Lilly Endowment
Gift Viii
Community Projects

Bringing Community Together The Brown County Community Foundation provides community-wide collaborative leadership through philanthropy, mobilizing people and resources to make a positive impact. Find Out More



The Brown County Community Foundation helps our donors build legacy endowments and partner with nonprofits to address needs through grantmaking. We distribute over $1 million in grants and scholarships annually to the Brown County community!



We serve as a vehicle for donors, volunteers, and community members to identify important issues, share ideas, and build financial resources to make positive long-term change.



Brown County Historical Society

During the building of the Brown County History Center, the Log Cabin Room logs were preserved, cut, and placed with the help of BCCF. BCCF also funded the Brown County History Mural project in the parking lot next door. BCCF also maintains an endowment that supports the Historical Society’s operations in perpetuity.

Brown County Music Center

BCCF provided funds toward the construction of this state of the art performance venue. The collaboration continues once the BCMC meets a certain threshold of cash reserves and is well positioned to impact the lives of many Brown Countians. At that time, 75% of the BCMC's "excess revenue" will come to the Community Foundation to be distributed as grants and scholarships for the benefit of our community.

Salt Creek Trail

Upon completion, the Salt Creek Trail will feature a 2.5-mile paved pedestrian trail for walking, running and bicycling, to eventually connect Brown County State Park with downtown Nashville. Advocates have been planning, fundraising and requesting grants since 2002. The Indiana Department of Transportation is funding much of the project, including a $1.8 million grant for three of the four development phases of the project. A $50,000 challenge grant from the Howard Hughes Legacy Fund through the Brown County Community Foundation was announced in 2014, and other grants through the foundation have included $20,000 in 2006 to be used as matching funds to initiate a fund drive.

Helping Hands – Mother’s Cupboard

In 2014, the BCCF received a Lilly Endowment challenge grant for $500,000 and used $75,000 of that to support the Project Helping Hands building campaign, a collaborative project between Habitat for Humanity and Mother’s Cupboard. The Helping Hands facility provided a new home at the Brown County Fairgrounds for the Mother’s Cupboard food bank and soup kitchen, and Habitat for Humanity, which builds houses for low-income families.

Pre-K Education

BCCF has been awarded grants to continue their commitment to supporting high quality early childhood learning experiences in Brown County. Through strategic alliances and recent funding awards, BCCF will continue to advance educational initiatives through their partnership with Brown County Schools.

BCCF was awarded a Community Leadership Grant of $100,000 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 continue support of their preschool scholarship program for families with three and four-years-olds who meet free and reduced lunch criteria. Over the last four years, BCCF has provided over $160,000 in grants for over 150 children to attend preschool in Brown County. National studies show these children will be more likely to graduate from high school, hold a job, avoid incarceration, and have higher lifetime earnings in their careers.

Career Resource Center (CRC)

The Brown County School Corporation and community members realized a $5,000,000 proposal funded by Lilly Endowment’s Community Alliance for Promoting Education (CAPE) grant. This CAPE grant funded the establishment of The Career Resource Center (CRC), a facility that provides a multitude of educational opportunities for the citizens of Brown County. The success of the initial CAPE grant and the partnership it supported brought in an additional $1.2 million from Lilly Endowment in support to the CRC in 2006.

Brown County Public Library

Perched atop a hill on Locust Lane overlooking downtown Nashville, the 18,000-square-foot Brown County Public Library is the crown jewel of the county’s public buildings, featuring sharp architectural detail and selected work by local artists and craftsmen. Construction of the new Brown County Public Library began in 2000, financed by a $2.5 million bond issue and a campaign with a goal of raising another $900,000.

Brown County Community YMCA

In 1997, The Lilly Endowment awarded $1,000,000 to BCCF as part of their Giving Indiana Funds for Tomorrow (GIFT) initiative. This funding allowed BCCF to direct $700,000 to the building of the YMCA and $200,000 to the new public library.

Access Brown County

The Access low-cost public transportation service started with a $20,000 grant from the Brown County Community Foundation in 2007. BCCF also arranged grant money for the 2004 Community Wide Needs Assessment which showed door-to-door transportation service as the No. 2 most unmet need in Brown County.

Brown County Playhouse

In 2011, together with the IU Foundation, BCCF returned the treasured and timeless playhouse back to local ownership. BCCF transferred the title of the Brown County Playhouse to the Brown County Management Group in 2013 with donations from the Hughes Estate and community donors.


What specifically does the Brown County Community Foundation do?

Brown County Community Foundation operates as a 501 (c)(3) corporation. It professionally manages and distributes income from charitable bequests consistent with the donor’s wishes and interests. In other words, BCCF manages charitable funds, making grants to local, nonprofit organizations based on advice from donors. Donors can specify a specific organization or a general area of concern within the community to which their gift be directed.



The Brown County Community Foundation provides community-wide collaborative leadership through philanthropy, mobilizing people and resources to make a positive impact. 


Our core values are: 



We seek and embrace the participation and perspectives of people and communities that reflect who we are as a region and we are committed to ensuring all residents have the opportunity to thrive.


We will uphold the public trust placed in us to ensure that we exhibit the highest ethical standards, honor our commitments, remain objective and transparent, and respect all our stakeholders.


We govern the organization with a “Duty of Care” and “Duty of Loyalty” to preserve, protect, and grow our resources while safeguarding donor intent in perpetuity.


We will lead by example, listening to the voices in our community to convene, connect, and catalyze positive change to build a better tomorrow.


We believe the power of imagination is greater than the challenges we face and support programs that represent creative solutions to society’s problems


We will enhance and reward nonprofit best practices and fund projects which represent innovation and increase efficiencies within sustainable organizations.