25 Years in 2023
“The best way to predict the future is to create it.” – Abraham Lincoln
Twenty-five years ago, when Lilly Endowment Inc. launched GIFT III (Giving Indiana Funds for Tomorrow), many of Indiana’s community foundations were formed, including your Community Foundation of White County, then known as the White County Community Foundation.
Leadership at Lilly Endowment Inc. understood its great responsibility to the large assets it held and determined that the best way to generate state-wide change through the power of philanthropy was to empower communities at the local level to address their unique needs and strengths.
When the GIFT program first launched in 1990, about a dozen community foundations existed in Indiana. By our inception in 1998, every county in Indiana was being served by a community foundation, thanks to the leadership and support of the GIFT program.
It was twenty-five years ago too when Connie Neininger led a group of community leaders on this new venture, ensuring that the Community Foundation of White County would be a sound asset for generations to come. She envisioned a sustainable and flexible tool that could help individuals carry out their charitable dreams. She envisioned a resource that could uplift our community in ways that our partners on the ground could bring to life. Connie, the Community Foundation’s first Executive Director, understood that planting a seed for today, was planting shade and nourishment for tomorrow.
Since our humble beginnings in 1998, almost $5 million dollars has been awarded into our community—that’s thanks to the commitment of hundreds of individuals who believe in the transformative power of local philanthropy.
As we step into our 25th year of serving White County, we will share stories of legacies, impact, and connection made possible by the partnerships built these past twenty-five years. We’ll journey back in time, reflecting on the path that led us here.
And because community foundations are uniquely built to grow and last, we’ll also look ahead to the future. With exciting new ventures on the horizon, we are honored to continue walking this path with you to best serve White County.
To celebrate 25 years of strengthening and transforming White County, we invite you to donate $25 today that will go toward a special proactive grant later this year. To get even more festive, a generous donor has stepped up to match your gift 1:1, up to $25,000, making your $25 gift into $50, or your $1,000 into $2,000! Join the “25 by 25” Challenge and be a part of awarding $50,000 in celebration of 25 years!
Interested in getting involved in our 25th Anniversary celebration or learning more about how we can help you fulfill your charitable dreams? Reach out to Executive Director, Lucy Dold at (574) 583-6911.