me just say, you won’t want to miss this.

Why, you ask?

Well, quite honestly, we don’t want to do a lot of the talking.  I’ve been here at the Community Foundation of Boone County for a little over eight months and the truth of the matter is that it’s YOU that is making the difference, not us.  It’s YOU that give the gifts that empower us to help others.  So we plan to put you in direct contact with everyone who is making a difference.

Welcome to the FRONT ROW of how people are making a difference in Boone County, Indiana!

You’ll hear – in their own words – from scholarship recipients, nonprofit organizations, community leaders, recipients of grantee services, nonprofit board members, interns, winners of our Aaron Stookey Spirit of Philanthropy Award and many more.  We are so grateful for the opportunity you give us to make a difference in people’s lives, we want you to hear about it from the front lines.

At the Community Foundation, our dollars stay right here in Boone County to help friends, neighbors and organizations striving to impact the needs of our community.  What better way to learn about who we are and what we do than from the people we are privileged to impact every day, because of the donors that make it possible?

But for this particular entry, you are stuck with me.

To kick us off, I just want to share with you some of the biggest misconceptions about our work that I have come across since I started as the Community Foundation’s President/CEO in May of 2013. Enjoy and stay tuned!

The Top 5 Misconceptions about the Community Foundation of Boone County

1)    The Community Foundation Only Gives Away Scholarships

Scholarships are a big part of what many community foundations do, but we are so much more!  Did you know that the Community Foundation of Boone County has a Community Endowment Fund with open, competitive grant cycles for nonprofits seeking funding to enhance our communities and the quality of life for people living in Boone County?  For information, check out our updated grant guidelines that will be posted to our website the week of February 4th.

2)    You Have to Have A lot of Money to Give to the Community Foundation

The Community Foundation accepts and appreciates gifts of all levels and they all make a difference for Boone County!  You also have many of choices in giving.  While you can opt to set up a named, permanent endowed fund for $5,000, gifts of all sizes are important and help us make a positive impact.  You can give the Community Foundation an unrestricted gift of any size to help us address our most immediate needs.  You can also support any of our funds that have different purposes and objectives, as well!  We are a one stop shop for making a difference here at home!

3)    It’s Difficult and Intimidating to Apply for a Grant

The Community Foundation strives to make applying for a grant as simple as possible, while getting the necessary detail to make smart decisions, per our selection criteria, that will benefit our communities.  Take a look at our process on our website when they are posted the week of February 4th.  It might not be as difficult as you think!  We also have staff members who are EAGER to talk to you to find out more about your organization and project.  We’d love to consult with you even before you decide to apply to see if we think it could be a good fit!  And, I actually think we are quite friendly and fun!  Not intimidating!

4)    The Community Foundation is Limited in Scope

The truth is, community foundations can have hundreds of funds with varying purposes!  Some are directed by the donors that established the funds, some are directed by the board and the community endowment and others are set up to benefit specific causes and agencies.  We actually couldn’t be more diverse!  Many times our only limitation is that we really strive to help causes that are close to home and that is hardly a limitation!

We also try very hard to be at the forefront of the needs within our community, talking and visiting regularly with the nonprofits in the county, listening to the needs and ideas of residents and encouraging dialogue and collaboration among organizations that have similar purposes and programs.  So the truth is, we really attempt to be quite the opposite – our scope is quite broad!

5)    The Community Foundation has, spends and invests its own money for granting.

I always joke with staff and say “OK, it’s time to harvest the money trees!”  It seems that may people think the money appears from thin air!  In truth, while the funds from most community foundations in Indiana were started by matching grants and encouragement from the Lilly Endowment, our success today is because of the many caring individuals, families and organizations who have made donations and established their own funds to help make a difference in our communities!  So any time we make a grant, it’s only because someone was generous enough to share with us, that we are now able to give back to the community.  It is only because of donations from people like you that we are able to do our good work.

Gifts and grants large and small make our work possible and the Community Foundation of Boone County can be a one-stop-shop for charitable giving for yourself, your family, company or favorite nonprofit organization.

So, now that that’s all cleared up, I ask you to stay tuned to hear from our generous community – those who give and the people working hard to make a difference in so many lives.  Later this week you’ll hear from our first guest blogger, 2013 Lilly Scholarship recipient Kate O’Rourke!

Email Jen here!