If there is one thing that I’d set up in EVERY community in the USA, it would be a community foundation. Indiana has been blessed that it has a community foundation in every one of the 92 counties in the state. The Lilly Foundation made a major push over a decade ago to help set up community foundations in the state and reached their goal of having one in every county.
Jefferson County (population 32,704) set up their community foundation in 1992. Since then they’ve given out over $5 million in grants in the county and today have an endowment of over $15 million. That is a combined $611 for every citizen in the county.
In my talk I spoke of the generosity of rural citizens like those in Jefferson County, saying, “There is no way that a place like Indianapolis or Chicago could ever generate the amount of money that you’ve been able to do here in the past fifteen years.”
After getting back I home I did the calcs. Indianapolis would have to have raised almost $500 million dollars for their community foundation and Chicago $2 billion! It’s not going to happen. It could only happen in a place like Madison and Jefferson County, IN.
Have you started your community foundation yet?