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GIFT VII: An opportunity for Brown County nonprofits

The Brown County Community Foundation (BCCF) has received a grant of $500,000 as part of Lilly Endowment Inc.’s seventh phase of its Giving Indiana Funds for Tomorrow (GIFT) initiative.   With GIFT VII, the Endowment is making up to $125 million available to help Indiana community foundations strengthen the towns, cities and counties they serve.

BCCF can use this matching fund grant to build our financial assets and support our charitable activities. At least two-thirds of the matching fund grant must be designated to support the growth of BCCF’s unrestricted endowments, which over time will provide flexibility to help the foundation to meet community needs.  Unrestricted funds are at the heart of BCCF’s grant-making capacity and are used to award grants that strengthen Brown County. Lilly Endowment will provide $2 for every $1 contributed to BCCF’s unrestricted endowments during the matching period, October 1, 2018, through December 31, 2020.  In other words, a gift of $100 instantly becomes $300. A gift of $10,000 added to our unrestricted fund instantly becomes $30,000.

Between now and the end of the year, BCCF has chosen to designate up to one-third of the matching fund grant to assist local nonprofits with current needs and charitable projects. Lilly Endowment will provide 50 cents for every $1 that BCCF raises during the matching period for these purposes. To take advantage of this match and plan strategic giving, we’re calling on all local nonprofits that are currently fundraising to contact Maddison Miller, CEO of the Brown County Community Foundation at 812-988-4882 to discuss opportunities to receive available match dollars.

A portion of the fifty cents on the dollar match will also be available to existing BCCF fund holders who are interested in growing their funds. Additionally, members of the community who are interested in starting a new named fund can leverage the match.

In the previous phase of GIFT, grant dollars were used to help Brown County Habitat for Humanity and Mother’s Cupboard build the new Project Helping Hands Building and the new food pantry.  Additionally, these funds assisted with the beautiful renovation of the Brown County Art Gallery. The BCCF Community Grants fund grew by $500,000 thanks to the support of 24 new unrestricted endowments supporting the annual grants program which allowed for an additional $20,000 in community grants each year.

“The Brown County Community Foundation has a rich history with Lilly Endowment, Inc.,” says BCCF CEO Maddison Miller. “Twenty five years ago, the Foundation was founded with a challenge grant from GIFT I which allowed us to start our endowment, grow financial resources, and execute effective grant making in the community. We look forward to continuing our relationship with Lilly Endowment, Inc. in this seventh phase of GIFT and are grateful for the opportunity to provide even more charitable resources to Brown Countians.”

The GIFT initiative is part of Lilly Endowment’s grant making to strengthen Indiana communities and has been a priority of the Endowment since the first phase of GIFT in 1990.  The initiative’s primary aim is to help Indiana community foundations develop the philanthropic capacity to identify, prioritize and address local opportunities and challenges.

To encourage the engagement of BCCF’s board of directors, the Endowment also will award an additional $100,000 unrestricted grant if the foundation achieves 100 percent financial support from our board members during the period January 1, 2019, through June 30, 2020.   Starting in 2019, BCCF will have the opportunity to apply for more funds through GIFT VII’s community leadership grants.  This component includes both planning and implementation grants, which are available to help the foundation deepen its understanding of the challenges and opportunities facing its community; convene key local stakeholders and explore how it can effectively play a leadership role in implementing initiatives and strategies that enhance the quality of life in Brown County.


Lilly Endowment Inc. is an Indianapolis-based private philanthropic foundation created in 1937 by three members of the Lilly family – J.K. Lilly Sr. and sons J.K. Jr. and Eli – through gifts of stock in their pharmaceutical business, Eli Lilly & Company.  The Endowment exists to support causes of community development, education and religion.  Lilly Endowment’s community development grantmaking is designed to support efforts that enhance the quality of life in Indianapolis and Indiana.

The Brown County Community Foundation currently has over $11 million in assets and has granted over $11 million back to the community since their founding in 1993. Their mission is to be a collaborative leader for positive impact in the Brown County Community by building on the spirit of philanthropy. If you would like more information about the Brown County Community Foundation please visit or call their office 812-988-4882