Carmel Fund endowment to help cover unexpected community needs


City leaders do what they can to prepare for the future, but one of the few things they can always expect is its unpredictability.

That’s one reason the Carmel City Council approved $50,000 in its 2019 budget to help launch the Carmel Fund, an endowment that will support future needs of the community that aren’t likely to be met anywhere else. The fund will be managed through Hamilton County Community Foundation, previously known as Legacy Fund. The foundation manages similar funds in north Hamilton County, Noblesville and Westfield, HCCF President Tom Kilian said.

The Estridge family, known for building homes across the county and beyond, donated the first $50,000 to the Carmel Fund through its trust foundation. The city council’s contribution will match gifts from the community to help bring the fund up to $150,000. Income generated by the fund once it reaches a certain size will be used to pay for needs that can’t be met through government assistance or nonprofits.

“If you have an emergency, it’s always good to have something like this that’s special – only for this community – that’s designed to take care of those kind of things,” said Terry Anker, past president of HCCF who helped launch the project. “We’re blessed in this county that we have a number of very thoughtful and mature nonprofits, but things come up and can be budget-destroying.”

Anker said a grants committee would likely review how the Carmel Fund would be used on a case-by-case basis. Grants could be made throughout the year, or the committee could decide to make a larger annual contribution, depending on needs.

Anker said donating to the Carmel Fund may be a good option for people who want to give back to the community that helped them achieve success.

“People like to leave a legacy. There are many families who really have seen their wealth grow, because they lived, built their business or had real estate in this community,” Anker said.

Individuals or organizations interested in donating to the Carmel Fund can contact Kilian at

Learn more at


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