JCCF reaches million dollar matching grant challenge

Published: June 15, 2016 by Gail Richards, President/CEO

Johnson County is a little richer today. The Johnson County Community Foundation (JCCF) has met the match offered by Lilly Endowment Inc. through its Giving Indiana Funds for Tomorrow (GIFT) initiative.

In July 2014, Lilly Endowment announced a statewide challenge grant to community foundations across Indiana, totaling $66 million, with incentives that included a $1-for-$1dollar match. JCCF was eligible for $1 million if they could raise $1 million in matching contributions.

Donors came through for Johnson County.

“With this grant, and the different match opportunities, we were able to raise an additional $2 million for the endowment which means at least $80,000 annually in new grants to local organizations benefiting Johnson County residents,” said Erin Smith, Johnson County Community Foundation Board Chair.

“The JCCF Board of Directors wishes to thank everyone who made the match possible. In typical years, JCCF starts around 10 new funds for the community, but the match period saw over 30 new funds started that will impact nonprofit organizations and residents in perpetuity. The outflowing of support for Johnson County was amazing,” said Smith.

This GIFT initiative matching grant greatly enhances local communities and Indiana as a whole. In 1990, when the first GIFT grant was made, Indiana was home to only a dozen community foundations. Now, there are 94 community foundations and county affiliate funds in Indiana, serving each of Indiana’s 92 counties. Local leaders and community volunteers make decisions that positively address their own unique community needs.

Funds are invested to grow over time, creating a greater impact year after year. This matching opportunity was the sixth phase of Lilly Endowment’s GIFT initiative for Indiana community foundations. Since 1990, the value of Indiana’s community foundations that have regularly participated in GIFT grew from $30 million to almost $2 billion, and more than $915 million went back into the communities through local grants. Each community foundation or affiliate fund designed its own challenge within the parameters of the latest GIFT grant.

The Johnson County Community Foundation is a nonprofit public charity established in 1991 to serve donors, award grants, and provide leadership to improve Johnson County forever. To obtain information, contact Gail Richards at 738-2213 or or visit


A special thanks to our Platinum Community Partners!

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